The 2013 Houston Astros: already making history

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

It hasn't taken long for the 2013 version of the Houston Astros to make it into baseball's history book. And as you'd expect, not in a good way.

After being on the wrong side of Yu Darvish's near-perfect game on Tuesday, then being shut out again on Wednesday — this time 4-0 by Alexi Ogando and the Texas Rangers — the Astros have set a record for most strikeouts in a three-game series to start a season. And they don't even have Mark Reynolds on their roster!

The Astros K'd 43 times against the Rangers. That's 13 on Sunday (a game Houston won) and 15 on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Through three games, here are the Astros' individual strike-out leaders: Brett Wallace (8), Chris Carter (7), Carlos Pena (6), Rick Ankiel and Justin Maxwell (5 each). The next highest strikeout total through the first three games of a season is 34 by the 2007 Atlanta Braves. Five other teams have started a season with three straight games of double-digit strikeouts. The Astros can stand alone in futility if they make it four straight and strikeout 10 or more times Friday against the Oakland Athletics.

A positive spin for Rangers fans: this means your team set a record for strikeouts to start a season. In fact, all three Rangers starting pitchers set career highs for strikeouts against the Astros. Further, the Rangers are the first team in the "liveball era" to record 13 strikeouts in each of its first three games.

This comes amid news that owner Jim Crane bought the whole team iPads so players could study for upcoming games.

Obviously they need it.

The Astros are expected to be bad this season, we're talking 100-loss bad. Their low, low payroll is already great trivia fodder. Now this.

Here's a little more context: The entire NL East has 35 Ks coming in to Wednesday's games.

For record-chasing purposes, the 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks set the one-year strikeout mark with 1,529 (they did have Mark Reynolds). If the Astros keep striking out at this rate — which is unlikely, but, hey, let's have some fun here — they'd break the record by their 107th game of the year.

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