A team that came into the 2019 Major League Baseball season with very high expectations is the Houston Astros. They were at the top of the mountain in 2017 when they won the World Series. They were unable to repeat that performance last year when they were defeated by the Boston Red Sox. However, the Astros look like they are a team on a mission this year. They currently have a 40-20 record. They are playing very well despite losing two of their star players due to injuries. George Springer and Jose Altuve have both missed a lot of games. However, the team is so deep that they can still compete when they do not have their best lineup on the field.
The Astros played a very exciting game against the Athletics on Sunday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. The game eventually went to 12 innings and the Astros were victorious by a score of 6-4. Houston had a 4-2 lead in the game. However, they were not able to hold it. Oakland rallied to tie the game at four apiece. This is where it would stay until the Astros finally broke through by scoring a pair of runs in the top of the twelfth inning.
The fact that the Astros are playing so well is astonishing for a number of reasons. The injuries to Altuve and Springer are getting the lion’s share of the attention. However, there is also the fact that Houston lost two very big starting pitchers before the start of the season. Charlie Morton signed a contract for two years with the Tampa Bay Rays. Dallas Keuchel is still a free agent and waiting to be signed. Keuchel is a former Cy Young Award winner. Most teams would have been devastated by losing even one of these guys. However, to lose both of them and still play as well as the Astros have is truly astonishing.
Oakland was on a very good run recently. They had a streak of 10 straight wins. However, they have lost a few very tough games over the past week. It will be very interesting to see what moves Oakland general manager Billy Beane makes before the trade deadline if his team is still in the race. Oakland needs to find another starting pitcher. It is not clear who will be available. Meanwhile, the Astros seem to be in great shape.