The Houston Astros, once universally alleged to be the worst team of all the teams, are now three games under .500 and four games out of first place in the National League Central Division.
They have gradually won over some doubters, who were at first surprised, then intrigued and now fully engaged with a team that is hitting better and pitching better than it was supposed to be.
You could hear it in the eighth inning Tuesday night. The Astros (20-23) were beating the Cubs 2-1 (which ended up being the final score), but the Cubs (15-28) got a runner on third with one out. Wilton Lopez struck out Starlin Castro, and the crowd roared. When Lopez got the second strike out Alfonso Soriano, the fans rose to their feet, and when he struck him out swinging you heard the sound of a crowd that believed it had seen something that mattered.
"Lopy was absolutely outstanding," Astros manager Brad Mills said.
Brett Meyers closed it out with two strikeouts and a ground ball, so between sta...