HOUSTON,TX - SEPTEMBER 22: Jason Castro #15 of the Houston Astros receives congratulations from Tyler Greene #23 after hitting a three-run home run in the seventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Minute Maid Park on September 22, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
I'm sure the Houston Astros, as presently constructed, don't take things personally. Certainly, I bet they don't think much about columns written about them in Pittsburgh newspapers.
But, c'mon. They had to take offense to this, right? And plan to exact their ultimate revenge over the rest of this season?
Take tonight for example. Houston basically said, "We're going to take our softest tossing pitcher and he's going to shut you down. Cold. Then, our light-hitting catcher who's coming off knee surgery will hit a bomb to win the game. BOOM."
Salt. Wound. KThxBai.
I guess a more realistic way to look at things is that Houston is finally recovering from some injuries and that putting Jed Lowrie and Jason Castro back in the lineup makes a difference. That the Pirates are just plain bad right now and anyone can beat them, even the 100-loss, No. 1 overall drafting Houston Astros.
I prefer the first scenario, because it's much cooler.
Kudos to Dallas Keuchel on another solid start in September. He's only allowed two runs all month (16 1/3 innings), which is awesome considering his strikeout rate has dipped under 4. Yikes!!! No wonder Zachary Levine called him an "EXTREME contact" pitcher last Saturday (emphasis mine).
As for Castro, he's quietly been one of the biggest additions to the lineup since his return from that knee injury flareup. :Since he returned to the lineup in August, Castro is hitting .270/.370/.333. The only thing not showing up is power, but I'll take a catcher who can get on base at a .370 clip.
All in all, this is a nice surge for Houston. Even if they bottom out again in the last few games of this season, I like seeing the team playing better just for a bit. If they had stunk as bad as they did from June through most of August, I don't think I would've made it through the winter.