On Wednesday, the Astros announced Yordan Alvarez would have surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon and would miss the rest of the pandemic-shortened season. The same day in Colorado, MVP runner up Alex Bregman left the game against the Rockies with a hamstring injury. And on Thursday, while fielding a ball off the mound, pitcher Josh James crumpled to the ground with an apparent hip injury.
Such is the state of not just the Astros in 2020, but baseball, where injuries have increased twofold over any normal season. The Rockies put a player on the injured list on Wednesday and lost a pitcher during the game on Thursday as well.
In Houston, the Astros lost Justin Verlander early, though he is trying to make a miraculous comeback. Not long after, closer Roberto Osuna went out and will not return. That was on top of injuries to guys like Brad Peacock and Chris Devenski and Michael Brantley and George Springer, who fortunately returned.
Despite all that, the Astros are currently on a seven-game winning streak including a four-game home-and-home series sweep of the Colorado Rockies. They have managed to climb within two games of the division leading Oakland A’s (you heard that right) as they head for San Diego.
It’s a strange time to be an Astros fan. The team continues to win, mostly on the strength of a handful of arms and a few very hot bats, but how long it can continue is another question.
Justin Verlander began throwing this week though not off the mound and Bregman’s injury is not considered overly serious, but as the injuries mount, how long the winning streak can continue, particularly as the schedule grows tougher, is another matter.
For now, these Astros are fun to watch, so we should enjoy it while we can. If they keep losing players, there won’t be much left to watch by the end of the season.