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Bright Spot / Dark Spot

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Now that the season is over(officially... it's really been over for a few months), I figure I'll give a few minutes to talk about my biggest disappointment for the 2007 season and my biggest bright spot for the 2007 season.

Dark Spot
Obviously the first name that pops into my head for the biggest disappointment is Jason Jennings. The guy we touted to be our #2 starter, pitched like a late innings mop up guy(when he actually pitched). The only thing Jennings succeeded at doing this year was getting Tim Purpura fired. That's it. He put up a 2-9 record and a 6.45 ERA in his 18 games started this year while only throwing 99 innings due to injuries... and we paid him over 5 million dollars to do it. Can we get a refund? If the Astros decide to bring him back(which I can't imagine will actually happen), it better be for a drastically reduced rate and they better not even attempt to rely on him as a #2 or 3 pitcher in the rotation.
Bright Spot
As easy as it was for me to pick Jennings as the biggest failure for the year, I picked Hunter Pence as the biggest bright spot for the year. For a guy who didn't start the season with the big league club, he had a HUGE impact on not only the team, but on the fans outlook on the team. Pence brought speed and energy to a lineup that was lacking both. He also made the team more fun to watch. There were many games that I'll admit I wasn't real keen on watching, but I was curious to watch Hunter Pence. The first game I went to when Pence played, I was excited to see him play. He didn't let us down and had a hell of a season. [see below]




As you can see by the stats below, Hunter had a good season. I did some finagling with the stats and calculated what Pence's stats would have been had he played all 162 games(assuming he stayed on the same path). Not too shabby. When was the last time the Astros had 3 players on the team with more than 100 RBI's?


There were other bright spots on the team as well(as well as other major disappointments). Berkman for instance had a pretty decent year after sucking for the first half of the year. Oddly enough, he still finished with the team lead in home runs(34) and still had over 100 RBI's(102) and raised his batting average to a reasonable .278.

The only Astro to play ever game this season was Carlos Lee(2nd most was Berkman at 153 and Biggio at 141). Lee had a good year and was worth the $100 million Drayton dropped on him. Lee finished with 32 home runs and a team high 119 RBI's while batting .303. If we can get that out of him every year of his contract, I'll be happy.