As most of you know by now, Hurricane Ike slammed into the Texas coastline near Houston last Friday night/Saturday morning (Houston residents Mother and Brother Fletch are ok). The night before, Roy Oswalt had continued his scoreless innings streak and the Stros smacked Pittsburgh 6-0. Then Ike hit Houston like he thought it was Tina.
The Astros cancelled Friday and Saturday night games against the Cubs and then moved up to Milwauke--where the crowd was decidedly partisan for the 'Away' team. (Milwaukee is only an hour and a half away from Chicago dontcha know: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl)--to get the series completed at a 'neutral' site. The result of this quick two game series? The Astros were no hit by internet porn addict Carlos Zambrano in the first game and nearly no-hit by Ted Lilly in the second game (both losses).
The Astros are now in Miami for a three game series with the Marlins. How have the first two games gone you ask? Losses of 5-1 and 14-2.
I think it is quite clear that the Astros--winners of 14 of their last 15 prior to Ike, 0-4 since--tightened up over the two day break. Baseball players hardly ever get two days off in the midst of the season. This unscheduled short vacation caused late season muscles to tighten up and hitters' timing to go AWOL.
Our offense has been good, if inconsistent, over the course of the season and our pitching has never been great. Even Roy Oswalt started slowly before he reeled off 33 1/3 scoreless innings just before the two day Ike instituted vacation (breaking J.R. Richard's record from 1980). So the very last thing the Astros needed was a couple of days to realize that they were playing above their abilities, that they were overachieving.
In short I blame you Ike! Je accuse!
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