Astros at the season’s midpoint
The Astros hit the halfway mark of the season with a 28-53 record, which means they’re on pace to finish with 106 losses. That would easily surpass the franchise records for most losses in a season, which is 97 set in 1965 and matched in 1975 and 1991.
Of course, the Astros were on pace for 100 losses for much of last year before they turned it around in the second half following the trades of Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt. This year’s club could be facing selling off some commodities as well, but it’s hard to envision a strong second half like we saw last year.
Through 81 games, here are stats to consider:
- The Astros have hit 45 home runs and are on pace to hit 90 for the season. That would be their fewest since hitting 79 in 1991. They hit 249 home runs in 2000 — the first year of Minute Maid Park.
- The Astros have 300 RBIs, putting them on pace for 600. That would actually surpass their total of 577 of a year ago.
- With 66 stolen bases, the Astros are on pace for their most since stealing 166 in 1999.
- The Astros are on pace to set a club record in strikeouts. They’ve struck out 597 times through 81 games, and the club record is 1,138 in 1999. They are on pace to walk just a tad bit more than last year’s 415.
- Closer Mark Melancon leads the pitching staff with five wins, which means the Astros have a chance of not having a 10-game winner. The team record for fewest wins to lead the club is 10, which was done most recently in 1995 when Doug Drabek, Shane Reynolds and Greg Swindell each had 10 wins. A pitcher has won at least 14 games in each year since.
- Hunter Pence has nine homers and 53 RBIs in 75 games, so we can loosely assume he’s on pace for 18 homers and 106 RBIs. He’s hit 25 in each of the previous three seasons. The last time the Astros failed to have a player hit 20 home runs was in 1992, when Eric Antony slugged 19.
Finally, here are my midseason Astros awards:
MVP — Hunter Pence. He’s hitting .314 with nine homers and 53 RBIs and has been the Astros’ most consistent hitter all season.
Pitcher of the Year — Wandy Rodriguez. This could have gone to Bud Norris or Mark Melancon, but when healthy Rodriguez has been pretty darn good. He’s 5-4 with a 3.21 ERA in 13 starts.
Rookie of the Year — Jordan Lyles. Lyles is 0-3 with a 4.75 ERA in six starts. Aneury Rodriguez and Francisco Rodriguez are also rookies.
Most Improved — Bud Norris. Not that he was bad last year, but he continues to make strides and has been pretty solid with a 4-6 record and 3.36 ERA.