July 17, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Houston Astros manager Brad Bills (left) argues with home plate umpire Gary Darling (right) during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
I'll lead off with a question...was last night's loss, to the Padres and Ross Ohlendorff, the worst of the season?
1) Lowrie injury confirmed - As was hinted about the past few days, it turns out that Jed Lowrie did have nerve damage in his sprained ankle and he will be out 4-6 weeks because of it.
That will leave the Astros looking high and low for a shortstop, with ominous signs that it could be Angel Sanchez. After all, with MarGo dealing with that heel injury, Houston needs a good backup to share time with him.
I know, it's a lot to contemplate.
What's more, it wasn't just fluid on Castro's knee, it's a meniscus tear, which means he's gone a little longer than we thought. I guess we're a Snyder balky back away from a Corporan-Landon Powell duo behind the plate.
And you think this is a Triple-A team now...
2) DU-UUDE - It's not related to the Astros. Well, only if you are mad at this guy taking away from DDJ's glory. But, this video of Billy Hamilton is just amazing. He looks like an adult running around a Little League field. It's unreal.
3) Standings thoughts - Things are pretty bleak right now. Houston is projected to lose just at 100 games by Cool Standings now, the worst record in the majors. But, I'd submit that the biggest problem right now with this team is the rotation.
Houston has given up 435 runs this season. Only Colorado and Minnesota have given up more runs than that. It also obscures a decent runs scored total. San Francisco, leading the NL West, has only scored five more runs than Houston.
So, basically, as bad as this offense has been, if Houston were getting better pitching, they could be just as in it as they were earlier in the season.
Who are the culprits? Well, Bud Norris hasn't helped. Jordan Lyles has been pretty up and down. J.A. Happ has good starts and bad. But, the only starter with xFIP under 4.00 are Lucas Harrell and Wandy Rodriguez. Raise your hand if you expected Lucas Harrell to be the staff's ace at this point...
Things may only get worse if Wandy is traded. The young guys are good enough to get it done eventually, but it could be bumpy in the short-term. And, that's not good news if you want to see Houston get back to winning ways in the second half.