Page 14 of 14 FirstFirst ... 4121314
Results 196 to 202 of 202

Thread: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

  
  1. #196
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,723
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    The first place you go to is the front office of a franchise. It all starts with them, the GM in particular because he sets the standard and develops the plan to stock the team with the right coaches and players so the franchise has success.
    On the one hand you have to applaud for the myriad number of moves that restocked and rebuild the talent quality of the team from the lowest level of the minor leagues to the big league club. Jeff Luhnow did such a good job rebuilding a team that torn to shreds by Tim Purpura after he took over for the highly successful Gerry Hunsicker after Hunsicker was fired over differences with owner Drayton McClain. Purpura traded away the Astros future by signing big name players who were basically over the hill in an effort to win a World Series. That plan worked as Houston made their first WS in 2005, Purpura's first season as GM, but it was at the expense of the franchise's future and Houston suffered it's first 100 loss season in franchise history in 2011. As a result when Drayton McClain sold the Astros to new owner Jim Crane who fired Purpura and hired Luhnow as the new GM. Houston had to endure 2 more consecutive 100 loss seasons in 2012 and 2013 before the rewards of Luhnow's rebuilding plan started to pay dividends. In 2014 the Astros had their first non 100 loss season going 70-92 which was a 19 game improvement over 2013. Houston continued their climb back to respectability in 2015 by having the #1 minor league system in baseball and improving by 16 games over 2014 and winning the AL 2nd Wild Card spot and actually beating the Yankees in the WC playoff game in New York. 2015 ended with a blown opportunity to close the Division series against eventual World Series champions the Kansas City Royals. Houston had a 4 run lead with 2 innings left to play. The Royals only needed the 8th inning to erase the lead and they ended up beating Houston 9-6 and evening the series at 2 games apiece. The bullpen meltdown in that game carried over into the 2016 season as Houston had a dismal April after winning the opening game of the season against the Yankees and eventually falling 10 games under .500. In 2015 Houston led the majors in home runs for most of the season and they also were among the top teams with the most strike outs. Luhnow is responsible for attaining Carlos Correa, George Springer, Lance McCullers, Dallas Keuchel and many other players who have meant so much to Houston's climb back to respectability. But, he has made some boner moves as well with the most egregious moves coming this summer at the trade deadline. First, Luhnow traded P Scott Feldman to the Rangers, the Astros most bitter rivals, which had many heads scratched as they wondered why the Astros GM would make a deal that made a division rival better. The other move that made no sense was the fact that he made no deals at all to acquire players to help improve the club for a playoff run. No moves at all. None. Nada. Zero. In a recent article on Astros.com Luhnow admitted that he could have done more at the trade deadline. Yeah, ya think so, genius? He's also made some deals that were confusing. Back in December of 2015 he traded 2014 #1 pick in the draft P Mark Appel and 2 other top pitching prospects and an infielder to Philadelphia for Ken Giles and another infielder. Appel has done nothing for Philly as he landed on IR this season with shoulder and elbow issues but Giles has not been a big help to Houston either as he's taken a propensity to allow runs when he pitched and turned them into 5 blown saves in 20 opportunities not to mention a 2-5 record as a reliever on the season. Every move Luhnow has made isn't golden. Like last summer at the trade deadline Luhnow traded his best hitting prospect Brett Phillips along with 3 other prospects to Milwaukee for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. If Mike Fiers hadn't worked out the whole deal would have been a bust. I never liked Gomez as a player and he under performed to the extent that Houston released him this past summer because he just sucked. As luck would have it the stupid Rangers signed him and they got some production out of him. I was always told that one 'ah shit' cancels out a whole bunch of 'attaboys' and this is sort of the case. Luhnow has whiffed on in the past year on pretty much all of his deals and he needs to get back on a roll. It looked for a long time that Luhnow was in the same conversation as former Boston and current Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein who turned around the Bosox and led them to their first World Series wins in 86 years prior to 2004 breaking the infamous Curse of the Bambino that started in 1918 when Babe Ruth was traded by Boston to New York. Epstein left Boston in 2011 for Chicago and he has built that franchise in the best in the National League and a favorite to win the 2016 World Series. Luhnow was there last year when Houston was touted as the 2017 World Series champions based on the rich and deep farm system Luhnow had built and the fact they even made the playoffs last year. Since the 2015 offseason his moves have been questionable at best and there are areas of weakness that need to be filled if Houston is to overcome the Rangers and return to the playoffs in 2017. It was announced on Monday that the Astros will be returning the entire current coaching staff next season which is something I have a big, big problem with. But, that is for another day. As for Luhnow?

