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Thread: 2017 Houston Astros Season

  
  1. #1
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    2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros are money on opening day. Since MLB coerced new Astros owner Jim Crane into agreeing to jump from the National League to the American League as a condition of his purchase of the Astros the good guys have not lost on opening day. Three of those wins were behind Dallas Keuchel who was masterful last night. It was almost like being in a time warp and being swept back to 2015, Keuchelís Cy Young award winning season. He went 7 innings allowing zero runs on 2 hits, 2 BBís and 4 Kís. Keuchel got himself into a bit of a jam in the 4th loading the bases but it was just a case of Keuchel dangling a carrot in front of the Mariners and just before they grab it Keuchel jerked it away by getting former Ranger Leonys Martin to hit an inning ending ground out. Keuchel also flashed leather showing why heís a 3 time Gold Glove winner. He robbed Jean Segura of a bunt single by making a wonderful play bare handing the ball and throwing his hardest pitch of the night to first base to just beat Segura to the bag. Keuchel put two runners down in the 7th. After a leadoff walk to Kyle Seagar Keuchel began a double play on a grounder from the bat of Danny Valencia for the classic 1-4-3 DP. Martin came back up with two out and he hit a soft ground ball down the 3B line which Keuchel fielded and gunned Martin down at 1B. This ended Keuchelís night and just as I thought AJ Hinch was conservative with Keuchel after he got Keuchel hurt last year on opening day by letting Keuchel throw over 100 pitches on a freezing cold day at Yankee Stadium. Keuchel was a dog that day but he hurt his shoulder in the game and 1) he didnít tell anyone about it and 2) he was never right again all season. Rested and healthy again Hinch wasnít going to push his ace too far this time around. Keuchel threw 85 pitches on the night and it was up to the bullpen to do their job to complete the win. Luke Gregerson scoreless 8th allowing a hit and a walk to make everyone a little nervous but he got the job done. My behind puckered a little when Ken Giles entered the game to close out the 9th knowing he has been less than dependable since coming to Houston last year. Giles converted 15 of 20 saves last year and, in case you donít know it, .750 isnít good for a closer. Depending on a killer slider rather than his 100 mph fastball Giles struck out 3 of the 4 batters he faced to give Keuchel and the Astros the win by a score of 3-0.
    The Astros offense scored enough to give the home team the win and all 3 runs came off the bats of George Springer and Carlos Correa. Springer led off the game with a home run to left that gave the Astros a super early lead. Correa backed up Springerís round tripper with a monster mash over the train tracks in left to give Houston a 2 zip lead. In the 6th after Alex Bregman went from 1st to 3rd on a Jose Altuve single to center Correa hit a fly ball to center deep enough to easily score Bregman. 3 runs were all Houston needed on the night as a capacity crowd at the Juice Box went home happy.

    Lance McCullers is on the bump for Houston tonight while Seattle counters with RHP Hisashi Iwakuma. Hereís a preview from Astros.com.

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/mariners...b=,game=490119

    How cool was the opening ceremonies before the game? HOF Craig Biggio tossed out the first pitch to the newest HOFíer Jeff Bagwell. Itís never a disappointment to see those two on the field together. Talk about a time warp!

  2. #2
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Mark it down on your calendar, April 4th, 2017 the Houston Astros are alone atop the AL West. So far in 2017 Houston has shared or owned the outright lead in the division all season. That sounds pretty impressive doesnít it? It would mean a lot more if it was August 4th or September 4th but still. Okay, I know, itís only been two games but let me live, wonít ya? The Astros have a one game lead on the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Aís and they are 2 games up on the Mariners and the Rangers. On Monday night we found out that Dallas Keuchel is alive and well as he looked the Cy Young Award winner from 2015. Last night Lance McCullers laid to rest questions about his health issues by going 6 complete innings allowing 5 hits, 2 BBís and notching 7 Kís throwing 88 pitches on the way to getting his first ever win in April in his first ever start in April since heís been in the bigs. Between Keuchel and McCullers they have combined to allow just one run in 13 innings of work. Credit a rock solid bullpen too. On Monday Luke Gregerson and Ken Giles didnít allow a run in 2 innings combined of work and last night you just need to add Will Harris to that duo and you got 3 innings work with zilch runs given up. Ken Giles has two saves in two chances. Consider this as well, of McCullersí 5 hits allowed 3 were infield hits!

