How Astros league-leading offensive outburst has definitely not gone as planned

GOING DEEP

It all comes down to this for the Houston Astros. With just four series left in the regular season, the Astros now have the firepower to win games with their bats regularly. Now if they can just get the pitching to give them enough to get by.

The Astros have been in the Top 10 in team ERA all season, but they've been middle of the pack when it comes to the offense. Specifically, their team OPS. But how quickly things can change.

Many Astros fans would be surprised to learn that the Astros are No. 1 overall in team OPS (.880) over the last 30 days. They're also No.1 over the last 15 days. How about slugging? No. 1 overall (.514) over the last 15 days.

It took the club a while to get things going, dealing with injuries to Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve for big chunks of the year. But with their full assortment of weapons available to them, no team is swinging the bats better than the 'Stros currently.

So why aren't they winning more games? It all comes down to consistency. When the Astros explode for 12 runs one day, and follow that up with only 2 runs the following day, they're likely going 1-1, despite scoring 14 runs over two games.

And if you have been watching this season, you know what we're talking about. When you see the Astros drop 10 runs on an opponent, you start wishing for them to save some runs for the next game. Because you've seen how this usually plays out for this year's team.

The other factor that's holding the Astros back is the pitching over the last month. While the team ERA has been Top 10 all year, they've fallen to 20th over the last 30 days. So as the offense climbs to the best in the majors, the pitching falls off to the bottom half of the league.

Monday's loss to the Orioles is a great example. The offense comes storming back and takes a 7-5 lead, only for Ryan Pressly to blow the save, losing 8-7.

Be sure to check out the video above as we discuss Houston's ascending offense, and try to figure out how they can get the pitching back on track.

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White Sox defeat Astros, 2-0. Composite Getty Image.

Jonathan Cannon pitched seven-hit ball into the ninth inning in his first major league win, helping the Chicago White Sox beat the Houston Astros 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Cannon, a third-round pick in the 2022 amateur draft, struck out four and walked one. He threw 106 pitches, 70 for strikes, in his fifth career start and sixth appearance overall.

Cannon received a warm ovation when he departed after Jon Singleton and Mauricio Dubón singled with two outs in the ninth. John Brebbia then retired Victor Caratini on a grounder to first for his second save of the season.

Cannon (1-1) made his debut in April, but was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after allowing 11 runs in 13 2/3 innings over three starts. He has permitted one run and 14 hits in 18 2/3 innings since he was recalled by the lowly White Sox on June 7.

Alex Bregman and Trey Cabbage each had two hits for Houston.

The Astros played without slugger Yordan Alvarez, who is batting .365 with five homers and 15 RBIs in June. Manager Joe Espada said Alvarez was dealing with a family matter, but could be back in the lineup as soon as Wednesday.

Framber Valdez (5-5) permitted two hits in six innings, but two of his five walks came around to score. Apparently frustrated by the strike zone, Espada was ejected by plate umpire Derek Thomas in the bottom of the third.

Andrew Vaughn drove in each of Chicago's runs on fielder's choice grounders with the bases loaded, one in the third and another one in the fifth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (neck discomfort) was placed on the 15-day injured list, and RHP Nick Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land. ... Espada said C Yainer Diaz (right hand) “came out well” after making his first start at catcher on Sunday since June 9.

White Sox: DH Eloy Jiménez (strained left hamstring) could return next week, general manager Chris Getz said. Jiménez is on a rehab assignment in the Arizona Complex League.

UP NEXT

Garrett Crochet (6-5, 3.16 ERA) pitches for Chicago on Wednesday night. The left-hander is 5-1 with a 1.36 ERA in his last nine starts. Hunter Brown (3-5, 5.00) takes the mound for Houston. The right-hander has a 13-inning scoreless streak after winning each of his last two starts.

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