    2016 Grade - D

  2. #197
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,723
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    Houston has talent. Some of that talent is raw to be sure but there is some good clay to work with. Troulble is, I don't have a lot of confidence in the current coaching staff to mold the team into winners.
    AJ Hinch - decent job of managing and it's not his fault the players didn't get it done this past season. I think Hinch depends way too much on baseball cliches like lefty v righty, righty vs lefty pitching matchups ignoring the hot hand. It's just some little things that annoy me that make me distrustful of his managing style. 2016 Grade -- C
    Brent Strom - Strom has been around the MLB block a time or two. He had a five year big league career as a pitcher from 1972 to 1977. Strom wasn't a very good player but he has spent the last 38 years as a baseball coach in the minors and the major league level. You would have thought he could've done a better job with the staff the last couple of years Dallas Keuchel not withstanding.
    2016 Grade -- C
    Dave Hudgens - you all know how I feel about this guy, I think he stinks. Since he became hitting coach when A J Hinch became the Astros manager prior to last season the Astros team batting average hasn't improved much and overall the hitters in the lineup have hit well below their career average. I think the guy sucks at his job and I'm sorry he's still employed by the Astros.
    2016 Grade - F
    Gary Pettit - maybe the worst 3rd base coach ever. He takes aggressive base running to new levels of stupid. He is constantly getting runners thrown out at home because he just can't seem to coalesce arm strength vs foot speed.
    2016 Grade - D-

    Overall grade of the Astros coaching staff in 2016. -- D

    The Blue Jays beat Baltimore on Tuesday night to advance to the AL Divisional series against the Rangers tonight. I hate to have to say this but, "Go Jays!"

    Last night the Giants and Mets played 8 innings of shutout ball. If you like pitchers duels last night was your night. Madison Baumgarner went up against the Mets fireballer Noah Syndergaard and they took turns mowing down each other's batters for seven innings. The Mets brought in Addison Reed in the 8th and he and Baumgarner kept the game scoreless so it all came down to the ninth inning. The Mets brought in Jeurys Familia and he could not carry on the Mets side of the shutout. After a lead off double, a K and a walk the fatal blow of the game came off the bat of the Giants 8th hole hitter, Conor Gillaspie who jacked a 3 run homer to break the tie to give the Giants a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the 9th. It also meant the Mets were going to face Baumgarner one last time. Baumgarner finished off the Mets with a 1-2-3 ninth to earn a complete game shutout for the Giants. When Baumgarner gets to the playoffs he nothing but money and his post season stats are just sick. In four different post season campaigns he is 8-3 in 15 appearances with a 1.94 ERA and opposing hitters are hitting just .194 against him. He has helped the Giants win 3 World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He was named 2014 WS MVP after going 2-0 with 1 save with a 0.43 ERA. He pitched 5 scoreless innings in a relief role in Game 7 just 2 days after pitching a complete game 4 hit shutout victory in Game 5. With the Giants WS wins in even years (2010, 12, 14) they are dark horse favorites to win it all again this year. The Giants wil face the NL best Chicago Cubs on Friday.

    The Rangers host Toronto tonight in Game 1 of their series and Boston plays Cleveland in tonight's second ALDS game.

    The NLDS doesn't begin until Saturday when the Nationals host the Dodgers in the first game and the Giants and Cubs go in the nightcap. Friday will be a very busy day in baseball as both ALDS Game 2's will also be played Friday.

  3. #198
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,723
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    Cleveland beat Boston in Game 1 of their ALDS series by a score of 5-4. Good game with the home team getting the win.
    The other ALDS game took place in Arlington with the Rangers going through the game half asleep especially Rangers ace Cole Hamels who never made it past the 4th inning. To be exact he went 3.1 innings giving up 7 runs on 6 hits with 3 BB's and just one K. The first two innings were fine as the Rays entered the top of the 5th in a scoreless tie. By the time their half of the inning was over it was 5 zip and the game was, for all intents and purposes, over.
    Game 2 of both ALDS series will be today as is both Game 1's of the NLDS series will also be played.

