How Houston Astros just crossed into new area of concern for righting the ship

How Houston Astros just crossed into new area of concern for righting the ship
The Yankees host the Astros on Tuesday night. Composite Getty Image.

What a weekend it could have been. The Astros had an opportunity to take the series from the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, but the bullpen once again let the team down. A different day, but the same old story.

Bryan Abreu and Josh Hader both allowed runs late in the game, and the Astros' offense wasn't able to pick them up. Bullpen struggles and an inability to hit with runners in scoring position have been the two main factors haunting the club in 2024.

Houston now heads to New York to face the Yankees sitting 10 games under .500. This will be an important stretch for the Astros as one quarter of the season will be in the books next week.

While there are 128 more games to play, if things don't change soon, this team could be in real trouble. There are clubs we can point to that got off to a worse start than this version of the Astros and still won a World Series. Houston fans certainly remember the 2019 Washington Nationals, who got off to a terrible start and won a championship.

But you know you're in a bad spot when you're having to point to outliers like the 2019 Nationals to keep hope alive. However, there is one more factor giving us hope for this season. Everything has seemingly gone wrong for the 'Stros this year. Perhaps if they can get on a roll, momentum will snowball in the other direction.

They certainly have the talent on this roster to do it. But it needs to happen soon before they dig themselves a hole they can no longer get out of.

Don't miss the video above as we discuss who has to step up for the Astros to right the ship before the point of no return.

Catch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) with Charlie Pallilo, Brandon Strange, and Josh Jordan every Monday on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel! We'll continue to drop more episodes throughout the week.

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HOUSTON (AP) — Kyle Tucker homered twice to tie for the major league lead with 15 and drove in four runs, leading the Houston Astros over the Milwaukee Brewers 9-4 on Sunday for their ninth win in 11 games.

After striking out in his first three at-bats, Tucker decided to change his cleats from a pair of lime green Astros mascot Orbit-themed ones to his normal orange pair.

“I just didn’t really have great first three at-bats with them,” Tucker said. “I just decided to come in and swap them back out for my other cleats and it ended up pretty well for me.”

Jose Altuve hit his 37th leadoff homer in a four-run first inning and Jake Meyers had three hits for Houston, which took two of three from the Brewers and improved to 21-26 with its third straight series win.

“You’ve just got to pile up wins, especially series wins, throughout the year,” Tucker said. “At the end of the year it will be what it is.”

Tucker hit a solo homer to right in the sixth off Thyago Vieira and a three-run, opposite-field drive to left in the seventh against Mitch White.

“He’s playing on a different level right now,” Astros manager Joe Espada said. “He’s a really, really good player.”

Tucker tied Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson at 15 home runs after his third multi-homer game this season and the sixth of his big league career.

“I just try to get pitches over the plate and try and barrel them up and they just happen to fall for homers,” Tucker said. “It’s not like I’m trying to lift the ball and start hitting them. It just kind of comes with pitch selections and trying to barrel balls to the outfield.”

Rookie Spencer Arrighetti (2-4) won his second straight start after going 0-4 in his first five. He allowed four runs and six hit with six strikeouts and two walks over 6 1/3 innings, his big league high.

“I think my general presence is getting a little better,” Arrighetti said. “Obviously, that team runs really well and I gave up a couple stolen bases, but as soon as that happened I feel like I was able to make a good adjustment with controlling the running game a little bit and still being able to execute pitches while doing that.”

Colin Rea (3-2) gave up five runs, eight hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings.

“He didn’t have command of his stuff and Colin’s a command pitcher,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said.

After Christian Yelich’s RBI single in the first, Houston went ahead for good on Altuve’s homer, Jon Singleton’s run-scoring groundout and Meyers’ two-out, two-run double.

Brice Turang had a two-run single in the seventh and scored on Yelich’s single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Brewers: LHP DL Hall (knee) pitched one inning and struck out one for Class A Wisconsin on Sunday in a rehab start.

Astros: OF Chas McCormick (hamstring) went 2 for 4 with a single, double and a stolen base as the designated hitter for Double-A Corpus Christi on Sunday. Ryan Pressly (sore finger) threw a bullpen on Sunday. He has not pitched since Tuesday.

UP NEXT:

Brewers: RHP Joe Ross (2-4, 4.61) starts for Milwaukee against LHP Ryan Weathers (2-4, 3.81) on Monday to open a three-game series at Miami.

Astros: LHP Framber Valdez (3-1, 2.95) starts for Houston at home on Monday in a series opener against LHP Reid Detmers (3-4, 5.19) and the Los Angeles Angels.

BY JOSHUA KOCH

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