Houston Astros Quietly Grinding It Out

by KC Baker | Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2015
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Carter and Gattis

The first place and very talented Los Angeles Dodgers arrived at the Juice Box with the skilled arms of Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw prepared to punish my boys in orange. Me, I gotta say I was concerned. My mighty mighty Stros had just split a series with the lowly Rays and honestly didn’t even look half mighty doing it. Greinke and Kershaw are among the elite dealers in the MLB; reality forced me to wish for two wins at best. Then the Stros swept those opulent west coasters like dried leaves off my balcony above the Comal River.

Think about it; on August 23, 2015, Lance McCullers beat Clayton Kershaw. Please, take the time and discuss among yourselves.

The series opened with Mike Fiers tossing a no hitter. He brought a demonic near 12 – 6 curve that kept biting off the tiniest edge of the strike zone, frustrating Dodger batters and laying them down like fake Monopoly one-dollar bills. The Astros defense had his back. A scary drive to left in the 9th threatened the feat but Jake Marisnick hauled it in just shy of the Astros bullpen fence. Fiers is no Greinke and ain’t Kershaw either; he does not command the attention or salary of those elite pitchers. But, he grinded it out against one of the richest and the best in the majors and won with a no-no. Go figure.

I read the various MLB “power rankings” nearly every week. Yeah, it’s subjective and the Stros have been given prestigious positions from time to time. Yet the analysis on every one is at same time informed and logical while being utter conjecture contaminated by bias. If the Houston Astros lose a couple of games they will drop five slots while the Yankees can bumfuzzle a few series and hold their position. But it doesn’t matter because the Astros quietly grind it out below the radar because they know it’s baseball, man.

Speaking of the Yankees. They were the next victims of my rampaging Jolly Orange Giants. The series opened with a pitcher’s duel that the Yankees won in the 10th after the very quirky and overly suspicious Oliver Perez filled the bases, leaving the aging Chad Qualls to face mercenary for hire Carlos “Buckstran” who easily popped in the winning run. Good for them. The next game, legitimate Cy Young candidate Dallas Keuchel owned the overpaid Bronx boys as his offense spanked New York in a 15 to 1 rout. Let me shout it once again: “Hey mister, how much did you pay for that?” (See “How Much Did You Pay for That?). The boys from the greatest city in the Lone Star State closed it out 6 – 2 for a series win the next day as budding superstar Carlos Correa rested and Collin McHugh continued the starting staff’s march to consistency.

If you are reading this, you might say, “I know all this, man; tell me something new.” There’s nothing new my funky friends; the Stros are just quietly grinding it out. And they are doing it against the best-funded and most talented clubs in the game. In fact, they play best against those with the highest payrolls. And that’s a damn good thing because if they make the playoffs, that’s all they will see. Except for the K.C. Royals that is; all they will see from them is bean balls.

The second season starts with the playoffs. There is quite literally nothing like playoff baseball. I have concerns that my young squad is not sufficiently calloused for the battle. However, as they continue on that path, I gain confidence. In any event, I am having fun. It’s baseball, man.

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KC Baker
About the Author

K.C. Baker is an old school Astros fan, spending many a hot summer day in the cool confines of the Dome. He just finished his 28th year as a practicing attorney and likes to spend all of his spare time in New Braunfels, Texas with his wife of 29 years and their three children. Follow him on Twitter @KenCBake

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