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The End of the Road for the Houston Astros

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The Astros’ season is over, and I know I should be writing many great words on what is wrong with this team. But I’m just too tired of the Astros at this moment to do that. Besides, that is what the off-season is for.

I do want to say this. The team finished with a better record this season than I predicted. Hell, I lost a bet because I predicted they would finish with less than 75 wins. I don’t think the team is as good as the record. I don’t think this is an 86 win team, despite the record. Richard Justice says that this means the team is all hustle, and that it never quits, never gives up. He can take that view.

But I take another.

I see the Astros as a lucky team. A team that for about six weeks played way over its head. The numbers show that the Astros surrendered more runs than they scored (743 versus 712). And the expected won-loss stat shows that the Astros record for the season should have been 77-84 instead of 86-75.

You can take two views: If the Astros are healthy, and if the pitching is solid, then the team is only a couple of free agent acquisitions from the playoffs next season. Or you can see it as a team that had to depend on the likes of Brian Moehler and Ty Wigginton to perform better than their career norms. It’s a team of aging players. It’s a team that was bad last year, was bad for the most part this year, and should be bad next year.

But give me some time for contemplation. Maybe I’ll change my mind. – John Royal

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