    Astros News: The Baseball Writers Association of America Houston Chapter voted 2B Jose Altuve the Astros MVP. It is the 3rd time in 4 years for Altuve to win this award. P Chris Devenski was awarded both Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year for his stellar work out of the bullpen. P Clinton McHugh was awarded the Darrell Kile Award for being the most affable to teammates, fans and the media. Basically he is the Astros "Miss Congeniality".

    Tomorrow I'll begin looking at the Astros roster starting with the pitchers.

  4. #199
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,723
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    The baseball playoffs are under way so here's a recap of what's taken place so far.

    ALDS
    Toronto vs Texas - Toronto up 2-0 after sweeping both games in Arlington. This put Texas in a deep hole with Toronto needing a win in one of the next 3 games in the best of 5 series. The series resumes with Game 3 in Toronto tomorrow night.

    Boston vs Cleveland - This series has been one sided too but it was the home team Indians that has done the dominating winning Games 1 and 2 easily. Game 2 was a 6-0 shutout with Cleveland's Cory Kluber besting Boston's David Price. Game 3 is in Boston, weather permitting, tomorrow afternoon.

    NLDS
    Giants vs Cubs - The series began last night with a really awesome game, assuming you like pitcher's duels, with a 1-0 win by the Cubs who took a 1 game to none lead on LA. Johnny Cueto went 7 shutout innings before allowing a single run in the 8th. The Cubs Jon Lester also went 8 innings and he didn't allow a run in his time on the mound. Aroldis Chapman came in a got the save for Cubs. A really hard luck loss for the Giants. Game 2 is tonight with the Giants sending Jeff Samardzija to the hill while the Cubs counter with Kyle Hendricks.

    Dodgers vs Nationals - The series began last night with a 4-3 Dodgers win with the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw and the bullpen proved just a skosh better than Max Scherzer and the Nats bullpen allowing the Dodgers to take a 1-0 series lead on the road. Game 2 has been postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. Ol' Matt has had a big effect on the games taking place on the east coast today including the postponement of the LSU-Florida game.
    .
    11 people have died as a result of this storm with around a million and a half people without electricity. We should all keep all those people in our thoughts and prayers as the storm is not nearly done wreaking havoc along the eastern seaboard of our country. With Hurricanes Rita and Ike still fresh in our memories we understand what these folks are going through.

    I have decided not to worry about evaluating the Astros lineup. You saw what I saw and you know what Houston needs to get better. It may be helpful to see who likely won't be back next year as Houston continues to integrate their home grown players into the roster and say goodbye to some vets who likely won't be resigned going into the 2017 season.

    Luis Valbuena - we all bashed this guy when he was on the field playing but how many of you were wishing we had him back after he was out for the season with the mother of all hamstring injuries. Houston missed his 20+ home runs and 60 or so RBI's. The success of Alex Bregman and the signing of Yuli Gurriel has made Valbuena expendable. He could come back as a 1st baseman because of failures of 2016 call ups Tyler White and AJ Reed.

    Jason Castro - Castro was the Astros first round pick, 10th overall, in the 2008 draft. He spent the first few years of his career sidelined by injuries but he came back and had he best season as a pro in 2013 when he made the All Star game and he hit .276 on the season. He hit .257 in 2012 but otherwise he hasn't hit more than .222 in any other season. Last season he hit .210 with 11 HR's and 32 RBI's. He did have 45 walks but countering that he had 123 K's. During the season Evan Gattis showed he was as good as, if not better, as a defensive catcher and he hit 40 points higher than Castro. Evan Castro knows he's done in Houston as he's talked about how he enjoyed his time with the Astros in a late season interview. Houston can go younger and cheaper with a prospect or a free agent.

    Colby Rasmus - Colby is a fan favorite but the heroics he showed in 2015 never materialized in 2016. In fact after the All Star break he fell completely off the map missing 3 weeks of time after having a cyst removed from his inner ear. That was after he went 1-62 in July at the plate. After he came back from his surgery hit a home run in his first AB and it gave you hope that he was truly back but he flat stunk at the plate and it's not really clear if he benched himself or was benched by AJ Hinch but when a series against Oakland came up with a lot of right hand pitchers Rasmus was not in any of the games at all. The Astros final road trip to close out the season Rasmus didn't make the trip. You might think there was a serious rift between Rasmus and Hinch. We may never know but I'll bet the farm Rasmus is not with the Astros next year.

