Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 8/5/12
When things go wrong--as they have for the Astros all season-- not everything is caused by what the club does or does not do. Case in point Sunday in Atlanta. The Astros lost 6-1 which meant they were not the best team that day. But they also were not that far off. The game was decided in the sixth inning. After the Braves took at early 1-0 lead on a David Ross home run, Houston came back to tie on a Justin Maxwell double. The team had a chance to take over with Wallace on third, Max on second and only one out. Brad Mills went to the bench to get some right handed hitters up against the Braves lefty relief. But Matt Downs struck out and J.D. Martinez was also retired. The game stayed tied but it could have been an Astro lead. Mills made the right moves. The players did not come through. Later in the bottom of the sixth Astro starter Bud Norris got himself in some trouble. He had two runners on and two out when Ross hit a soft grounder to deep short stop. Third baseman Downs couldn't cut it off and short stop Marwin Gonzalez only had a try for a force at second. It was too late. The bases were loaded still with two out. The next scheduled hitter was weak hitting shortstop Paul Janish. With the game tied Braves skipper Gonzalez elected to let Janish hit. That SHOULD have played into the Astros hands. But Norris uncorked a wild pitch to allow the lead run to score. Then to add insult to injury the .190 hitting Janish singled a pitch or two later to bring in two more. For all purposes the game was over with the Braves taking a 4-1 lead. The problem with all of this is it was totally a lack of luck (on the Ross infield hit) or lack of execution by the Astro hitters and pitcher (in the case of the Janish at bat) that led to the loss. It was not on the manager or coaching staff at all. Whlle Brad Mills and his coaches may not have had a perfect summer no staff in major league baseball ever does. And the biggest reason the Astros lose far more than they win is lack of talent on the field. Some of these very same players will gain more talent with experience. Others will fall by the wayside. It will continue to be rough for the players and fans...and staff...for he rest of this season. Hopefully enough lessons will be learned by all that improvement will start to be evident soon. Ideally that would show over the last 50 games this year. Just remember though. In most Astro losses this year the opposition has just had a better and certainly more experienced team. It won't be that way forever.
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