How things have changed
Right after a poor offensive display on Saturday, the Astros left it all behind and went full throttle on Sunday, in the series finale against the Atlanta Braves. 17 hits in total, including a couple of homers by Eric Munson; and Jason Lane driving in five runs, for a 14-4 score. It certainly was an astronomical beating, as the Venezuelan daily Meridiano put it.
You know it better than me: explosive hitting has not been precisely the Astros’ trademark these days; despite the fact we saw a lot of that earlier in the season. Houston has won 5 of their last 6 games, and it seems like timely and consistent hitting is finally here. We hope it stays with us.
There’s a number we might overlook: Astros starters had a 2.04 ERA in its previous five games, with 8 earned runs in 35.1 innings pitched.
More hopeful signs: Roger Clemens had his second Minor League stint, this time with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. 73 pitches in 8 innings, whiffing 11, tying a franchise record, allowing no hits until the fifth frames. Clemens has expressed he is taking these tuneup starts very seriously. And that seems to be true.
There are no big reasons for concern these days (Morgan Ensberg has nothing serious in his shoulder, he’s expected to return Tuesday; Roy Oswalt won’t be on the DL for long). That’s a huge improvement to the outlook we had in front of us two weeks ago.