For years, the Houston Astros were a joke. Their punchline season was 2013, when they were 51-111, posting the most losses in franchise history. It marked the third year in a row where the team failed to reach even the paltry total of 60 victories, but the bottom is sometimes the launching pad to the top.
The Astros, by virtue of their 7-3 victory in Kansas City on Monday night over the Royals, have now won 11 straight games (and 11 in a row on the road) to run their record to 42-16 (.724), best in the majors.
The Astros lead the American League West by 14 games over the Los Angeles Angels. Our friends at MLB.com had these observations about the winning streak and the Astros’ division lead: “It’s the Astros’ longest winning streak since a club-record-tying 12 in a row late in 2004. Houston…is now on pace for 117 victories, one more than the 2001 Mariners. The Astros are the first with 42 wins in their first 58 games since that Seattle club.”
Born as the Houston Colt 45s in 1962, the team became the Astros in 1965. The franchise has appeared in the World Series only once (2005) and has never won a championship.
Well, the Chicago Cubs went 108 years between titles before cashing in last October. The Boston Red Sox endured 86 years between titles. The Cleveland Indians haven’t been champions since 1948. Of course, this wait for Houston involves complete title famine. But if patience is going to pay off for anyone, it just might be these Astros.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman