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Gem Thread/Matchup/2005 Doctrine

3 - 2, 1.29 0 - 0, ----

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Astros are only the fourth team to start a season 2-20 on the road since 1900, and the Galveston Daily News is calling to our attention that the supposedly all-pitch, no-hit Astros have actually dropped to eleventh in the NL in ERA.

And I'm here to point out that the Astros are second in the league in starters' Component ERA, and also that if you took away the numbers represented by Ezequiel Astacio, we'd actually be ranked seventh overall with a 4.03.

I've been thinking about this, actually, and maybe it's a good time. It's become apparent that the 2005 Astros are not very good, and further, do not appear to have much chance of improving. Given that, and given that I've just taken on this job, that says, like, write about this team nearly constantly, there are two ways I could approach it: 1) Get all angry about it, as if the whole freaking screwup of a season was basically designed to f**k me over, 0r 2) Despite the unbalanced viewpoint it propounds, and the fool's errand it represents, continue to look for good stuff to say.

I'm going with number two.

You probably know some places you can go if you wanna wallow in the viewpoints cast by number 1), and that's cool. But I gotta keep my sanity.

Besides, who're you kidding? This doesn't hurt like losing Game 7 of the NLCS hurt, or like losing all those series to the Braves hurt. Shit, I really ratcheted up my fandom during the 1991 season, when they were pretty lousy. Following a losing team is very doable, if you adjust your expectations, and the idea of improvement is reasonable.

And guess what? This is a beautiful game, and this ain't Kansas City.

So if you want the rants and raves about how badly the Astros TOTALLY F***ING SUCK or whatever, you're not gonna find it here. I will do my best to both put the best face forward while still being truthful. From time to time I will try to do things like the Illustrative Aids, 'cause they're fun and don't rip your soul out with the horror of it all.

So go out and pitch a good game, Roger Clemens, and I hope to see you backed by an improved offensive showing. Now that Ausmus has hit a tater, I'm sure it's just a matter of time.

Mitre's making his first start of the year, and he's 2 - 4 lifetime with a 6.86.

And I hope I hear from someone who thinks that my approach is the way you gotta go.

Alright, then.