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Big League Stew

Awful Astros: Houston’s July was the fifth-worst month in baseball history

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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"Wha' happened?" asks Astros legend Mike Scott. (AP)

The month of July mercifully came to an end for the Houston Astros on Tuesday, but not before the team added one more defeat onto a pretty historic pile.

Tuesday's 10-1 loss in Milwaukee sealed a 3-24 record for the subpar 'Stros, who are making their 50th anniversary season one to forget. Not only was that mark the worst for a month in team history, it was also one of the worst months in baseball history. The Astros' winning percentage of .111 in July was the fifth-worst in baseball history:

1. 1988 Baltimore Orioles — 1-22 (.043) in April
2. 1916 Philadelphia A's — 2-28 (.067) in July
3. 1982 Minnesota Twins — 3-26 (.103) in May
4. 1943 Philadelphia A's — 3-26 (.103) in August
5. 2012 Houston Astros — 3-24 (.111) in July

All four of the other teams finished with at least 100 losses and it would seem the Astros are headed to 100-loss territory for the second straight season. As it stands they're on pace for 108 or 109 losses, which would be the most since the 2004 D-backs lost 111.

That's clearly not the way Astros fans would have preferred to stage their final year in the National League, but it's an unfortunate byproduct as GM Jeff Luhnow tries to pull off a down-to-the-studs renovation of the once-proud franchise.

Here are a few more facts about Houston's July to forget:

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Wandy Rodriguez was a happy man upon learning of his trade to Pittsburgh. (AP)

• Six major-league players were traded by the team during the month. According to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle, those six players were responsible for 75 percent of the team's opening day payroll.

• Yes, they were a little unlucky. Seven of the losses were by one run and another six were by two. Their Pythagorean winning percent was .243, which would have placed them at six or seven wins for the month.

• The team's run differential before the month was -53. When it finished the month, that differential stood at -126.

• The team's longest losing streak in the month was 12 games from July 17-28.

• This probably goes without saying, but their longest winning streak was one.

• The Mets (7-17) and Rockies (7-16) were also awful in July yet still won more than twice the number of games that the Astros did.

• If the Pirates win the NL Central, they'll have to send a thank-you note. Pittsburgh was 7-1 against Houston in July and are 9-2 overall.

• The Astros trail the Cubs by 9 1/2 games for fifth-place in the NL Central.

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