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...over-mariners/

    Charlie (Jimmy Fallon) Morton tries to keep the train rolling tonight as he makes his first ever start for the Astros after being signed to a two year deal this offseason. The Mariners will send LHP James Paxton against the Astros. Itís not like either team has been flashing some sexy offense with Seattle scoring but one run in the first two games but Houston isnít lighting up the scoreboard either. They have scored just 5 total runs in the first games. Mariners skipper Scott Servais credits the Astros pitching as being the reason the Mís have struggled and heís right. The Astros head man AJ Hinch doesnít have to answer questions about whatís wrong with the Astros offense because they won both games but if he did get asked Iím sure he would say the same thing Servais said. The Astros have had to contend with ďKingĒ Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma who are no slouches either. Hereís a preview of tonightís game.

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/mariners...b=,game=490133

    Ask anyone who know anything about baseball and they will acknowledge that the synergy between the catcher and the pitching staff is important for that staff to be successful. Having Brian McCann behind the plate could be the difference in whether or not the Astros staff is successful this season. Astros.com agrees and says so in this article about McCann from the website. BTW I spoke about Charlie Morton being a doppelganger for Jimmy Fallon but you stand McCann next to his backup Evan Gattis and youíd swear you were seeing double. Twin sonís from different mothers is surely the case with those two!

    Brian McCann in sync with Astros' pitchers

    Brian McCann in sync with Astros' pitchers
    HOUSTON -- Veteran catcher Brian McCann's presence behind the plate could have a bigger an impact than anyth...

  3. #3
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Three and Oh, Baby!!! It took 13 innings and almost 4 and half hours but Houston managed to win on a walk off 3 run home run to steal a victory away from Seattle who took the lead in the top of the 13th when Brad Peacock walked a run home to give Seattle a 3-2 lead. It looked like Houston was going to suffer their first defeat of the season. Then came the bottom of the inning. Mariners manager Scott Servais had depleted his bullpen using 7 relievers in the game and all Servais had left was rookie Chase De Jong who had never thrown a pitch in an MLB game until last night. It was an up and down inning for De Jong as he retired Yuli Gurriel on a comebacker to him to begin the inning. Then De Jong walked Evan Gattis. Josh Reddick followed Gattis by popping out in foul territory for the 2nd out of the inning. Nori Aoki singled down the left field line to give Houston runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs in the inning. Then it was George Springer at the plate. Springer had a truly excellent at-bat working the count full and thatís when De Jong made his only real mistake of the inning when he hung a curveball out over the plate and Springer jacked it into the Crawford boxes in the left field. Bam, game over! If youíre a fan of baseball in general you kind of feel bad for De Jong who was one strike away from locking down his first MLB save in his MLB debut. It wasnít to be and as an Astros fan I appreciate how De Jong must feel but, I the end, I donít care because MY guys won the damn ballgame! Final score was 5-3 and it guarantees Houston wins the opening series of the season. If you are a ridiculous, unrealistic homer then you say, ďGreat, 3 down and 159 more games to our perfect season!Ē knowing of course THAT is NEVER going to happen. Right now though, it isnít impossible that it could happen because we are still undefeated!

    http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/1628592...game_pk=490133

    Houston will try to pull out the broom tonight to try and complete the sweep of this opening series against Seattle. Joe Musgrove will make his first start of the season and his first start in April after making his MLB debut last fall when he was called up from AAA Fresno to replace Lance McCullers who was placed on the DL. Hereís a preview of tonightís game from Astros.com

