Thought #1: Step-ups and Struggles
Round Rock Express stepping up
Then, we win the first two games against the Cubs. The story of those two games were the callups due to injuries to three key Astros. If all things are considered, the MVP’s of the series belongs to Jack Mayfield and Garrett Stubbs for their performances. It was really nice to see those guys make the most of their opportunities for the series. A similar plotline developed in the two wins against the Cubs. Their first at-bats resulted in doubles while their next plate appearances gave them key RBI in come-from-behind wins.
While Alex Bregman, of course, would hit two homers in the second game that would break the franchise record set by Jimmy Wynn for most homers in the month of May, it was pretty surreal to see our team continue to win even in spite of our health status. Yes, the Cubs did win the last game of the series. But, it was a series win for us.
Obviously, it’s hard to be consistent in baseball and sometimes, players will struggle. After being so dominant for a while, Roberto Osuna appears to have shown moments of vulnerability. On two different occasions against the Red Sox, Osuna came into to the ninth inning with a lead of more than one run. Yet, Boston just created opportunities to score and they would manage to make the games interesting. While Osuna hung on for the save in the first game, he suffered his first blown save in the second game by allowing the Red Sox. But his teammates bailed him out in that game to give him a win.
Then against the Cubs, he came up with a three-run lead and for some reason, the Cubs chipped at the lead. Yet, once again, Osuna got the last out for a save. So in hindsight, Osuna has picked up two saves and one win the difficult way. This is not was Astros fans have become accustomed to. But in hindsight, we’ve been having visions of Ken Giles on the mound minus the punching of the face. Perhaps it’s just a momentary reprieve, but it’s baseball. Closers will not have 1-2-3 ninth innings all the time. We can just hope that he can make adjustments next time he faces off against these teams.
Now for a few off-the-wall feelings about the stretch.