• Brian L. Barefield

Wounded Warriors Astros looking to stay in contention while they get healthy.

I can imagine how hard it is for Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker to keep it all together from day-to-day. As someone who takes pride in giving his all to his job and making no excuses, I am pretty sure he wants to scream out these words every time he gets the daily injury report.

“Damn! Another one?”

Houston has been plagued by the injury bug since July 24th, which was Opening Day 2020 for the Astros. They came into that game without 2019 A.L Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez’s bat in the lineup and after that game they lost 2019 A.L. Cy Young Award winner and their ace starting pitcher in Justin Verlander.

Now the loss of those two key components in the Astros drive for their third American League Pennant and World Series appearance in four years could have been sustained while those two players healed. But the injury gods didn’t see fit to just stop there. In the first 14 games the Astros have lost closer Roberto Osuna, middle relievers Joe Biagini Chris Devenski, and infielder Aledmys Diaz.

Add in All-Star center fielder George Springer who is day-to-day with a right wrist sprain and “Professional Hitter” Michael Brantley spending some time on the bench due to a lower leg injury and you come up with a team who is currently 4 ½ games back of the Oakland A’s for the top spot in the A.L. West.

“Things aren’t going our way, but you got to keep fighting and fighting,” said Dusty Baker on his teams play this year. “We just got to stay positive. Like the saying goes, “The sun don’t shine on the same dog’s ass every day.’”

It is words like that from the Astros skipper that keeps the players and majority of the fans encouraged.

Houston is currently on a four-game losing streak and lost their second series in a row after a tough 3-1 loss to the A’s. It was their third loss in a row by two runs or less and out of the eight losses on the season, they have only lost by four or more runs once. That leads many to wonder how dangerous this lineup will look at full strength and a pitching rotation and bullpen that isn’t put together by committee. Give Baker the lineup former skipper A.J. Hinch enjoyed for three consecutive years and the results will be the same.

The Astros have one more game in Oakland before they head back to Minute Maid Park for an 8-game homestand.

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