How bad are the Houston Astros?
We’re glad you asked.
After Tuesday’s loss to the Diamondbacks, Houston dropped to 40 games below .500 for the season. The Astros would have to go on a 43-3 tear in order to break even in 2011. Obviously that would be one of the unlikeliest scenarios in world history since they’ve only managed 38 wins in the first 116 games and did most of that uh, damage, with Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence still on the team.
At this point most ‘Stros fans would have trouble identifying anyone on their team outside of Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers in a police lineup. (Not that Brett Myers would ever end up in a police lineup or anything).
Even if the Astros find a way to go .500 the rest of the way — 23-23 — they will eclipse the 100-loss plateau and finish 61-101. That would represent the low point in franchise history. Houston has never lost more than 97 games in a season, which happened in both 1965 and 1975.
However, there’s no question that the ’75 team is better than the one currently assembled. Though they finished a whopping 43.5 games behind the first-place Reds in the Western Division, those Reds were the fabled Big Red Machine that marched to 108 wins in the regular season thanks in large part to former Astro Joe Morgan. (Good trade, guys). Playing that team 18 times a year is a good recipe for losing a lot.
And while the ’65 Astros were bad in the opening year of the Astrodome, they were far from being the worst. That distinction belonged to the 112-loss Mets.
The current edition sits 11 games behind the nearest horrible team in the National League, which in this case happens to be the Cubs. Merely catching up to them will be next to impossible with 46 games to go, especially since the Cubs are habitual believers in winning lots of games when the season is already over to give you false hope for next year.
So there you have it. This is virtually assured to be the worst team in Houston history.