Happy Valentine’s Day 2018, Astro Champs!

Hey! Astros Fans!
How’s this for the Happiest Valentine of 2018?

This season, our 2018 Astros Nation Valentine’s Day began a little early. It began in the waning hours of November 1, 2017 – and it hasn’t stopped since.

The Pecan Park Eagle doesn’t have a poem in words for this Valentine’s Day occasion. Words simply are not needed in times and realms where the heart already soars.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2018, Houston Astros and Fans!

And here is a poem to remind us of the lessons we were just beginning to inhale as an Astros “fan-chise” – in the waning winter days prior to Spring Training in 2015. Its body and message are contained in the column we wrote only three years ago on this date – the one entitled “Happy Valentine’s Day 2015”:

https://bill37mccurdy.com/2015/02/14/happy-valentines-day-2015/

Remember how things were three years ago? The Astros were coming off a 2014 season in which their 11 games below .500 record represented a 19 win improvement over their 2013 season mark.

Come to think of it, the past decade season record of the Houston Astros represents – in numbers – the best concise alpha-to-omega summary of this most incredible era in franchise history – and the Astros did it all while transitioning from membership in the traditional National League to the elasticity of American League hitting rules that favor offense over pitching and defense in the American League.

For starters in 2008, the Astros experienced their last, albeit weak, winning season before the big fall. That one weak winner was followed by two brief seasons (2009-10) in the shallow waters of the losing pool, before all went crashing into the abyss of three consecutive triple-loss losing years. The first two big 1oo+ loss holes 0f 2011-12 commemorated the club’s last two seasons in the National League. The last – and worst of them all – came about in 2013, during their 111-loss first season in the American League. The Astros then rose to the shallow end of the loser’s pool we mentioned in 2014 – and then found the ankle water and competitive baseball niche on the winning side in 2015-16 before ascending into the stratosphere of triple-wins and in-season-championship-joy in 2017.

Maybe it’s appropriate. Our best shot at a 2018 Astros Valentine is the little semi-analytic tabular canvas that follows as our depiction of this decade-old assertive flight into this great blue yonder sky of ceaseless joy:

The Fall and Rise of the Houston Astros, 2008-2017

YEAR LG W L PCT. W +/- 81W*
2008 NL 86 75 .534 + 05
2009 NL 74 88 .457 – 07
2010 NL 76 86 .469 – 05
2011 NL 56 106 .346 – 25
2012 NL 55 107 .340 – 26
2013 AL 51 111 .315 – 30
2014 AL 70 92 .432 – 11
2015 AL 86 76 .531 + 05
2016 AL 84 78 .519 + 03
2017 AL 101 61 .624 + 20

* In our table, a .500 season is portrayed by games won above, or lost below, 81 wins on the regular season, with 81 serving as the .500 p0int for a normally full regular season of 162 completed games. In this tabular period, 2008 was the only one of the ten in which a .500 season was literally impossible due to the fact that the Astros that 2008 season only finished 161 of their 162 scheduled games.

How High The Moon? Now steep was the Astros rise from nadir to zenith? The Astros won only 51 regular season games in 2013, yet the 2014 Sports Illustrated cover story forecat them to win the World Series in 2017. Four years later, as the entire baseball universe now well knows, the 2017 Houston Astros won 101 regular season game, their highest number, on their way to fulfilling all promise as the new World Series Champions. That’s 4 years and a 61-game improvement in the regular season win column. And yes, The question answers itself, How high the moon?

Thanks to Jim Crane, Jeff Luhnow, A.J. Hinch, Jose Altuve, All the Other Astros, and Everyone Else who gave us Astro fans a Valentine this year that is sweeter than candy!

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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