The Astros finished their woeful 2013 season Sunday with a 5-1 loss to the Yankees in 14 innings, culminating the worst season in franchise history with a sparkling 51-111 record. Houston capped their illustrious season with 15 straight defeats — tying a mark by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. (Yes, the Cleveland Spiders!) Houston’s late-season ineptitude held some importance since 10 of the losses came to playoff-bound Cincinnati, Cleveland and Texas.
The play embedded above sums up the previous 162 Astros games: Following an outside pitch, catcher Matt Pagnozzi somehow threw into the dirt trying to pick Robbie Cano off second. After the ball hit the dirt, it bounced behind him, allowing Nunez to scamper home.
For a few more hours, their futility might take the attention away from struggling Houston QB Matt Schaub.
Houston will have the first pick in the MLB draft for the third straight season. And it’s not much, but young Houston pitchers Brett Oberholtzer (2.76 ERA, 71.2 IP) and Jarred Cosart (1.95, 60.0) showed some promise in the second half of the season. The road back to respectability will take time – as long as Pittsburgh’s? – so long as Luhnow and owner Jim Crane are committed to a rebuilding plan that includes internal development of players as opposed to free agency.
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