Monday, July 23, 2012

In which the Astros lose everything and gain nothing

Francisco Cordero has a lot of weight on his shoulders right now.

This is mainly because he is Francisco Cordero, and he has a lot of weight on everything.

But right now, for him, the pressure is on. The pitching staff has been purged, and JA Happ and Brett Myers are currently in other cities (and wow, Happ is suddenly back in last. What a twist!). Ever since Carlos Lee left last year, and before that Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence and Lance Berkman, the team has been going in a direction...directly down.

Cordero has to pitch the ninth inning now. Standing where Brett Myers, the crowd favorite and current White Sock, once stood is an aging, sad, troubled, even obscure reliever, dealt to the team in a blockbuster trade, with only one companion- Ben Francisco, a survivor of another monster trade. Now Cordero has to pitch the ninth with the entire crowd knowing it won't be the same.

And it really is a damn shame. Seven years ago this team was in the World Series led by Bagwell, Biggio, Berkman and Clemens. Sure, they lost, but they were good.

What happened to them?

In their place is a sad team, represented only by Jose Altuve, Wandy Rodriguez (for now), and, yes, Francisco Cordero.

Next year, the Astros will be in the American League, shoved to the bottom of a division whose worst will now be the second worst. The Mariners and Athletics will have nothing to fear, other than beating the Astros. The downward spiral will probably continue.

For now, all Houston has to rely on is for Cordero not to blow those saves. Or else they'll truly be lost.

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