How the Astros Someday Can Beat the Rangers

RANGERS MANAGER JEFF BANISTER, BACKED BY PITCHING COACH DOUG BROCAIL ,(R) WARN ASTROS MANAGER AJ HINCH AND PITCHING COACH BRENT STROM (L):  "WHEN YOU COME UP TO ARLINGTON, WE ARE GOING TO GIVE YOU MORE OF THE SAME TREATMENT WE JUST GAVE YOU HERE IN HOUSTON!! COUNT ON IT!"

RANGERS MANAGER JEFF BANISTER, BACKED BY PITCHING COACH DOUG BROCAIL (R), WARNS ASTROS MANAGER AJ HINCH AND PITCHING COACH BRENT STROM (L): “LISTEN UP, HINCH! WHEN YOU GUYS COME UP TO ARLINGTON NEXT TIME, WE ARE GOING TO GIVE YOU MORE OF THE SAME TREATMENT WE JUST GAVE YOU HERE IN HOUSTON! – COUNT ON IT!”

 

How the Astros Someday Can Beat the Rangers

It’s a little late now for 2016. Losing the August 5-7 home series by 2 games to 1 leaves our Astros 7.5 games behind the Rangers with 52 total games left to play and way too many wild card contenders ahead of them to hold out much hope for either of the two wild card spots. It’s still possible, of course, but not probable. We’ve been through that differentiation previously and nothing in the actual character of those essential differences has changed, but one. The later in the season it gets to be, the harder it becomes to misunderstand the difference between “slim to none” in any discussion of remaining chances.

In spite of the fact it’s too late to probably help us this year, here are some erstwhile-level worthy ways in which the Astros either can, may, or will – one day beat the Rangers to the punch out in an AL West pennant race:

  1. Have a team that can hit in the clutch. Example: The next time the Astros rally to tie the Rangers in the bottom of the 9th in a game that decides a series, creating a 2-game up-swing in the GB column, have somebody up there hitting with 2 outs and the winning run on second base that isn’t named Evan Gattis. Oh yeah, the replacement guy also cannot be named Preston Tucker, Colby Rasmus, Jason Castro, Jake Marisnick, Carlos Gomez, Tyler White, or A.J. Reed. Unless we intelligently plan to keep Tony Kemp, maybe we can someday be the one  who picks up an aging rental hitter that the Yankees don’t need for the rest of the season in exchange for any of the previous names on this list.
  2. Make a trade at the deadline for an all-star catcher like Jonathan Lucroy – a guy who proved Saturday that he could also be a difference-maker on offense by slamming two homers against the Astros in the Rangers’ 3-2 first of two wins in the series.
  3. Make sure the team that trades a guy like Lucroy to the Astros also throws in a relief pitcher that helps the club in late inning relief during a critical series like the one they just lost to the Rangers.
  4. When the Astros trade with the Brewers, they should only trade for the good players on that club’s roster – and not for the guys that Milwaukee is simply trying to dump elsewhere.
  5. Maybe this wasn’t the best year for it, but someday, the Astros are going to have another chance at the brass ring, but only if they are willing to risk giving something up to acquire the difference-maker. We did it once back in 1998 with Randy Johnson – and he almost fulfilled that role. Unfortunately, we had one of those classic Astros performance meltdowns against San Diego in the first round of the playoffs that year – and it turned out to be the least mentioned heartbreaker in club history. The Padres eliminated the ’98 Astros, 3 games to 1, with Randy Johnson going 0-2 as the culmination of his brief Astros playoff career.
  6. We cannot wait until all our starters and the heart of our pitching roster is developed from players taken with one of the first five picks in the annual amateur draft. We would have to lose too much and too often to get things done that way, and, even if it were theoretically possible, the club would have to dance with losing too long to have much defense against that becoming the culture of the team and the abandonment of MMP by even the most loyal of fans.
  7. It needs to be said directly – and not just left to implication by everything else we’ve already stated here. – The Astros are going to have to intelligently spend more money than the Rangers to beat them out of the advantage spot they now occupy over our Houston club in the AL WEST.

That’s all we’ve got. And it wasn’t all tongue in cheek. Especially so – item # 7.

Meanwhile, hang in there, all you other Astros fans. Hold onto hope and keep the faith. It isn’t technically the start yet of “wait till next year” time and saying our last goodbyes to 2016, but it’s pretty darn close.

____________________

eagle-0range
Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

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2 Responses to “How the Astros Someday Can Beat the Rangers”

  1. Rick B. Says:

    Q: Will the Astros win the AL West?
    A: Fat chance.

    Q: Will the Astros capture an AL Wild Card spot?
    A: Slim chance.

    Q: How can fat & slim mean the same thing.
    A: See the 2016 Houston Astros.

  2. Tom Hunter Says:

    My Rockies will do their part to help the Astros. Today, we start a split 4-game series with the Rangers: two games here in Denver followed by two games in Arlington.

    IF the ‘Stros can handle the lowly Twins, maybe they can make up some ground. But as a couple of old expressions have it, “IF my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle” and “IF a frog had wings, he wouldn’t (bang) his ass when he landed.”

    IF would ‘a’ could ‘a’ should ‘a’. . .

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