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So Much For The Activated Playoff Mode, Astros Drop Another To The Royals

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Most. Frustrating. Season. Ever.

Or pretty close to it. Either way, this situation is not great.

Once again, the Astros couldn’t solve the Royals. The 102-loss Royals. Yes, you read that right. Former Astro Jordan Lyles lowered his ERA from 6.49 to 6.24 with five scoreless innings, limiting his former organization to two hits and two walks. J.P. France pitched relatively well, allowing two runs on seven hits and a lone walk. Bennett Sousa looks like a potential bullpen piece moving forward. Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker hitting back-to-back ought to become a regular occurrence. But the lineup fell mostly flat, other than Tucker’s RBI double and Chas McCormick’s solo home run.

Multiple chances, especially in the later innings, to go ahead only to come short. That is the story of the game. If there are any silver linings, it was France bouncing back along with Sousa’s recent performances. Other than that, I have little in terms of confidence building.

September has not been kind to the Astros. Below are some quick points about how rough it has been recently.

  • 8-12 record with a +12 run differential
  • 2-6 against the Royals and A’s
  • 4-10 at Minute Maid Park
  • Guaranteed first losing record at Minute Maid Park since 2014

With the Rangers winning their game against the Mariners, the Astros now trail their in-state rivals by 1 12 games with only seven remaining. Certainly possible to still win the AL West, albeit becoming increasingly unlikely. If there is a silver lining, it is that Houston remains in the postseason discussion with Seattle’s loss, remaining a half-game up in the Wild Card standings. Kind of wild considering the recent results.

Regardless, it is imperative for the Astros to start stringing together some wins with a road series against the Mariners looming next week before finishing the regular season against the Diamondbacks in Arizona. A tall task, especially against that Mariners' pitching staff. Considering how inefficient the lineup has looked against the likes of the Royals and A’s this month, I don’t have much confidence. A frustrating September, for sure.