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...game_pk=490146

    Last night the relief staff of both teams got some extensive use. Seattle used 9 relievers while Houston used 6. The saving grace for the Astros bullpen was the 4 innings of no-hit relief from last yearís long relief ace Chris Devenski. Charlie Morton gave Houston six innings as the starter allowing 2 runs on 5 hits as he gave Houston its third straight quality start. Tony Sipp and Michael Feliz combined to pitch a scoreless 7th which set the stage for Devenskiís heroics. Devenski had his changeup working to devastating effect. No hits, no runs and just one walk with 7 Kís. The Mariners had no chance at all against him. Will Harris pitched a scoreless 12th which left the 13th for Jandel Gustave. He is the only pitcher on the night for Houston to disappoint. He faced 3 batters in the inning and he walked all three when AJ Hinch pulled him in favor of Brad Peacock. Thatís just the situation a guy wants to come into a game, bases loaded and nobody out, but that was the situation Peacock found himself in. It didnít look good for Houston as Peacock promptly walked in a run to give the Mís a 1 run edge but Peacock settled down from there and retired the next three batters. The next batter up after the walk was Danny Valencia and Peacock got him to weakly fly out to shallow center field, not deep enough for Robinson Cano to score from 3B. Peacock then struck out Mike Zunino and Jared Dyson to end the inning. You have to give props to Peacock to escape a horrible situation and only allowing one run. So far both the starting pitching and, with the exception of Gustaveís appearance, the relievers have been rock solid.

    http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/1002579...game_pk=490133

  4. #4
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Man, I don't know why the Gods of Sport seem to be so offended by me but just I'm joking about the Astros going undefeated for the whole season they have to bring me down to earth by making them lose two straight. Lighten up people! You can't take a friggin' joke? Sheesh. So, Joe Musgrove pitched the finale against Seattle and he gave Houston yet another quality start going 5 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, 3 BB's and 2 K's. Okay, it wasn't technically a quality start since you need to go six innings but you know what I mean, right? Young pitcher in his first ever April start you gotta feel good about his performance don't you? So, the score was tied at 2 heading into the 9th with Ken Giles on the mound so, given his previous appearances, you have to feel good about the Astros holding them scoreless, right? Annnnnhhhh. Wrong! I still have trouble wrapping my head around how he gave up 2 runs on just 2 hits and a walk with no homers allowed. Especially since he led off the inning with a K on Kyle Seager. That's when things started going sideways for Giles. A walk to Danny Valencia, then he hit Carlos Ruiz who was followed by an RBI single by Jared Dyson. Giles then struck out Leonys Martin but the damage wasn't fully done yet. Jean Segura got an RBI single to center field that made the score 4-2 and Dyson moved all the way to 3rd on the play. With Mitch Haniger batting Segura stole 2B giving the M's men on 2nd and 3rd. Fortunately for the Astros Giles got Haniger looking for his 3rd K of the inning but that, my friends in how an inning can go to the dogs in a hurry. Houston's offense hasn't exactly been a thing of beauty as they only managed 2 runs in the series finale and just 12 in the series. That's 2 runs a game for the math challenged.
    Kansas City came to town to begin 3 games with Houston and the offense even took a step backward from where they were. They only managed 1 run in last night's 5-1 loss to the Royals. Don't blame the pitching, okay you can blame them a little, but not really Mike Fiers who DID have a quality start going 6 innings giving up 2 runs, 1 unearned on 5 hits including a solo HR to C Salvador Perez in the 2nd inning, 3 walks and 3 K's. The Royals got an unearned run because of an error by Evan Gattis who was catching last night to give Brian McCann a day off. That sixth inning was so close to being over after Fiers had loaded the bases on a walk, a single and another walk. That brought Paulo Orlando up and with a 1-2 count Orlando swung at a ball fouling it off but his bat hit Gattis' glove for the interference call which allowed Orlando to go to first forcing a run home. It was a tough break for Fiers who was in line for a win had the 2-1 score he had at the time held up. Jandel Gustave came on with 2 out in the 7th to bail Tony Sipp out of a jam but Gustave got into hot water of his own in the 8th. Gustave loaded the bases on a single, a walk and single. With the bases loaded and Raul Mondesi batting Gustave threw a fastball when Gattis was expecting a slider and that resulted in a passed ball for Gattis and another run for the Royals. One batter later Alex Gordon doubled down the left field line scoring two runs giving the Royals a 5-1 lead which became the final score. Maybe Altuve, Correa, Beltran and Bregman are suffering a post World Baseball Classic hangover but they and the rest of the Astros bats except for George Springer's has been limp as a wet biscuit. Hopefully, they will break out of the funk and start showing some of that preseason promise everyone expects out of this lineup.
    The Royals came in last night and got their first win of the season after dropping their season opening series against Minnesota 3 games to zip. So, Gods of Sport, it's too early in the season for y'all to act like a bunch of dicks so lighten up on the irony, okay? Keuchel pitches tonight so let's see you just sit back and allow the team to play up to its potential okay? Okay. Sheesh!

