In the 2005 World Series the Chicago White Sox swept the Houston Astros in four games. It has been 12 years since that occurred, and there hasn’t been a more optimistic season for the Astros to return to glory until now. The second half of the season starts in a few days and if the Astros keep their pace, they will be favorites to make it to the World Series from the American League.
The Astros finished with an 89-73 record in 2005 after starting with an abysmal 15-30 mark. In the Astros division at the time, the St. Louis Cardinals strolled into the postseason winning 100 games and losing only 62 games. This put the Astros in second place in the division as the underdog when the two teams met in the National League Championship series. The Astros won the series 4-2, which surprised every baseball fan around the world. They seemed destined to win it all, but in the end they did not win a single game in the World Series.
This season is the opposite of what happened in 2005. The Astros started out superbly and have continued to take the league by storm. Their main concerns include the lower part of the pitching rotation and the bullpen. Hitting has not been a problem whatsoever for the Astros who have five hitters in the starting lineup that are hitting above a .300 average. They will most likely win the division with the second place Los Angeles Angels being 16.5 games behind.
The Astros might target a pitcher that can fill a spot in the rotation before the trade deadline. The stats speak for themselves, with Joe Musgrove sporting a poor 6.04 ERA. Pitching injuries have recently plagued the Astros, but they haven’t stumbled. When Dallas Keuchel returns to full health, the total pitching ERA will continue to improve.
The three headed monster that is the anchor of the Astros lineup consists of Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Carlos Correa. With the oldest being 27, they posses the talent every team hopes for. Altuve leads the pack hitting an astounding .347 on the season. He doesn’t have the power that Springer and Correa have, but he can be relied on to get on base and set up beneficial situations during the game.
In a city with over 2 million people, it is easy to get together and rally behind a hometown team in most cases. The flipside is that the Astros have had very few successful seasons since 2005, so some of the fans have dwindled away since then. There is new hope this season and if the Astros can deliver a championship to the city, it would deliver justice to the loyal fans who have stuck with them throughout the years.
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