Thursday, May 1, 2014

Oberholtzer has the sads

There's a subtle difference between what fans say about a team and what a player says about a team following an absolute beatdown. For instance: Brett Oberholtzer last night. After the game was 7-0, I turned it off and went to bed (a good idea since my kid has been up since 2:45am) because it was clear the Astros were just getting outplayed. And then Brett Oberholtzer talked (the full quote, emphasis mine):

I just think we got to do a better job coming out ready to play. (You) get the vibe from other teams that they're just ready to come in and beat us and that's frustrating. We're not going to beat anyone on a day-to-day basis with our talent. But we definitely got to do a better job of willing ourselves to compete on a day-to-day basis. And matching the intensity the other teams bring to the game. A lot of these teams, especially in our division, they're strong and they're ready to compete and make it a long stretch down the road and hopefully go to the playoffs, unlike us. We're a little different.

Holy crap.

Jason Castro:
I can't speak for everybody, I can only speak for myself. I definitely am fully prepared for every game. From what I see, I think guys are going out there with a solid game plan and have an idea what they're trying to do. 

Jeff Luhnow:
There's adversity at various points along the season and you never know when it's going to occur...It's part of what we sign up for and the key is not to get down, just keep going. Keep doing the right things, make the right decisions. Eventually we're going to have a couple breaks go our way.

So depression is setting in for everybody. Hey, if everybody is miserable, then it makes us all feel better, right? RIGHT?

There are many things to think about here, now that we're a month in to the season. I've seen all or at least a good chunk of probably 23 of the 28 games this month. While the bullpen has been a complete dumpster fire (I'm looking at you, Josh Fields) the Astros have made adjustments this month. Grossman, Harrell, and Chapman were shipped out. Springer has been brought up (even if he is, um, struggling). This is a not-so-scientific #analysis and #scouting, but the team looks better than they were last year. There are times when they look like they're actually pretty good. There are more times where one guy - pick a reliever - just can't get the ball over the plate; Or when they do get the ball over the plate, it's sitting about nipple-high and 89mph.

Drellich raised a pretty good question in the linked article: Is this God-awful start going to force the Astros hand in making aggressive moves to avoid another 100-loss season? The Astros are 9-19. To avoid 100 losses, they're going to need to go 54-80, or a .403 clip for the rest of the season. FanGraphs which is updated to the current record, is still projecting a 66-96 season - probably because their projections can't fathom a bullpen remaining this terrible for an entire season, or George Springer not being able to adjust, or Jon Singleton staying down for much longer.

What I'm interested to see is what happens with Oberholtzer. Obviously frustration has set in with this team (and it likely had before another shutout loss), but how do you address his comments? From a blogger's standpoint, that's a great quote. From a team's standpoint? I don't know how happy they'll be...