The Houston Astros made the postseason, but fans can take solace in the fact that they finished the year below .500.
2020 was supposed to be the year where the fanbases of the 29 other MLB teams would get some semblance of vengeance against the Houston Astros, the team who was proven guilty of illegally stealing signs throughout the 2017 season. That didn’t happen due to fans being prohibited from attending games stemming from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But those fans who were keen on spending tickets to boo the Astros in-person can take solace in something at Houston’s expense.
Despite the multitude of injuries this truncated campaign, the Astros were able to clinch a postseason berth. However, they did so with a 29-31 record, after their 8-4 loss to the Texas Rangers in the regular season finale. That’s right, Houston made the playoffs with a losing record, a full year after leading the entire league in wins.
Astros make playoffs, but at what cost?
Houston also made history with this postseason berth. They can officially be known as one of the first teams to clinch a spot in the postseason with a losing record. Congrats, Astros?
The Astros were pummeled by the injury bug this shortened season. Ace Justin Verlander is done for the next year, as he’s set to undergo Tommy John surgery. Closer Roberto Osuna’s season is basically done, as he’s currently rehabbing a UCL injury in his pitching elbow. Last year’s AL Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez suffered a season-ending knee injury in August.
Additionally, the Astros bats were tamed this season, which many of their detractors attributed to their lack of cameras and trash can banging. Jose Altuve, the 2017 AL MVP, is batting a career-low .219, and 2019 AL MVP finalist Alex Bregman recorded a .248 average, also a career-low.
Even though they have a losing record, the Astros absolutely have no problem with it now that they get to play fall ball. But, they face a tough test in the Wild Card Round, as they face the explosive batting order of the Minnesota Twins. We’re sure fanbases from across the league are rooting for the Twins to sweep them back home for the winter.