The Houston Astros can no longer blame their lack of bat for losing so much. After sweeping Milwaukee, LA, and taking 2 of 3 from Washington, they have pushed towards the top of the division, and put Berkman back into the spotlight as a NL MVP candidate. The pitching worries me, with Oswalt and Chacon are the only two starting pitchers with 100 games under their belt, and with Backe prone to injuries, this could be a concern. The team as a whole posts a 4.24 ERA, which is middle of the road in the MLB. The hitting is in the upper tier, with 192 runs scored, and 344 hits, 5th and 11th respectively. With only drawing 115 walks while striking out 223 times, I am hoping the rest of the order around Berkman can pull through. Only a game and half back from the division leading Cubs is good news, considering the hole they were in this time last year, and they are actually looking like a good team. We will soon know when the Cubs come to Minute Maid next Monday through Wednesday. The should go in winning the next two series, a four game against San Fran and a weekend in Arlington.
Current Record: 22 Wins, 17 Losses (1.5 games back in division; 0.5 games back in wild card)
Leading Hitter: Lance Berkman - .393 (2nd in NL and MLB); 13 HR (T-1st in NL and MLB); 38 RBI (1st in NL, 2nd in MLB)
Leading Pitcher: Roy Oswalt - 4 Wins, 3 Losses; 48 K, 15 BB, 5.05 ERA, 12 HR (T-Most in NL)
Key Series Wins: Florida (April 11-13); San Diego & Cincinnati (sweeps: April 21-24); Milwaukee (sweep: May 2-4); Los Angeles (sweep: May 9-11)
Streaks: Won 5 straight between May 2 and 7 - won 5 of 7 series after losing first 5 of 6 of season. 9-1 in May. 16-5 since April 20.