In 2005, the Houston Chronicle ran an article on the 1st of June featuring a tombstone and calling the team dead and buried. The team responded with a winning June and going on to duplicate a feat not seen in over 90 years. Before the Astros came back from 15 below .500 to go to the World Series, ONLY the 1914 Boston Braves had accomplished that feat.
It’s time for a similar wake up call for the 2007 Astros, a team having an eerily similar year to the 2005 team. The 2005 Astros went 9-13 in April and 10-19 in May. The 2007 team has gone 10-14 in April and 11-18 so far in May.
More similarities: During Spring Training 2005, a rookie named Luke Scott captured everyone’s attention by having a spectacular spring and made the opening day roster straight from AA. Fast forward to Spring 2007–Hunter Pence dazzled everyone in spring training and spent only one month in AAA before being called up to the major league club. Pence, right now, is leading all rookies in many of the categories and is a strong contender for the Rookie of the Year.
In 2005, Jeff Bagwell went on the DL in early May and Lance Berkman, coming off the DL in May, didn’t start hitting well until June. In 2005, it was Morgan Ensberg who carried the club on his back through those dismal 2 months. In 2007, it seems to be Carlos Lee. Ensberg got help from Jason Lane and Craig Biggio. Lee is getting help from Hunter Pence and Mark Loretta.
2005 also saw missed starts from Andy Pettitte, just as 2007 has seen Jason Jennings go on the DL.
Now, I’m not predicting the Astros are going to go to the World Series again this year, but, it is rather interesting how similar the two teams are. Maybe, maybe, they can be similar in some more ways. Maybe this 2007 Astros team can go to the World Series too. Once there, who knows? Maybe this time they get to bring home the ultimate prize.