Last year, the Astros' starting rotation had an ERA of 3.71, 2nd-best in the American League behind the Tampa Bay Rays. This season, the Astros open 2016 with an AL-2nd-worst 8.82 ERA, better than only the Boston Red Sox.
Insert meme with Heath Ledger's joker--something about everybody losing their minds.
Stop losing your mind. We have this conversation every stinking April. Small sample sizes DO NOT MATTER.
Let's take a look around the major leagues.
- Mike Trout has 3 hits, and a slugging percentage of .200.
- Kris Byrant is batting .176/.263/.235, with a .498 OPS.
- Mookie Betts has a .133 OBP.
- Joey Votto has 2 hits on the season - both singles (.125 slugging percentage)
- Justin Upton is hitting .200/.200/.333. That's 3 hits and no walks.
- Need I go on?
- How about pitchers? Anybody impressed by Madison Bumgarner's 5.40 ERA? How about Jose Fernandez' 7.94? Or better yet, is the Dbacks' season over because Zack Greinke has an era of 15.75?
- Juan Nicasio is currently in the conversation for a Cy Young award.
- As are Chris Tillman, Mat Latos, Chase Anderson, Jeremy Hellickson, and David Phelps.
- A rookie shorstop, Trevor Story, is on pace for 243 home runs.
- Story will finish first in MVP voting ahead of traditionally-slugging second baseman Jean Segura, who has a 1.091 OPS.
Baseball is a funny sport, full of ebbs and flows. The Astros opened on the road against one of the AL's best offenses, playing in the coldest environment in franchise history. There is no "takeaway" from the first four games of the series that says anything meaningful about the Astros' 2016 season, the starting rotation, Ken Giles' expected performance, or Tyler White's eventual MVP award (which he will win, but not because of these first four games).