After losing 2 of 3 AT HOME, to the MONTREAL EXPOS, my 'Stros have basically walked out to the back 40 and shot themselves.
Five days ago, they had won 4 of 5, and were 1 1/2 games behind San Fran for 3rd in the Wild Card, 4 back of the Cubbies. Going into tonight's game with the Mets, they are in Sixth Place, 6 games back, and have lost 4 straight games. In three of those losses, the winning run was given up by the bullpen after the seventh inning. They are 3rd in the Central, but are 3 games closer to fifth than they are to second. Now Wade Miller is probably done for the season, and Adam Everett is out for at least 5 weeks. I attribute this gigantic choke-job to the following things:
The horrible Bullpen that Gerry Hunsicker constructed. Once the Beltran-for-Dotel trade went through, Houston left themselves with ONE reliable reliever, Brad Lidge. The trouble is, none of the no-talent ass clowns in front of him can hold a lead. As a result, he's 11 for 11 in Save opportunities, but should have had at least 16-18 Save chances. Gallo has been bad, Harville has had flashes of brilliance but struggled overall, Miceli has been horrible, Redding has stunk it up, and I don't even have words to describe what a disaster Weathers has been. Hell, he's blown three leads IN THE LAST WEEK. This was a probable weak spot before the season started, and got worse as the season went on. They got Darren Oliver about a week before the deadline, and he's been good for them, but is hurt now, too. Why they never made a move to shore this up absolutely bufuddles me.
Age. Kent can't run, Bagwell can't throw, Ausmus can't do much of anything, and Biggio's .298 average is a "resurgence".
Sporadic hitting. The only thing consistent about this club's hitting is that they consistently leave a ton of runners stranded in scoring position. That's about it.
I'm not going to bring up injuries, even though they've been a problem, because EVERY team has injuries, and winners find a way to overcome that.
So thank you for the letdown of the century, Houston Astros.