Richard Justice tells us to be patient with this group of Astros, and he's right. The Astros have won three of their last four games, and while that still translates into a 3-9 record, the patience could pay off.
...They helped Brad Mills pass his first big test as manager. Even if you didn't think this team was any good, even if you thought the Astros were cashing their own check for almost a decade of dumb decisions, you had to feel terrible for Mills. He had paid his dues and then some for this opportunity, and suddenly he was in an organization caught someplace between a depressing present and uncertain future.
Tal, on Paulino, Wandy, and by extension, pitcher development:
“Pitchers develop at different speeds. Wandy wasn't a finished product when he got to the big leagues, but look where he is now. Patience isn't easy.”
(Where, exactly, is Wandy now? Is he considered a finished project?)
On what happens next:
If you're thinking big picture, the starting pitching has been just about as good as the Astros hoped. In the first seven games, Astros starters were 0-5 with a 6.50 ERA. In the last five, they're 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA. Now Lance Berkman could be back in the lineup Tuesday when the Astros begin a new homestand. Berkman is the guy who preached both optimism and patience this spring. Few could have imagined how much both would be tested the first two weeks.