Astros' Seventh Straight Sparks Hope Again in Houston

Justin BellContributor IAugust 13, 2008

The Houston Astros are the hottest team in the National League right now, and their momentum shows no signs of slowing down. Their seven-game winning streak can only be matched by the ever so potent Milwaukee's eight-game streak.

After Wednesday's 6-2 win over the Giants, the players didn't seem at all phased by the win. It was as if the team had been together for years, and Houston's usual second half sprint towards the playoffs was regular to them.

For as long as I can remember, Houston has always been a second half team. Especially in recent years, they have won a large number of games in the second half to make a good run towards the wild card.

The Central division is always going to be a tough division, and so the wild card is what a second half team like Houston uses to get their ticket to the playoffs.

Injuries have been another major setback for the franchise this season. Kaz Matsui has been plagued with multiple injuries, including him having to leave Tuesday's game due to a sore back. It is an injury that has bothered him throughout his career.

Carlos Lee, the Astros hottest hitter, is out for six to eight weeks with a broken pinkie he suffered last week.

But these injuries don't seem to be taking a toll on the team. With the recent pick up of veteran starter Randy Wolf and the surprising hot bats of Ty Wiggington and Matsui, the Astros seem to be playing with a little extra in their step.

With the playoffs approaching soon, the Astros still have a lot ahead of them, including a series this weekend with the Diamondbacks. The key to continue winning is to keep hitting the ball.

This season, Astros pitching has been weaker than usual, but they still have a realistic shot at the wild card. With sluggers like Lance Berkman, Miguel Tejada, and Hunter Pence, the Astros might have just enough run support to give their mediocre pitching staff.