Although it's not too recent, this picture is a pretty fair representation of the frustrations facing our Astros these days. Five games below .500 and now firmly in third place in the NL Central (behind the Brewers and the Cubs), the Astros are reeling.
We've dropped five games in a row and seven of our last eight. Lance Berkman, in recent years our best slugger, is presently batting .259, with only five homers, one double and no triples all year so far. That's absolutely freakish.
Even the much-vaunted Carlos Lee hasn't hit a home run in his last twelve or thirteen games. Something's clearly going on here.
Well, with all the hooplah surrounding the team right now, Smootchie wanted to say something to get the record straight. We here at Tengu House, especially in the Sports Department, are still die-hard Astros fans. This time in 2005, Smootchie points out, the Astros were in far worse position than they are now.
The difference is, back then, no one could have foreseen a berth in the World Series - although, of course, that's just what happened.
This is a slump of Biblical proportions; it's a serious issue for the guys to address. But in doing our part as fans, let's not forget this one important thing: This ain't just some baseball team: THIS IS THE ASTROS! This is the team of Jose Cruz, Jimmy Wynn and Jeff Bagwell! This is the team of Scrap-Iron Garner, Alan Ashby and Nolan Ryan! We came back on 'em in '05, and we very nearly did it in '06 - and we're gonna do it again in '07!
So keep your head up and don't lose hope, Astros fans! Let's keep Los Caballitos galloping in the Conoco Home Run Alley!
Smootchie is a regualr Sports columnist for Tengu House.