HOUSTON - JUNE 14: Former Astros pitcher Doug Brocail, who had been serving as a Special Assistant to the General Manager, walks on the field before the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 14, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Brocail was named interim pitching coach after pitching coach Brad Arnsberg was relieved of his duties. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
For the next few days lets venture back to the not so distant past. Today we'll be looking at game 108 of the 2008 season, in advance of game 108 today.
For a lot of people the turning point for the Astros franchise will be the 2012 season when Jeff Luhnow and Jim Crane took over. For me it's still 2008 when the Astros hired Ed Wade and realized, or at least said they realized, that the team needed to build through the farm system to get competitive again. The debate is still up on how much good Ed Wade's time as the teams General Manager did for the organization.
While Wade wasn't the most proficient at improving the farm system he did get it started on it's road to respectability. Several of the players he has drafted have made it to the big leagues already and there are at least a few more on the way. Not to mention his trading of Hunter Pence improved the system by leaps and bounds.
Jeff Luhnow has certainly accelerated that process, but to me the 2008 season was the start of the Astros turn around as a franchise.
The Astros won game 108 of the 2008 season 7-3 over the New York Mets. Doug Brocail was the winning pitcher and Mark Loretta, Brandon Backe, Carlos Lee and Kaz Matsui all had homeruns for the team. The win put the Astros at a 51-57 record, which was four games better than their 2007 record at the same point.