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What the San Francisco Giants Learned From the Astros Series

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 22: Third base umpire Mike Muchlinski signals a fair ball after Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants dives for and misses 2a ball hit by Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on May 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 22: Third base umpire Mike Muchlinski signals a fair ball after Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants dives for and misses 2a ball hit by Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on May 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON, TX – MAY 23: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros has words with Alex Bregman #2 after the third out of the inning against the San Francisco Giants at Minute Maid Park on May 23, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – MAY 23: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros has words with Alex Bregman #2 after the third out of the inning against the San Francisco Giants at Minute Maid Park on May 23, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Astros Are not a Pushover by Any Means…

After getting swept in the World Series by the White Sox in 2005, the Houston Astros went on a total tailspin. Don’t forget the three-year stretch where they lost 100+ games in consecutive seasons. It almost seems like a complete 180 from what the Giants were doing. But then, they started making all the right moves to position themselves to where they are now.

In the 2011 MLB Draft, the Astros got power-hitting George Springer with the 11th overall pick, and the next year they picked up Carlos Correa in the 1st round. The front office stuck with their guns on Jose Altuve, and kept putting extensions on his contract to ensure that he would stay with the Astros. Late last season, they bolstered their rotation by trading for Justin Verlander. In the off-season, they traded for Gerrit Cole, who surprised many with his red-hot start this season.

The point is, the Astros are not a team that you can just waltz by. There is a reason why they are World Champions. If anything, Wednesday’s game showed that the Giants can still play alongside some of the better teams. Although they made their mistakes, there are worse things than losing 4-1 to Justin Verlander and the Astros.

The Giants came into town missing their best two starters, and didn’t get pummeled in both games. Andrew Suarez still needs a lot of work and Jeff Samardzija needs to put a couple consistent starts together. The offense didn’t help them out much, but they were going against two of the best pitchers in the league. Scoring the way they did proved that this was a big challenge for them.

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