The Houston Astros are 7-9 in the last 16 games with a team batting average of .202. The team was competing for 2nd place in the American League West with Seattle until the Los Angeles Angels came from behind and took the third spot.
The Astros are only 3.5 games ahead of the Angels and four games ahead of Seattle. Only four games remain in the regular season. Houston has the opportunity to get it together and crush the Texas Rangers to ensure a spot in October.
On the mound for Houston was Lance McCullers Jr. and for Seattle Marco Gonzales. Mariners pitcher has an 3.06 earned run average.
The Houston Astros lost 1-6 and only one run was scored off of a closer named Joey Gerber. McCullers Jr. gave up four runs and closer Brandon Bielak have up two.
Framber Valdez began the game and threw seven innings with one run, five hits and eight strikeouts. Mariners pitcher Ljay Newsome started on the mound and recorded 4.1 innings with one earned run and four hits.
Seattle reliever Casey Sadler came in and gave up four runs to add a loss to his record. One more run came to the plate and Houston took the 6-1 win.
Valdez discusses what he worked on in the off season
Valdez said he worked on his mindset and body language 90% of the time during the offseason, according to beat reporter Brian McTaggart.
“I owe a lot to my psychologist to be able to work on my mental side of the game,” Valdez said.
Not only is the physical part of baseball important, but being in the right state of mind impacts the performance. For example, second baseman Jose Altuve is having one of the worst seasons in his career. It is more than likely the mental state that is holding him back.
Valdez is beginning to prove himself as a started and has the possibility to turn into a key pitcher if Houston makes playoffs.
Final game of the series
To finish off the series, Seattle took a 3-2 win and Astros pitcher Zack Greinke recorded another loss. All three runs were earned against the right hander.
Now the big question remains as they head into the Battle of the Lone Star, can Houston hold off the Rangers to ensure a playoff spot?