2015 was a great baseball year, until it wasn’t.
Coming off a 95-loss season, Texas lost its ace for the year in spring training and its number two starter after one inning, was without its number three and number four starters for the first half, had its closer and second baseman lose their jobs within the first month, finished April with the worst record in franchise history, lost both catchers to lengthy injuries, started 12 left fielders, gave 15 starts to Wandy Rodriguez and seven to Ross Detwiler, and entrusted the whole thing to a first-time manager new to the organization.
That was also the only April, with the exception of the franchise’s first-ever month in 1972, when the offense had a lower batting average (.210) than the clip the club just put up this year (.220).
And then Colby won 17 and Prince hit .305 and drove in 98 and Choo didn’t get out the final six weeks and Tolleson was nails and JD picked up Delino and Cole and Sam and Jake and Nap and Josh (and I got to do this) and that new manager led the Rangers, who were sabermetrically judged to have a 1 percent shot at the playoffs as late as July 22, and a 4 percent chance on August 26, to 24 wins in their final 37 games, and 14 out of 21, winning the West by two games before heading to Toronto and winning twice on the road to kick off the ALDS best-of-five.
To that point, 2015 was a great baseball year, thanks in part to a 13–6 record against Houston, falling in line with what Texas did against the Astros in 2013 (17–2), when they joined the division, and would do against them in 2016 (15–4).
It can still be a great baseball year in 2017. The April 2015 offense, and so much else about the 2015 start, proves that.
Getting things going against Hugh’s team would be a good first step.
The Astros are going to win 98 games this year.
They should, at least.
“Should” doesn’t always pan out, though.
Just look at 2015.