The 2012 baseball season hasn't opened the way the Houston Astros had hoped, with the team sitting at a disappointing 50-105 — good for last place in the National League Central division. But the club isn't ready to give up and still hopes for a turnaround.
"Obviously this isn't where we want to be at this point in the season," said interim manager Tony DeFrancesco. "We've dug ourselves quite a hole. Now it's on us to dig ourselves out. We can't worry about any other team's records. We're just going to take it on us to win some games and let the chips fall where they may. There's no reason to give up on this season yet."
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow points to the example of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals as a model for his team.
"They were left for dead and weren't even considered to be in the wildcard chase," said Luhnow. "And what happened to them? They got hot in September and won the whole damn thing. Granted, we're a bit off the pace of where they were last season, but I keep telling the guys to grind it out and make their own destiny."
Outfielder J.D. Martinez, who leads Houston with 55 RBI, says the team has just been in a funk coming out of spring training.
"I can't explain it, we just haven't been playing well and haven't been doing the little things to win," he said. "But I've played this game long enough to know that everyone has slumps and everyone goes through down periods. That's how baseball is. We're just having a rough patch here in the first of five and three-quarters months of the season."
Closer Wilton Lopez, who has seven saves already this season, believes Houston's rough start to the 2012 campaign gives them an advantage.
"Teams are overlooking us right now, saying we're barely a Triple-A team, that we're one of the worst baseball teams ever assembled in the 100-plus year history of Major League Baseball," he said. "That gives us the opportunity to sneak up on people and really make our move over the final week of games."