    Thank goodness the starting pitching has been good this week as the Astros made it through is first time through the rotation and every one of the starters did a good job highlighted by Dallas Keuchel's 3-0 shutout over Seattle to lead off the season. It's a good thing too because Collin McHugh suffered a big setback in his minor league rehab assignment in Fresno Thursday night. McHugh had a 27 pitch first inning which was bad enough in and of itself but when he came out to warm up for the 2nd inning he know something was wrong. McHugh ended up back in Houston on Friday to get evaluated for elbow and bicep tightness. McHugh had already been having arm issues during the spring which is why he was in Fresno doing some catchup on spring training time he missed because of "dead arm". Hopefully, the guys who are in the starting rotation continue pitching well in McHugh's absence. McHugh is currently on the 10 day disabled list but there is no timetable for his return to action.

  5. #5
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The week of April 3rd sure had its ups and downs didnít it? We began the 2017 season winning 3 straight behind good starting pitching, even better relief pitching and a couple of timely home runs, mostly by George Springer. Springerís walk-off 3 run dinger to win the Astros 3rd game of the season in the bottom of the 13th inning was one for the books. Dropping the series finale to Seattle on Thursday didnít seem like that big of a deal until Houstonís lack of offense started costing them games. They wasted a nice effort by Joe Musgrove on Thursday as well as a nice outing by Mike Fiers on Friday in the opening game of a series with Kansas City but Saturdayís game had to be a punch in the gut for the Astros.
    Dallas Keuchel made his second start and he went 7 innings again allowing just 2 hits and a single run on a home run by Royals 3B Cheslor Cuthbert in the 5th inning but he was in line for the win as he left the game with a 2-1 lead. The tag line on the Astros website read, ďBullpen canít finish Keuchelís strong outingĒ, but it wasnít the bullpen it was Luke Gregerson who had maybe the worst outing for a reliever ever. In just 1/3 of an inning of work he gave up 6 runs on 5 hits including 2 home runs and a walk zero Kís. It was ugly and it reminded me of 2015 when Keuchel could have had more than the AL leading 20 wins were it not for a leaky bullpen. He could easily have had 25 wins or more were it not for that. Also another bad memory of 2015 was Luke Gregerson having the occasional meltdown, mainly when Keuchel pitched. All the Astros needed for an unpleasant episode of dťjŗ vu was Pat Neshak to complete the flashback to the 2015 ALDS game against the Royals when the Astros blew a 4 run lead in the 8th inning and the Royals tacked on 2 more runs in the 9th inning to beat the Astros 9-6. To be fair on that day it was Will Harris and Tony Sipp who blew that game for Lance McCullers but the feeling was just the same Saturday. Total frustration.
    McCullers got the ball yesterday afternoon for his 2nd start of the season and he pitched pretty well though not as good as he did last Tuesday. He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits with no BBís and 10 Kís. McCullersí downfall came on two pitches, one to Royals cleanup hitter Salvatore Perez in the 1st inning with nobody on and another solo shot to Mike Mustakas in the 5th. McCullers went 7 innings giving up 3 runs which qualifies as a quality start but Iíll bet he didnít think so. Will Harris pitched a scoreless 8th and Chris Devenski came on in the 9th with the score tied 3-3. Devo got the first batters out but Royals DH Brandon Moss was up next when Devenski made a mistake on a 2-2 2-out pitch that Moss sent to the right-center field seats to give the Royals a 4-3 lead. To call KC a pain in the ass to the Astros is an understatement. The Astros tied the score in the bottom of the 9th on a Jake Marisnick dinger and it was all Devenski the rest of the way. As he had done on Wednesday night he went 4 innings of stellar relief pitching giving up just the one run to Moss. In the bottom of the 12th Houston finally got something going offensively. Springer led off the inning with a single. Alex Bregman laid down a sac bunt to get Springer to 2nd for the first out. Jose Altuve was walked intentionally and Carlos Correa hit into a fielderís choice that nailed Altuve at second. Houston had 1st and 3rd with 2 out and Brian McCann came up. McCann put together a nice at-bat working the count to 3-2 before finally getting a walk to load the bases. Up next was McCannís doppelganger Evan Gattis. Gattis was uncharacteristically patient at the plate but he had had a nice day at the plate on Sunday going 2-3 with 2 walks up to the AB in the 12th. Gattis admitted a pitch up in the zone that was probably ball four on a 3-1 count was a mistake and the grimace on his face at the time showed he knew he had helped KC pitcher Matt Strahm with that swing. It didnít matter however as the next pitch was high and tight for ball four giving Gattis a walk off walk to score Springer from 3rd and win the game. 5-4.
    Houston finished its first week of the season 4-3 splitting their opening home stand beating Seattle 3-1 and losing to KC 1-2. They are in second place behind the LA Angels who began the season 5-2 and the Astros are a game ahead of Oakland followed by Texas and Seattle brings up the rear. Houston travels to Seattle for their home opening series beginning today at 3:30 PM. It will be a rematch between Game 3 starters with Charlie Morton going for Houston and LHP James Paxton going for Seattle.

