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Is it Halloween yet? Astros one-hit by Shohei Ohtani, Angels

Heavy struggles keep going for Houston’s offense in another disastrous start by Jake Odorizzi.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It’s getting kind of tough to watch. On Wednesday night, the Astros had the chance to win their second series against the Angels in 2022. Instead, with Shohei Ohtani on the mound, Anaheim won it thanks to shutting out and one-hitting Houston en route to a 6-0 victory.

What’s starting to be a concern around the Astros is their offense. They’re scoreless in their last 11 innings and have scored only once in their last 15 episodes, every one of them facing Angels’ pitching.

Backup catcher Jason Castro ended Ohtani’s perfect-game bid with a line-drive single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ohtani had a stellar performance of six shutout innings, with Castro’s single, one walk, and 12 strikeouts – including three to Niko Goodrum and Jeremy Peña. In total, Houston’s hitters struck out 15 times.

This is just the fourth time in Astros’ history that the team has been one-hit and struck out at least 15 times in a game. According to Stathead, the other times this happened were back in 1998 (Cubs), 2013 (Rangers), and 2015 (Indians).

Are the Astros bats haunted this year? Are opposing pitchers men, or frightening monsters disguised as men?

Halloween, go away.

The Astros, whose record is now 6-6 after going 4-1 in their first five, are averaging only 3.4 runs per game, a pretty-distant number from the 5.3 they averaged last year when they led the Major Leagues in that department. After Wednesday’s game, their batting average as a team dropped to an awful .199 mark, the worst in the American League.

What was another disastrous outing by Jake Odorizzi was followed by a remarkable bullpen performance led by Cristian Javier, who I absolutely hope the Astros will give a chance to start games pretty soon. Javier pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowed three hits, gave up a base on ball, and struck out four hitters.

The Astros will have a day off on Thursday to come back to the diamond on Friday, hosting a three-game series against the powerful Blue Jays. There’s always tomorrow, at least for now.