How bad are the Astros?
Keith Cordero Jr.: Where’s their offense?
The Astros are absolutely the worst team in baseball, and, as a San Francisco Giants fan excited about a 5-1 start, I have some sympathy for the winless Astros (0-7). Houston has gotten nothing from their bats in the first six games and failed to beat slow-throwing pitchers Barry Zito and Jamie Moyer.
Zito’s stuff is nowhere close to what he had in 2004 when he won the AL CY Young, and Moyer — are you kidding me — is almost 50 years old. His MLB debut in 1986 occurred before I was born. Moyer has a win in four consecutive decades and managed to throw his low 80’s pitches just well enough to survive the Lastros, I mean Astros.
Unfortunately, Houston is missing Lance Berkman, and they miss the departed Miguel Tejada, but 13 runs on the season is horrific — the Diamondbacks scored 13 runs alone in the fourth inning of Sunday’s win 15-6 win against the Pirates. Houston has to turn it on or new manager Brad Mills could get an early season axe.
Chris Losee: Same place as their defense
With their worst start in over 25 years, the Houston Astros (0-7) are the worst team and the only one without a win in major league baseball. The roster is stacked with young players, and the only people who appeal to a national audience are Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee. Hunter Pence is also a great person to have on the team, but there is nobody else. The pitching staff has nothing and nobody. The offense is not there and neither is the chemistry, especially with new manager Brad Mills in the mix.
The power hitters from last year — Geoff Blum, Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee — have batting averages that do not exceed .200 in seven games of play. I know that there are more than 150 games remaining, but I do not see the season getting better for this team. The numbers do not lie, and neither do the performances. The Astros need changes in all categories, starting with the man at the top, Drayton McLane. Minute Maid Park, along with the Astros, will not be worth a drop of orange juice by the end of the season if they continue to be the worst team in baseball.
John Brannen: Is a winless season a possibility?
While the Astros will remain in the cellar of the National League Central standings this season, fans can take consolation in knowing that they are not the worst in baseball, just one of the worst. Monday’s 5-0 loss to the Cardinals puts the Lastros on pace to go 0 -162, but that could change by the end of the week. On paper, the Astros are officially the worst team in the league as of today and could be well into May. Eventually, the Astros will peel off a couple wins and separate themselves from the likes of the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals, but that is not the case today.
Despite having All-Star caliber offensive players in Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee, it has not translated to postseason success. With Berkman out and Roy Oswalt hinting at a trade, it may be time to shift in a new direction. The neglect of the farm system, insistence on signing older players due to blind faith based on a miracle season has finally caught up with the Astros and owner Drayton McLane. The Astros will not finish the season as the worst team, but will definitely be one of the 10 worst teams in the MLB.
Judge Higgs: Worst Astros team in how long?
What other answer could you possible give to this question than an emphatic, “Yes!” The Astros have been outscored by a margin of 42-13 in their seven losses, they’re batting a paltry .196, and it’d be a major understatement to say that their pitching has left a lot to be desired.
The last Astros team that started this poorly was the 1983 ‘Stros, who began the season 0-9. Already 0-7, the Astros don’t play a team that currently holds a losing record until San Diego comes to town at the end of the first week in May, so unless the Astros can muster up some passion soon, not to mention find their bats and their defense, it’s not totally inconceivable that they could fall into a 0-28 hole.
I like your optimism, John, if saying they may be only “one” of the worst teams can be called optimism,. But with what the team has shown so far, this looks to be a long season of losing for the Astros. By the end of it, they’ll be lucky if they end up being only the worst team of the season and not one of the worst of all time.
Verdict: The Astros’ precipitous fall from the level of play that took them to the World Series in 2005 can be put at the feet of one man, owner Drayton McLane. For making the point that change must begin with him, Chris gets the facetime.