Things aren't looking good for the hometown team right now. The Astros have lost ten out of their last fourteen games and are six games below .500. Although Roger Clemens has been pitching well since he re-joined the team last month, he's not getting any run support. The recent acqusition of Aubrey Huff from Tampa Bay hasn't had much of an impact. While the bullpen is also a concern - closer Brad Lidge is still struggling - the biggest problem with this team is the offense, or lack thereof. The Astros have the worst batting average in the National League.
Even Chronicle columnist Richard Justice is beginning to see that the writing might be on the wall for this team. "We're close to the point where it's time to begin planning for 2007," he ominously suggests.
Time is indeed running short for the Astros to right their ship, and with each passing loss it's looking less and less likely that we'll be treated to another amazing late-season run like we saw in 2004 and 2005.
While the last two years have been fun for baseball fans here in Houston, it's hard to expect that the Astros will catch lightning in a bottle for the third season in a row and make it back into the World Series. There are just too many problem areas on this year's team.