STOP MELTING DOWN
Patrick Creighton: Astros fans should be happy right now
If I can steal a quote from Aaron Rodgers for all nervous Astros fans right now, it would be this:
There’s no reason to think they won’t be at their rightful place atop MLB at the end of the season.
I know they’ve lost three straight. It has happened before. It will happen again. It’s no big deal.
I know they aren’t hitting a lick right now. It’s called a team slump. It passes. Consider the lineup. You don’t really expect the whole team to be cold all season, do you?
Realistically, when the team slump ends, a team streak will start. This team can put up eight runs a game when they hit normally. Just wait until they are hot.
George Springer isn’t going to hit .224, Alex Bregman won’t bat .212. Right now Evan Gattis, Marwin Gonzalez, and Derek Fisher are all riding the Interstate, and Yuli Gurriel just came back from wrist surgery.
This team won the World Series last year, O Ye of Little Faith. Have some confidence.
Yes, they’re “only” 10-7. Believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
When you look at great teams of recent history, generally there’s anywhere from 2-4 hot streaks, and the rest of the year they hover around .500.
1984 Detroit Tigers
The Tigers went 104-58 and won the World Series. They got off to a 35-5 start, and had another 11-1 run later in the year. That means the rest of the season they were 58-52. Close to .500 ball.
1986 New York Mets
The Mets went 108-54, and won the World Series. They had three noted streaks during the year, 18-1, 16-3, and 11-2. Those three hot streaks combined for a 45-6 mark, which means they were 53-48 the rest of the season, or just above .500.
1998 New York Yankees
I chose this team because they not only had an incredible record but because of the fact the Astros lineup is so deep, and that was one of the hallmarks of this Yankees team.
These Yankees went 114-48 and won the World Series. They had four pronounced runs: 25-4, 20-4, 16-2, 15-2, which combined for a 76-12 mark. The rest of the season, the Yanks were 38-36.
Are you sensing the pattern yet?
Here, let’s look at one more team that everyone reading this should be familiar with.
2017 Houston Astros
The reigning, defending, undisputed World Champions finished 101-61 last season. They had four distinguished streaks: 10-2, 14-3, 13-1, 14-3, combining to go 51-9. They went 50-52 in the other games that year. How did it work out? (See the first sentence in this paragraph for a reminder).
Yes, the Astros are scuffling right now, and essentially haven’t been able to hit a beach ball for three weeks. They are still 10-7. They’re playing near .500 ball while they struggle, and then the hot streaks will come.
By the way, have you noticed the revamped rotation? You know, where three starters have ERAs under 1.40? The one that is striking batters out faster than trolls can post on Twitter?
Take a deep breath. R-E-L-A-X. This team will be just fine. The bats are asleep right now, but we all know what happens when you wake a sleeping giant.
Patrick Creighton is the host of “Straight Heat” on SB Nation Radio, which can be heard locally 9p-12a CT on SportsMap 94.1FM. Look for his new show “Late Hits” coming to ESPN 97.5 weeknights 7-9p, debuting April 23rd. Follow him on Twitter: @pcreighton1