Zack Greinke had some honest thoughts about the Astros’ playoff chances.
The Houston Astros would be in the playoffs if the season ended Tuesday night. The team entered the night with a 21-21 record and are playing the second leg of a doubleheader against the Oakland Athletics.
But the Astros are going in the wrong direction and are looking to snap a six-game losing streak in the seven-inning game. The Astros are struggling at a time when the Seattle Mariners have won six straight and the Los Angeles Angels have a five-game winning streak of their own.
Star pitcher Zack Greinke was asked about his team and specifically the upcoming playoffs. His answer was simple, but true.
Astros now in an actual race
Saying “every” team makes the postseason is a bit of a stretch. If that is true and the Astros miss out, that means there are eight better teams in the American League. And as Greinke said himself, falling that far would show that the Astros had no right competing for a World Series in 2020.
Houston has not missed the playoffs since 2016 and has made the World Series in two of the past three seasons. But the team is now dealing with injuries and ace Gerrit Cole is a member of the New York Yankees. Then there is a dominant A’s team to deal with as well.
Houston entered Tuesday night with a 1.5-game lead over the Mariners and a four-game lead over the Angels. They trail the A’s by five games. Counting the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Astros have 18 games remaining and seven of those come against the last-place Texas Rangers.
Greinke himself could step up a bit for a rotation that has also been without Justin Verlander for most of the season. The six-time All-Star has a 3-1 record with a 3.27 ERA after taking the loss in the first game against the A’s on Tuesday.
Having a .500 record is not what Astros fans are used to and using the shorter season as an excuse won’t hold up given the format this year. The team can also expect plenty of jokes thrown their way if they finally miss the playoffs the year after being found guilty of cheating.