Houston Astros Leave the National League with Their Worst Team Ever

Paul Francis Sullivan@@sullybaseballChief Writer IOctober 3, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 03:  Josh Vitters #5 of the Chicago Cubs steals second base as Tyler Greene #23 of the Houston Astros makes the tag in the second inning on October 3, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

The Houston Astros journey in the National League began in 1962. It ended this afternoon at Wrigley Field with a 5-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

When they reemerge, they will be in the American League West. And if the past two seasons are any indication, American League teams should be circling their matchups with Houston.

Before 2011, the Astros had never had a 100-loss season. Since then, they finished their 51 National League seasons with back-to-back years of 106 or more losses.

Today's loss was a franchise-worst 107th. To the Astros' credit, they did not lie down. The team fell behind 4-1, as Cubs pitcher Travis Wood held down the Astros for most of the game.

But the Astros battled back. Justin Maxwell homered to tie the game 4-4 in the eighth inning. But Bryan LaHair, who homered earlier in the game, smacked a walk-off single off of Hector Ambriz.

The second-worst team in baseball beat the worst team in baseball. The Cubs and Astros' seasons ended.

The Astros will go into next year with Bo Porter as manager and a roster of talented young players swiped from other organizations.

But as they go to the American League West, they should take note of the team that will be defending their division title next season.

The Oakland A's have a lower payroll this year than the Astros. They also strip mined the roster and filled it with prospects. And on June 1 of this season, they had identical records.

So there is hope and there is talent.

Farewell, National League. The Astros will be missed.