Here's our requisite space-filler, the mid-season awards, as certified by Astros County:
1st Half MVP
No-brainer. Hunter Pence. He's the (rightfully so) only All-Star representative. He's the only everyday Astro with an OPS over .800. He's the only Astro with double-digit homers.
1st Half LVP
This actually took some thinking. J.R. Towles and Bill Hall would be strong candidates, but they're no longer with the team. I know you're probably thinking about Carlos Lee, but he would win the Player Not Worth His Immense, Ridiculous Contract award (see below). So it goes to Chris Johnson. I think we were all prepared for a career regression after his high-BABIPed 2010, but I certainly didn't foresee him posting a -1.1 WAR (according to Baseball-Reference), lowest on the team.
1st Half Cy Young
Bud Norris. Wandy Rodriguez comes in a close second, but Norris has exceeded expectations, and is more likely to still be wearing an Astros uniform come August 1. Norris is the only player with more strikeouts than IP, and fewer than one homer per 9IP.
1st Half Cy Dumb
Brandon Lyon gets serious consideration given his atrocious 13IP to this point in the season, and he's done for the year. I'm sorry he's hurt, I hope he gets better, but I'm glad he's not even an option to pitch, because I have no doubt that he would continue to get run out to the mound. You know what? Screw it. Brandon Lyon.
1st Half Rookie of the Year
I don't know that it could go to anybody other than Jordan Lyles. Kid's been good.
1st Half Player Not Worth His Immense, Ridiculous Contract
Carlos Lee. See above.
1st Half Best Bargain
David Carpenter. No, he has not pitched for the Astros for very long. But the Astros got rid of Pedro Feliz, and turned that horrible idea into David Carpenter. I bet the Cardinals would like to have that one over. Of course, that Lance Berkman signing probably makes it easier.
Best Moment of the First Half
The releasing of Bill Hall. Another horrible mistake that was owned up to early enough to at least try to recover. Whatever that means.
Worst Moment of the First Half
Opening Day. The Astros were actually in line to be over .500 at some point this season on Game 1. And then Brandon Lyon happened, facing seven batters, getting one out, and the Phillies got three runs in the bottom of the 9th for a brutal, trend-setting loss.
The 1st Half Point At Which We Lost The Will To Live
May 4, 2011. Brandon Lyon blows a 2-0 lead in the 9th (and Aneury Rodriguez' 5IP gem), and the Astros fall to 12-18. Not that the difference between 12-18 and 13-17 is significant, certainly not now, but that broke our collective souls.