Bates: How did the Astros get so good, so quickly?

From Mike Bates at MLB Daily Dish on May 12, 2015:

As of tonight, well over half of the teams in the league will have played at least 32 games, so it’s fair to say that the season is about 20 percent done. That makes me incredibly depressed, of course. Where did the time go? It also makes me reflective and curious as to how the most surprising team in baseball, the Houston Astros, sits in first place at 20-12 and five games up in the AL West.

The Astros lost 416 games from 2011-2014, and had not had a winning season in six years. The slash and burn approach to team building taken by Jeff Lunhow and his baseball ops team took a serious toll on the team’s fan base, who refused to watch either at the park (the club was 12th out of 15 in attendance in 2014) or the TV (where the club actually earned a 0.0 rating at one point). There were definitely signs of improvement last year, but not enough to project Houston for more than a .500 club in 2015.

Yet here we are.

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Originally published: May 12, 2015. Last Updated: May 12, 2015.