• Brian L. Barefield

Expect The Unexpected Angels sweep all four games from the Astros

Photo Credit/ Houston Astros

People always tell one another to, “Expect the unexpected.” Those are just hollow words until the unexpected happens. Then the person or persons it is happening too is caught off-guard and often times left scrambling trying to figure out what happened.

For the Houston Astros, the unexpected hit them like a ton of bricks to start off their West Coast road trip that has them facing two division leading teams in the Oakland A’s who the Astros are chasing for the No. 1 spot in the American League West, and the Los Angeles Dodgers who are slowly but surely becoming an inter-league rival.

Maybe Houston was looking too far ahead in those matchups and forgot that they also had to face the Los Angeles Angels first in a four-game series. The Angels took all four games this past weekend leaving the Astros scrambling for answers as they prepare for the A’s.

The Astros lost all four games to Los Angeles in the last inning of the game leaving many to wonder if a bullpen that had become so dependable during the midseason when Houston went on an eight-game winning streak has finally gotten fatigued. Out of 40 games the Astros have played this season, 25 of those have been decided by 3 or less runs. 14 of those games have resulted into losses for Houston which has the coaching staff scratching their heads on what can be done. The last four games showed the rest of the American League what the Astros Achilles heel is.

“They beat my bullpen up,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said after the game on Sunday. “We are still trying to recover from that first day.”

It was unusual to see the Astros pitchers give up 31 runs to the Angels in four-games after yielding only 35 in the previous six meetings. Already shorthanded without their ace Justin Verlander for the majority of the season and their closer Roberto Osuna, the Astros pitching staff will now be without Lance McCullers Jr. who went on the Injured List with neck nerve irritation.

Dusty Baker summed up the Astros time in Anaheim after the game where he watched his team have some costly plays come back to haunt them.

“This was one of those weekends where whatever could go bad, went bad,” Baker said.

Houston now travels to Oakland on Monday to begin a five-game series in four days that will include a doubleheader on Tuesday. They currently sit 3.5 games behind the A’s for first place.

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