Houston Astros Ending Their National League Run with a Whimper

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer IAugust 31, 2012

HOUSTON, TX. - AUGUST 29:  Brian Bogusevic #19 of the Houston Astros walks back to the dugout after striking out with the bases loaded against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on August 29, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

The rest of the National League is surely going to miss these Houston Astros. The team that entered the National League as the Colt .45s in 1962 is leaving for the American League starting in 2013.

And man they are giving virtually every team they play wonderful parting gifts. Mainly they are handing out series victories, if not sweeps.

Last night the Astros tried to salvage at least one game in their series against the San Francisco Giants. They took a 4-0 lead after three innings. Astros starter Jordan Lyles looked like he was going to out-pitch Ryan Volgelsong, who was laboring but needed to go deep into the game to rest the bullpen.

When the Giants loaded the bases in the second but failed to score, it looked like it might not be their night.

But every night against the Astros is the opposition's night. The Giants rallied with two outs in the seventh inning, the big blow being a two run single by Hunter Pence, a former Astro.

The Giants won 8-4 and swept Houston.

The Astros have been gutted and are playing many players who would normally be in the minor leagues. But as they go into the last day of August, they stand at merely five wins all month.

And sadly that is not their worst month. In July, they went 3-24.

This is a team that has won eight games since July 1.

And contenders can't wait to say goodbye to the Astros. In August alone, the Nationals, Cardinals and Giants have swept them. Atlanta took two of three.

Now they welcome the first-place Cincinnati Reds.

The Astros have to show a little resolve. Yes, their season is lost. But the Kansas City Royals also have a lost year and they recently swept the contending White Sox and Tigers.

They have six games remaining with the Reds, six more with the Pirates and another six with the Cardinals. And all three of those contenders are salivating for their final National League meetings with the Astros.

Stop being such a gracious host and guest, Astros. Don't make the American League overly eager to welcome you in. Win a few series and show you are actually a major league franchise.

It would be a better good bye for your fans.