I like to think I can be objective about this team, but games like this make me realize how close to the source I am. I'm missing the big picture here, and it's not that the Astros are bad. It's in the specific ways that they're bad.
I see that the Astros are giving up runs like they're going out of style. I see that every time I look at the standings, but I don't accept it. I think that it's a holdover from early in the season. I think that the Astros have gotten better, that they have a solid rotation, so they don't really have a pitching problem.
I am wrong.
The Astros can't pitch and they can't score runs. When they do score more than four runs, they should hold onto that lead, but they just can't pitch well enough to do it. They have maybe three or four pitchers who can be counted on consistently. They used to be able to count on Brett Myers, but not any more.
I thought the Astros were a bad team at the beginning of the season. I knew they wouldn't hit and I knew it would be a struggle all season, but I still hadn't accepted things. I fought the FanGraphs organizational ranking. I thought the defense was only bad because Clint Barmes wasn't back. I argued and made excuses and refused to accept just how low this team has sunk.
The Astros are not a good team. They're a team capable of losing enough games to get the top overall pick next season. They also have enough potential that, if a few of their players pull out of a tailspin (Bill Hall, Myers, etc.), they could be decent on some nights.
That's part of the problem, too. There are nights that the Astros look like a decent team. It's not like last season, when the team was awful for six straight weeks and there was no hope. This team is good one day, bad another, great one day, awful the next. There is no consistency, no streakiness. That's what delayed my realization for so long. I saw them on their best days and thought that was the team the Astros should be. I see them on nights like Friday and think that's a fluke.
The truth lies somewhere in between, but it's not a good truth. My rose-colored glasses are off in that respect. I know these Astros are bad and am prepared to move on.