    Doug Fister - Fister was the ace of the Astros staff in the first 2-1/2 months of 2016 then he just fell off the table. Since the 1st of July he went 4-9 and he was without a win in September going 0-4. It wasn't all his fault because the bullpen had something to do with that. He went 12-13 on the season after starting out 8-3. With the projected return of Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and the emergence of Joe Musgrove there just may be no room at the inn for Fister next season. Especially if he's going to suck.
    Last edited by eagle eye; 10-08-2016 at 04:23 PM.

  5. #200
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,723
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    The playoffs were rained out yesterday in Boston, Chicago and Washington and I'll bet the Rangers wish the Toronto Blue Jays didn't have a domed stadium because, even though it took Toronto 10 innings to get it done, the Rangers season came to an end for the 2nd year in a row in Toronto as the Jays pulled out the brooms and swept the Rangers in 3 straight. The final score of 7-6 came on a fielder's choice with one out in the bottom of the 10th and men on 1st and 2nd. Russell Martin of the Jays came up and had a really good at-bat before grounding to the hole to the right of Rangers SS Elvis Andrus who began a potentially inning ending double play but Redneck Oh-der failed to turn the twin killing. In fact Oh-der's throw was to the right of Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland. Moreland managed to knock the throw down but it bounced far enough away that Josh Donaldson, who was on 2nd after a leadoff double to start the inning, broke for home and made it just ahead of the throw for a walkoff fielder's choice/error on Oh-der. I'm glad the Rangers are done and I'm glad it was a major ass hat like Oh-der who made the error that allowed the game winning run to score. Life is good, it would be great if only the Texans could figure out how to play better on the road.

    Game 3 of the other series will be played today weather permitting. The Redsox are down 2-0 and face elimination while the NLDS games all have a ways to go. I can relax and watch the playoffs and just enjoy the baseball. The only thing is I sort of wish either the Cubs or Indians win the whole thing but not at the expense of the other. Chicago has waited the longest so maybe this really is their year.

  6. #201
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,723
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    Did I mention I was happy? You know, about the Rangers getting bounced from the playoffs? I'm sure I did.
    The rest of the playoffs resumed yesterday with the Dodgers-Nationals and Cubs-Giants in both NLDS games as well as what turned out to be the final game of the Boston-Cleveland ALDS series with Cleveland pulling out the broom on Boston with a 4-3 win. Both ALDS series were won in sweeps so Cleveland will be facing Toronto in the ALCS final beginning Friday.
    The NLDS tilt between the Nationals and Dodgers was a fairly one sided affair with the Nats winning 8-3 in the first game played yesterday. The Nationals lead the series now 2 games to 1 with the next game scheduled for tonight.
    The other NLDS game between the Giants and Cubs was the final game of the day yesterday and the outcome was still in question when I went to bed as the game didn't begin until 8:30. It also featured probably the most celebrated pitching match up in any series so far, even better than the Kershaw-Scherzer Game 1 in the Dodgers-Nationals series. Unlike that pitcher's duel last night's game that featured the Giants Madison Baumgarner and the Cubs Jake Arieta was not the same. Neither pitcher figured in the outcome of the game which turned out to be a series saving win for the Giants who beat the Cubs to stave off elimination with a 6-5 win in the first game played in San Francisco. That doesn't mean the game wasn't an exciting one as it took 13 innings and two blown saves, one by each team before the final outcome was reached. In the bottom of the 13th the Giants ended things abruptly with back to back doubles to lead off the inning the second 2 bagger by Joe Panik (great name and totally ironic to the situation) off Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery, was the game winner. The series continues in San Fran tonight with the Cubs sending Jon Lackey to the mound facing off against the Giants Matt Moore.

  7. #202
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,723
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016 Houston Astros Regular Season

    I feel like this thread should have come to an end about a week ago. So I am making my final post in this thread. This season has had its moments but by and large it was basically 6 months of frustration with no payoff in the end. Basically, Astros fans are the Amy Farrah Fowler of the sports world. Farewell 2016 regular season and don't come back.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •