Did Hurricane Ike Cost the Astros a Shot at the Playoffs?

Mark StoltzContributor ISeptember 18, 2008

Disclaimer: 1.) This is my first article on Bleacher Report, so if I say something stupid or obvious to you, you will now know why.

2.) This article is in NO way demeaning the actual death toll of Hurricane Ike or all the people affected by it. (If it helps, I live in Houston and consider myself one of the lucky ones as we have only lost one tree, part of our fence, and are temporarily out power.)


As I sit here watching the Astros lose to the Marlins for the third night in a row and lose their fifth straight, I can't help but wonder what happened to the team of a week ago that could do no wrong, lose to no one, and seemed to be almost certainly a contender in the NL wild-card race.

Was it just them running into Zambrono's no hitter for the Cubs, and the the red-hot Marlins who are trying to make it eight in a row tonight? Well, those things didn't affect them much a week ago. Or was it something different, out of their control, and horribly timed?

I chose to believe it was the second.

If you ask the Astros, Lance Berkman in particular, they will claim that the two off days, dealing with the stress of a hurricane, and having to lose two home games didn't affect them at all. Well, they were lying, plain and simple.

"Not that I am welcoming the hurricane, but I'm not complaining about the two days of rest either. It shouldn't affect us too negatively," said Berkman in an article last Thursday.

Berkman is 0-for-18 since then.

I've always been told not to complain about a situation without offering up a solution. Well, in this case, there really isn't one. (Although it's minor compared to other things.) Hurricane Ike and the handling of it by Major League Baseball pretty much cost the Astros a chance to play for a spot in the playoffs.

There is nothing that could have been done about the hurricane. Hurricanes happen, that's nature, but was it really necessary to play those two games vs. the Cubs in MILWAUKEE, which is 90 miles from Chicago? Those "home games" had five times the amount of Cubs fans there as Astros fans.

That's not right, I hope Selig has learned something from this and will make a different decision next time.

I'll end my rant with a few stats and a closing comment:

Week Before Ike:

Record: 6-1

Runs/Runs Against: 25/9

Hits/Hits Against: 35/22


Week After Ike:

Record: 0-4

Runs/Runs Against: 4/30

Hits/Hits Against: 12/41


Again, this was my first article, hope it wasn't too bad. Any comments, suggestions, praises, are welcome.