Thursday's Three Astros Things

May 30, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Rhiner Cruz (55) is taken out of the game by manager Brad Mills (right) during the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

Here's something to talk about as the Astros give up yet another homer to the Rockies...

1) Draft content posting all the time - I know the draft profiles have been going up fast and furious lately, but don't despair. I've collected the past six days worth in one easy to read table below. We've got four more days of content before the draft, and I'll post an updated list with all our profiles on the day of the draft.

Until then, feel free to browse through the ones we've done so far. Today, we'll be tackling more high school hitters, with a mix of intriguing guys set for Friday before we finish strong with five No. 1 overall candidates on Sunday.

So far, my favorite guys have been Almora, Rhymes and Giolito, but that's just me. Who have your favorites been?

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
John Cannon Hoby Milner Lance McCullers Joey Gallo Joey DeMichele Tom Murphy
Matthew Reckling Austin Dicharry Lucas Giolito Albert Almora Kenny Diekroeger Michael Roth
Brett Brown Raph Rhymes Max Fried Ross Stripling Barrett Barnes Adam Brett Walker
Grayson Long Stephen Johnson Walker Weickel Tyler Naquin Preston Tucker Richie Shaffer
Lee Stoppelman Mitchell Traver Matt Smoral Christian Walker Matt Price Andrew Heaney

2) Houston finally routed - Oof, was that one rough or what? The Astros lost by their largest margin of the entire season Wednesday, but it wasn't the traditional blowout. This wasn't a listless game that saw Houston just going through the motions, this was a comeback that became a blowout.

Houston was in this game, and have been in most of the games since the season began. They've even shown a great propensity to fight back on this road trip, as they've lost their fifth straight game. I'd rather watch a team that at least fights to stay in games than one that goes listless when a team hits its 18th home run* in one inning, like the Rockies did on Wednesday.

*That's an approximation.

J.D. Martinez seems to be coming out of his funk, so that's a good thing. The pitching hasn't been great in Coors, but what else is new? That leaves the only real question to come out of this week has been the bullpen, which had bad moments in Dodgerland and in the Rockies. It's not been pretty, and you can blame Brad Mills or blame the pitchers, but that sterling beginning to the season is cratering quickly.

The funny thing is I said last Friday that Saturday's game could be the turning point for the road trip. Win that one, and the momentum could shift. Instead, Houston lost a heartbreaker after beating Kershaw Friday. They have been in games since, but the point seems to have turned in the wrong direction for them.

3) Check one more item off with J.R.'s Walk of Fame - Good for Houston, remembering J.R. Richard on the Walk of Fame this Friday. It's one of the things I called for last May in an open letter to Jim Crane.

What's pretty awesome is that Crane has hit almost every one of the points I brought up in that article. He hasn't gone for the quick fix with free agency. He's hired good people and left them alone. He's let Alyson Footer do her thing. He's lowered ticket prices.

The only thing he hasn't done is bring back the navy and orange, but that might be in the offing by next year.

Overall, it's been a breath of fresh air with this new front office and organization. There may be plenty of people layered in there that are working well, but it starts with Crane and the plan he's set in motion when he bought the team.

Getting J.R. Richard honored as part of the Walk of Fame is just a start. He deserves it and the Astros deserve credit for doing things right lately. It's been a nice change, hasn't it?

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