Regarding the Astros’ Offense

The Astros’ offense has been bad. Really bad. That doesn’t mean they’ll continue to be this bad (and they shouldn’t be, with Lance Berkman coming back to replace someone who most certainly is not Lance Berkman), but still, have you realized how bad they’ve been?

If, for whatever reason, Houston were to continue this pace, they would be expected to score about 300 runs. Since 1980, two teams have scored fewer than 350 runs during a season, but both occurred in 1981 (the Jays and the Mets), which was a strike shortened season. The worst offense since 1990 scored 466 runs. The Astros can add an entire run to their per game average and still fall shy of topping that team, which happened to be the 1994 Pirates, who, as you probably aware, had the whole ‘league on strike’ thing to deal with.

Add a run and a half to the Astros’ per game average and they score 544 runs. That total would make them the worst offense of the 2000s, with the 2003 Dodgers, 2002 Tigers, and 2003 Tigers representing the only other teams to score fewer than 600 runs.

This is supposed to be about the Astros and inappropriately using prorating techniques to make something out of nothing, but I cannot mention the 2003 Dodgers without talking about them a little more. They won 85 games despite barely crossing the plate more times than a gluttonous atheist. How unusual is the Dodgers’ feat? Here are the win totals of the next nine lowest scoring teams of the 2000s:

2002 Tigers 55
2003 Tigers 43
2004 Diamondbacks 51
2002 Brewers 56
2004 Brewers 67
2004 Expos 67
2008 Padres 63
2005 Nationals 81
2008 Giants 72
2002 Pirates 72

Only the 2001 Mets, 2005 Padres, 2005 Twins, and 2005 Astros scored fewer than 700 – not 600 – runs and finished above .500. The 2009 Astros won’t be joining those teams, but at least Berkman is due back soon.

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