Astros Score the Hat Trick of Mediocrity

Last night the Houston Astros lost their 100th game of the year marking the third straight year that they have accomplished that dubious feat.

In 2011 the Astros went 56-106 in recording their first 100 loss season in team history. Their second straight 100 loss campaign followed in 2012 with a record of 55-107. As of last night the Astros are carrying a 51-100 record for the 2013 season.

In 2005 the Houston Astros were in the World Series. That was the last time they played in the postseason and this year marks their third consecutive season with at least 100 losses. Photo R. Anderson

In 2005 the Houston Astros were in the World Series. That was the last time they played in the postseason and this year marks their third consecutive season with at least 100 losses.
Photo R. Anderson

Time will tell how many of the remaining games the Astros end up losing. With a series against the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees still to go this season it is highly probable that we have not seen the last Astros loss of the season.

While few people should be surprised at the fact that the Astros have lost 100 games and counting this season, it is surprising based on their play at certain points this year that is took them until September to reach that milestone.

On paper it seemed more reasonable for the Astros to hit the 100th loss mark in August based on the way the team has played.

And of course the 100th loss, much like the previous 99, had its share of errant throws and even a “butt slide” that made people wonder if perhaps the players on the field were Major League players or more like the baseball equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters.

I actually had the fortune, or perhaps misfortune, to be at the game last night when the 100th loss occurred.

After spending much of the day dealing with some water damage at the Triple B Gigaplex, I arrived at Minute Maid Park a little later than usual so the game was already underway by the time I got inside.

As I entered the ballpark in the top of the first inning the Astros were already trailing the Cincinnati Reds 4-0.

Jonathan Villar tried to stretch a single into a double in the first inning of a 10-0 loss Tuesdays night and ended up getting tagged out in a most compromising position. Photo R. Anderson

Jonathan Villar tried to stretch a single into a double in the first inning of a 10-0 loss Tuesday night and ended up getting tagged out in a most compromising position.
Photo R. Anderson

It should be noted that the Astros went on to lose the game 10-0 which is 100 (as in 100th loss) if you remove the dash. A scary coincidence or stroke of marketing genius?

As for the face to cheek slide heard round the world, that occurred in the bottom of the first inning when Jonathan Villar tried to stretch a leadoff single into a double to start the inning.

Instead of a runner on second with no outs however, Villar was tagged out at second base while somehow managing to face plant the left butt cheek of Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips.

While the Astros have certainly been the butt of many jokes this year that particular play seemed to sum up the season rather literally.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips applied the tag heard round the web on Jonathan Villar Tuesday night. Photo R. Anderson

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips applied the tag heard round the web on Jonathan Villar Tuesday night.
Photo R. Anderson

Of course not every Astros game this season has resulted in a loss and last Friday night I actually witnessed one of those hard to come by wins when I saw the Astros in action against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (also known as the we can see Disneyland from our Ballpark Angels). Okay, so the Angels are not called that but they can in fact see Disneyland from their ballpark in case you were wondering.

One a personal note the Angels became the 29th team that I have watched play at Minute Maid Park.  My journey to 30 teams is set to be completed on September 27th when the New York Yankees come to town for the last three games of the year.

In celebration of my achievement of seeing all 30 Major League Baseball teams at a single Ballpark there will be postgame fireworks. Okay, so the fireworks are not for me but as I watch those majestic explosives light up the downtown Houston sky I am going to pretend that they are.

Seeing Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim put me one team away from seeing all 30 teams at Minute Maid Park. Photo R. Anderson

Seeing Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim put me one team away from seeing all 30 teams at Minute Maid Park.
Photo R. Anderson

Against the Angels, the Astros looked both good and bad en route to the Friday the 13th 9-7 victory.   There was a grand slam hit which showed that the Astros were able to get consecutive hits to load the bases and then have that all important final hit to get them all home.

The game also featured the first career Major League hit for Cody Clark, a journeyman Minor League catcher who had been called up following a string of injuries behind the plate for the Astros.

It is likely that Clark will be back in the Minor Leagues next season but the record books will forever show that on September 13, 2013 Clark got his first hit in the Major Leagues.

Astros Catcher Cody Clark recorded his first Major League hit Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels. Photo R. Anderson

Astros Catcher Cody Clark recorded his first Major League hit Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels.
Photo R. Anderson

In a show of class for the milestone of the first career hit Clark was presented with the ball. Years from now Clark can show his grandkids and anyone else that is around the ball that fell in the outfield to allow him to join the fraternity of Major League hitters.

It is moments like Cody Clark getting his first career hit, even in a lost season, which show there are still reasons to put on the uniform and compete every day.

There is no doubt that 100 loss seasons will probably happen for at least one or two more years but the players are being forged in the fire of adversity and should come out stronger on the other side. And of course if they can work on their base running a little more, and avoid embarrassing slides into the backsides of their opponents, they just may end up smelling like roses.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it is time to slide into the kitchen for a snack.

Copyright 2013 R. Anderson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *