May the force be with you
The Astros fell once again last night, this time in extra innings, to the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-7 at Minute Maid Park. Andy Pettitte took the loss in a relief appearance, and he was very hard on himself, as usual.
However, we saw a hopeful sign despite the loss. The Astros hit this time, most especially Luke Scott, who became the first Astro rookie to hit for the cycle, driving in five runs.
Most attendants were surprised, probably ignoring the fact Scott was capable of having the best season for a foreign player in the demanding Venezuelan Winter League in more than 20 years.
In Venezuela, teams could afford the luxury of bringing seasoned players with Big League experience, taking advantage of the economic bonanza the South American nation experienced until the early 1980s.
Then the bubble burst, and it was positive for the development of Venezuelan players, something we are seeing today with the amount of stars from that country, such as Johan Santana, Carlos Guillen, Juan Rivera, among many others. Import players were mostly rookies from Double-A and Triple-A. Scott had such a monster season that he donated some of his gear to the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame located in Valencia, home to his team, Magallanes.
In a moment in which we don’t know for certain whether to pull the plug on any hopes for the Astros this season or not, what Luke did last night was certainly a good sign that this team might be headed in the right direction, even if there’s a detour this season.