This week could make or break Astros

We’re not even in August yet and the NL Central is a complete mess, so perhaps it’s a little early to put such a big emphasis on a road trip like the one the Astros have coming up. They open a four-game series Monday at Wrigley Field against the Cubs before playing three games against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Simply put, these are seven huge games. The Astros are chasing both the Cubs and Cardinals in the standings, and there’s no better way to make up ground in the standings than to play the teams you’re trying to catch.

The Astros have played extremely well on the road this year, going 22-23. And in four of these games on this road trip, they will have Wandy Rodriguez and Roy Oswalt starting two games each. If they can win at least three of those starts and scratch out another win somewhere else, they’ll have a winning road trip.

“Going into this road trip we’re going to see what we’re made of,” Astros third baseman Geoff Blum said. “We’re going toi have to wait and see. That’s part of the fun of it is looking ahead and being able to go play those games.”

What’s for certain is the Astros can’t afford to lay an egg this week. I expect the Cardinals and/or Cubs to get on a roll, and the Astros can only hope it doesn’t begin at their expense.

3 Comments

I agree with the “laying an egg” comment but this needs to go for the coaches as well as the players. I was at the game yesterday and in my opinion the 3rd base coach may have cost us the game in the 1st inning when he sent Blum home on the shallow single by Pense. We had their starting pitcher on the ropes and the bullpen up. What’s wrong with 1st and 3rd and 1 out? I think if we get one more run in the inning and get into their bullpen we win the game. Understanding players abilities (Blum is slow) and game situations will be critical in these upcoming series. I probably will not get much agreement on this but I think if the Astros “lay an egg” in these next two series the season is over.

Brian,

What are your thoughts on Justin Duchscherer? I can’t imagine he would cost much and the A’s might be willing to take whatever they can given he won’t even be a Type B free agent by year end. If he shows enough in the last two months, the Astros can offer arbitration and at most would be paying their number two and three starters a combined salary of 8-10 million. Wandy and Justin Duchscherer are both capable of putting up 15 wins with sub 3.50 ERA and under 1.2 WHIP with 180 innings. Can the Astros free up an extra million or three to take that kind of chance on a pitcher like Justin Duchscherer and others? Is Mark Teahen somebody the Astros can afford? I understand that money is tight and most fans understand that and don’t even want the cost of a Roy Halladay to future prospects.

If the Astros plead poverty on a 100 million dollar payroll when low cost options exist to help bolster the team, then the goodwill garnered in the past week will go away quickly.

Thanks,

Sean

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