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Houston Astros : Devastated

So has Ike really destroyed the Astros? The Astros started off September on a roll winning 9 of their first 10 games and scored an average of 6.1 runs per game while allowing just 2.6 runs per game and had 4 shutouts. The Astros were on a roll and looked like they were destined to take over the Wild Card lead which looked like an impossible feat just a month before... The Astros were making up games by leaps and bounds with the Brewers going on a dry spell winning just 3 of their first 11 games in September.

Then along comes Hurricane Ike... Hurricane Ike devastated the Houston area taking power from a majority of the season, destroying homes and buildings and evidently... any chance the Astros had at making the playoffs. In an attempt to get the games played, Bud Selig moved 2 of the Astros home games against the Chicago Cubs to Milwaukee, just 92 miles north of Chicago in what was supposed to be neutral ground, while the Astros flew 1,272 miles north, leaving their broken homes and families behind to play 2 baseball games in front of 30,000+ Cubs fans.

And so the devastation sets in. The Astros are immediately no hit by Carlos Zambrano in a 5-0 shutout and then turn around the next night and get 1 hit by Ted Lilly and friends in a 6-1 loss. After getting destroyed by the Cubs 2 games, they then fly 1,469 miles to Miami to face the Marlins at Dolphin stadium and put up an equally pathetic effort as they are beat 5-1, then 14-2 and then 8-1 in 3 straight games by the Marlins.

Since Ike, the Astros have managed to score 5 runs in 5 games; 1.1 runs less than they were averaging before Ike. They also managed to give up 7.6 runs per game over that 5 game stretch; 5 runs per game more than they averaged the 1st 10 games of the month.

So the question is... what do you think happened to the Astros? Do you think it was just time for them to get off their pedestal of being the best team in baseball since the All-Star break? Or do you think that Ike is the reason for their sudden downfall... what about the "neutral field" games played at Wrigley North? Maybe it was just the 2 game break that threw the Astros off... Or maybe some combination of them all.