Houston Matters

Verlander’s return and Valdez’s no-no are no guarantees of an Astros surge

But the Astros might not need to dominate the rest of the season, as Bleav in Astros podcast co-host Jeff Balke tells us.


The Astros reacquiring Justin Verlander along with Framer Valdez’s no-hitter are recent signs of optimism that the team might make a surge and catch the Rangers in their division and make another deep postseason run.


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The Houston Astros are visiting the White House today to mark their 2022 World Series championship.

The ceremony comes after the Astros have won five of their last seven games, including Framber Valdez's no-hitter last Tuesday, the same day the team reacquired Justin Verlander.

So, things should be looking up, right?

Except, the ‘Stros, who have been chasing the Texas Rangers pretty much all season, actually lost ground as the Rangers won their sixth straight game on Sunday, after making some moves of their own.

There was this understandably constructed narrative that the defending champion Astros would surge and never look back after "Valdez/Verlander Day." And it's not like they've played horribly. However, a split with the Yankees leaves them 2.5 games behind the Rangers in the American League West.

So, maybe we need to separate that narrative from reality just a little bit. In the audio above, we do just that with Jeff Balke, who co-hosts the Bleav in Astros podcast and writes for Houston Press.

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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