This answer to Astros recent struggles could be crazy enough to work

If you've seen the movie Major League, you know where this is going. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

The Astros are doing Astro things as of late. If you're a true fan of the team, you know exactly what I mean. For the uninformed, they've been beating the good teams and losing to the bad teams. Over their last 10 games, they're 4-6 with two of those four wins coming against the Mariners who are 10 games above .500 on the season. Five of those six losses came against teams that are a combined 14 games under .500 on the season! This is the source of so much frustration for Astros fans. For a team that has the potential to win a World Series, they sure don't play like one when facing subpar competition. It's time we find a solution, and I think I got one!

If any of you remember the movie Major League, you have to remember the character Pedro Cerrano. He was the Cuban slugger that had trouble hitting the curveball. When in trouble, Cerrano would turn to Jobu, his voodoo doll that helped him out of any jam. Cerrano would drink Jobu's rum in an attempt to recover from whatever type of slump he was in. I think it's high time the Astros find their version of Jobu's rum, so they can break out of the doldrums of losing to teams they should beat up on.

The only question is: who's going to be the Astro to bring forth Jobu's rum and break them out of this vicious cycle? Alex Bregman may be one of the answers. He's been on the injured list and popping up here and there on social media, as well as in varying reports speaking on his potential return to the Astros' lineup. And now we know his first game back is against the Royals on Wednesday afternoon.

Perhaps Justin Verlander is feeling good enough to start to travel with the team and that gives them enough motivation to snap out of it. Verlander is recovering from offseason Tommy John surgery and has been out since last season. What if the future Hall Of Famer decided to be there for his teammates in person? I can't imagine the effect it would have on his teammates and coaching staff! While it would be a shot in the arm, it isn't as realistic as we'd all hope.

One other guy who's been seen as the face of the team has been Carlos Correa. He's been the defiant face of the franchise following the cheating scandal. He also took a leadership role during their improbable run in the 2020 playoffs. His contract demands may price him out of Houston this coming offseason, but he still wears orange and blue until this season is over and done with!

The most likely source of Jobu's rum for this Astros team is from within. Each player, coach, exec, field worker, front office staff, server, etc. will all have to step their game up a notch or ten. There is no more waiver wire trade deadline. There are no guys in the minors who have superstar potential to call up. There aren't any future Hall of Fame free agents sitting on their sofas awaiting a call. Getting fully healthy and developing consistency is this team's hope moving forward. Each man will have to look in the mirror and pull something from deep inside, as well as aiding others with doing the same. The sip of Jobu's rum will have to come from within those four walls in downtown at Minute Maid Park. Who's going to step up and provide that spark?

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Here's why the Texans will make the playoffs under Lovie Smith

1. The Houston Texans had a mentally tough practice Saturday. The team has worked a lot in pads and Lovie Smith noted the days starting to build up on them during this practice. The head coach said this is a good practice because it is like the fourth quarter of the games the team will end up playing.

2. Davis Mills threw one of the best passes he has thrown all camp on Saturday. In a red zone drill, he dropped back and whipped a pass between two defenders into the tightest window he has had all camp. Nico Collins hauled in the threaded pass for a score.

3. A few reps later Davis Mills struck again. With traffic from linebackers and defensive backs, he found Chris Conley for a score. It wasn’t as tight of a window as the first one, but Mills snapped it off nonetheless.

4. Pharaoh Brown made something hard look very easy on Saturday. With Mills rolling out and tossing the ball to Brown in the back corner Brown hauled in a one-handed catch and had both feet down. Touchdown. Brown then acted like it was no big deal.

5. Pharaoh Brown has had a wonderful camp. Lovie Smith named him the starting tight end. The thing that really jumped out to me today is he makes his work look easy. He isn’t straining to excel in his opportunities. The good ones always make it look easy and it has looked easy for Brown so far.

6. Rookie linebacker Christian Harris is on the shelf for a few days. He joins fellow rookie Kenyon Green as players who are injured. Max Scharping played left guard with Green down. Wide receiver Phillip Dorset practiced while veteran wideout Chester Rodgers did not.

7. Roy Lopez flashed again today. While Friday was about the rushing attack and Lopez made his presence felt at defensive tackle, he got into the pass rush Saturday. Lopez would have had a bone-crushing sack in a live rep.

8. Ross Blacklock hasn’t been consistent. A statement like that is good and evil. There are some plays where Blacklock looks like he isn’t a factor. I watched one today. A play later he had what would have been a sack on the play. He’s a player to watch in the preseason games closely.

9. Don’t expect to see Derek Stingley in the preseason opener next Saturday. Lovie Smith wouldn’t commit to the rookie cornerback playing in the preseason. Smith did say Stingley is on track to play week one in the regular season.

10. Brevin Jordan has had a nice camp and should be an important piece for the team. Jordan had a bad drop in 7-on-7 drills that he was beating himself up over for a few minutes. That was out of the norm. He’s been used a lot and will be on the field a bit it seems for the Texans.

11. Brevin Jordan also rattled off a few contenders for the quote of the day. He exclaimed he had taken care of himself this offseason and he finally had abs. He also revealed he’s quite the fisherman and once caught a 125-pound tuna. When asked what he did with the tuna Jordan laughed and said “RIP tuna!”

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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