This is hardly scientific, but go ahead and Google “Astros” and “Bad News Bears.”
Last time we here at the TM Daily Post did, there were “about 1,310,000 results”—to be expected when your team is 36-77 (not to mention there are probably lots of results for The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training).
But the main reason can be seen in the video above, which, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle‘s Ultimate Astros blog, was “arguably the lowlight of the lowest season in Astros history.”
“A play that would infuriate Little League coaches,” wrote Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
What happened? It was the eleventh inning of a 4-4 game at Minute Maid Park, one that the Astros had miraculously tied in the ninth inning. The Nats had Roger Bernadina at first base with no outs, and Kurt Suzuki at the plate looking to bunt him over.
And Suzuki blew it. He popped up Houston reliever Wilton Lopez’s second pitch, which usually means that someone’s gonna catch it and the runner will not move. Except…
- First, Lopez and Astros first baseman Steve Pearce both broke for the same spot and completely Keystone Kopped each other.
- Then, after the collision, Pearce somehow still managed to get the ball and throw to first, even though another teammate didn’t make it easy for him. As Dom Consentino of Deadspin wrote: “My favorite part might be when third baseman Matt Downs trips over first baseman Steve Pearce’s foot and proceeds to make an exaggerated fall right in the path of Pearce’s errant throw to first.”
- That’s right: “errant throw.” Pearce’s hurried toss was several Altuves wide of 2B Jose Altuve (who was covering first).
- By then Bernadina had advanced to third … and ignored his coach’s signal to not head for home. A good decision, as Astros rightfielder Brian Bogusevic’s eventual throw had little chance of nailing him. Even if it had been a good one (it wasn’t).
Officially, there were only two errors: on Pearce and Bogusevic, with Suzuki getting credit for a single (but not an RBI).
(Oh, and by the way: if you haven’t heard of anywhere from one to three of the Astros players mentioned in this post so far, that’s totally okay).
“The good thing,” wrote the Chronicle’s Levine, “was that it played out in front of 13,843 — the lowest announced crowd in Minute Maid Park history.”
Yup, that’s the GOOD thing.
The other good thing? There’s probably less bunting in the American League.