2024 Houston Astros

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2024 Houston Astros / Franchise: Houston Astros / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: , Finished in AL Western Division (2024 AL)

Managed by Joe Espada

Coaches: Jason Bell, Alex Cintron, Dave Clark, Michael Collins, Tommy Kawamura, Omar Lopez, Joshua Miller, Bill Murphy, Gary Pettis and Troy Snitker

Ballpark: Minute Maid Park

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 2024 Houston Astros started their season on the wrong foot as they were swept at home by the New York Yankees in a four-game series. To make things worse, they led in all four games, but the Yankees came back every time. These were the first four games for new manager Joe Espada, who replaced the legendary Dusty Baker, who retired during the off-season. Just when fans were starting to panic, the Astros pulled off a great feat on April 1st when pitcher Ronel Blanco, in only the eighth start of his career, pitched a complete game no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays and the hitters finally awoke, hitting five homers and scoring ten runs for an emphatic 10-0 win. It was the 17th no-hitter in franchise history, and the earliest ever in major league history in terms of calendar date. However, the no-hitter was followed by another excruciating loss on April 2nd, when the Astros held a 1-0 lead over Toronto with two outs in the 9th, only to see newly-signed closer Josh Hader cough up a two-run gopher ball to Davis Schneider for a 2-1 loss. Cristian Javier then combined with four relievers to pitch an 8-0 one-hitter in the final game of the series, on April 3rd, and at that point the Astros seemed to be on their way.

However, the rest of April did not go better. After splitting a four-game series with the Texas Rangers, the Astros were swept by the Kansas City Royals and had three straight games in which their pitchers allowed ten or more runs. Another sweep, this one at the hands of the Atlanta Braves from April 15-17, brought their record to 6-14; they were now firmly entrenched in last place in the AL West and their only saving grace was that no team in the section was playing much above .500. And the sweeps continued, with another at the hands of the Chicago Cubs. This immediately preceded an exceptional two-game series at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú in Mexico City on April 27-28 against the Colorado Rockies; the unusual setting seemed to help the team, as they won both games, 12-4 and 8-2, to improve to 9-19 with one game left in the month. In the second of the two games in Mexico, Framber Valdez won his first game of the season, some good news when their starting pitching had been devastated by injuries, with only Blanco providing some steady work. Valdez and Justin Verlander had both returned from the injured list and were giving Houston some hope of turning things around.

Awards and Honors[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Brian McTaggart: "How dominant can the Astros' bullpen be? We asked the experts: How the Wagner-Lidge-Dotel trio compares to Hader-Pressly-Abreu", mlb.com, March 21, 2024. [1]
  • Brian McTaggart: "In 8th MLB start, Astros righty Ronel Blanco fires 1st no-no of '24", mlb.com, April 2, 2024. [2]
  • Brian McTaggart and Thomas Harding: "Mexico City Series starts tonight. Here’s all you need to know", mlb.com, April 26, 2024. [3]
  • Brian McTaggart: "Astros celebrate Framber's return with Mexico City Series sweep", mlb.com, April 28, 2024. [4]