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Astros fans: stay calm, don't panic

The Astros aren't hitting. But they are pitching. And their pitchers are pitching a lot better than their hitters are hitting poorly. If that makes sense.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros have lost by a score of 2-1 now three games in a row.  Predicably, fans on the interwebs are going nuts.  Calling for heads.  Cries of #callamup ring from the halls of Twitter.  Facebook is burning.  Minute Maid Park is under assault by hoards of pitchfork and iPod LED-flashlight wielding rage fiends.  It's the end of civilization as we know it, amirite?  Why does anybody in the Astros' front office still have a job?  Why haven't we razed the ballpark to the ground?  Stupid Rangers and their stupid faces!

Deep breath.

The Astros are still 7th in the AL in wRC+ and 8th in Runs Scored.  The hitters are definitely going through a mini slump at present though, no doubt about that.  Overall though, the Astros have had an average offense, and we KNOW that they should be better than they've shown recently.

Also, the slump itself is a bit of a "short memory" thing.  In the five games before Thursday, the Astros scored 32 runs (averaged over 6 runs/game).  The danger of reacting to small samples is real, folks.

Deep breath.

Here's the big kicker that we forget because they aren't scoring during the past week: they've allowed only 6 runs to score during the past three games and 10 during the past 4 (2.5 runs/game).  In May, the Astros are allowing just a hair over 4 runs per game (4.3).  That's more than we'd like, but that's a little exaggerated by the two outliers in which they gave up a total of 22 runs.  In the other 18 games this May, they've allowed only 3.4 runs per game.

In other words:  the pitching is vastly improved from April to the point where it has been downright great, and the batters are still (on average) way outscoring their runs allowed.

While that doesn't help the sting of only scoring 3 runs in the past 3 games, it should put the team in a more accurate perspective in terms of talent and near-future expectations.

Deep breath.  

Recite these:

1. The Astros are scoring more runs than then they're allowing.

2. The pitching has been really good.

3. The hitters are just in a short slump.