Our bullpen is not as dominant as other teams. Because the Houston Astros have such a dominant rotation, there’s a perception that they’ll give you six or seven innings before they turn things over. However, the bullpen has not been solid. The problem is that for now, the Astros are running with a closer by committee formation.
Basically, that means the Astros are playing the hot hand and giving time off. Whether it’s Brad Peacock, Chris Devenski, or Ken Giles, the Houston Astros have not had the solid dominant closer. They were able to figure everything out last season when they won it all. But at some point, the closer by committee idea will backfire. We’ve already seen what’s it doing.
What I Think Needs to Happen?
There’s nothing the team can do right now, at least until the trade deadline. I think by the time they get there, the Astros are going to have to get a dominant closer. I’m not saying someone like Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jensen. We just need someone who can fulfill the closer role good enough to where we can trust them. For now, we’re just going to have to ride with the team.
The Ken Giles Saga
I’ll be honest, when everyone saw Giles blow a tie game, they panicked and said he was the worst. Let’s remind everyone here of an interesting stat I was recently reminded of. Prior to that, Giles had pitched in seven ballgames without giving up and run or a hit. That’s a stretch that a lot of closers can do better in.
But while Giles is nowhere elite along the level of Jensen, Champman, or an elite Mariano Rivera, he will have dominant moments where he becomes the best closer for a brief period. So while him punching himself after a bad outing was bad enough, it’s only a reminder that every closer won’t be successful every time.
So it comes down to hitting and the bullpen that are the biggest problems right now. Those things are fixable. But it’s only a matter of time for when they get going. You don’t win a World Series in May. But if the Astros can’t get going offensively, 2018 will be just a regular year.
Yet, the Houston Astros can’t really blame themselves a lot. They have to credit the opposition.