Author: Paul

The Astros Know Where They Are

The Astros Know Where They Are

Cristian Javier, Framber Valdez and the Astros Pitching Factory

Just looking at those numbers, this is an important game. On the line is the chance of reaching the World Series. It is one of those games when the stakes are high and the stakes are higher than most, for the Astros and, sadly, the rest of the game.

In other words, here is a game that carries the energy and focus of a presidential campaign.

And yet, after a game like Wednesday night, the focus shifts to the next game and the series and that’s that.

When the Astros take on the Rangers at Dodger Stadium this afternoon, they will know who they are and where they’re at. They know their postseason position. They know where they’ve been, and they know where they’re going.

They’ll also know whether their manager, Bud Black, who will be back at the game after the Astros lost to the Phillies Monday night, is going to make a difference.

It may not be in the big-picture, where it was before Black was named the manager. It might even be in the middle or at the bottom, or where he didn’t take the ball in the first place as well as he could have. It could be right in that one area where he’s made or lost the biggest difference in the course of the last five or six years. It could be in a handful of other areas where he might have left the Astros as good as they were before he got here.

It’s not going to be an easy thing to measure, because he’s done too many things right to be measured on a per-player basis. There are the “hiccups.” There is the bullpen. There are the losses. There are those games where he’s had to call up players when they weren’t ready, when

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