    Thank God for George Springer because without him the Astros may have gone 0-7 this past week. As the Astros offense struggles Springer put the team on his back and carried them this first week of the season. He became the first player ever in MLB history to hit 3 leadoff homers to begin a game in the first 7 games of the season. Springer homered in the very first AB of the season last Monday and he did it again yesterday to end the week. He also homered to lead off the game Thursday in the series finale against Seattle. In all Springer had 4 home runs last week including the walk-off 3 run shot to end Wednesdayís 13 inning game. Springer is hitting .250 so far with 7 hits in 28 ABís which include 4 HRís with 7 runs scored, 8 RBIís and 7 Kís. Houstonís offense has been stagnant to begin the season as they are 22nd in runs scored so far on the season. The Astros have scored a total of 21 runs and Springer has either scored or driven in 15 of them. It seemed like the offense was starting to come alive over the weekend at they started hitting the ball better they just canít seem to get one when it counts all except for George.

    The Astros got some bad news on Sunday. P Collin McHugh will miss over 6 weeks with a sore elbow, officially called a posterior impingement on his right elbow, McHugh will not even throw for 6 six weeks as the Astros are hoping the inflammation will calm down and go away. McHugh has never had any elbow issues before so the Astros are hoping this is just an anomaly that complete rest and rehab will take care of. McHugh was penciled in as the Astros No. 3 starter until the arm issues crept up during spring training.

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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Quote Originally Posted by eagle eye View Post
    The week of April 3rd sure had its ups and downs didnít it? We began the 2017 season winning 3 straight behind good starting pitching, even better relief pitching and a couple of timely home runs, mostly by George Springer. Springerís walk-off 3 run dinger to win the Astros 3rd game of the season in the bottom of the 13th inning was one for the books. Dropping the series finale to Seattle on Thursday didnít seem like that big of a deal until Houstonís lack of offense started costing them games. They wasted a nice effort by Joe Musgrove on Thursday as well as a nice outing by Mike Fiers on Friday in the opening game of a series with Kansas City but Saturdayís game had to be a punch in the gut for the Astros.
    Dallas Keuchel made his second start and he went 7 innings again allowing just 2 hits and a single run on a home run by Royals 3B Cheslor Cuthbert in the 5th inning but he was in line for the win as he left the game with a 2-1 lead. The tag line on the Astros website read, ďBullpen canít finish Keuchelís strong outingĒ, but it wasnít the bullpen it was Luke Gregerson who had maybe the worst outing for a reliever ever. In just 1/3 of an inning of work he gave up 6 runs on 5 hits including 2 home runs and a walk zero Kís. It was ugly and it reminded me of 2015 when Keuchel could have had more than the AL leading 20 wins were it not for a leaky bullpen. He could easily have had 25 wins or more were it not for that. Also another bad memory of 2015 was Luke Gregerson having the occasional meltdown, mainly when Keuchel pitched. All the Astros needed for an unpleasant episode of dťjŗ vu was Pat Neshak to complete the flashback to the 2015 ALDS game against the Royals when the Astros blew a 4 run lead in the 8th inning and the Royals tacked on 2 more runs in the 9th inning to beat the Astros 9-6. To be fair on that day it was Will Harris and Tony Sipp who blew that game for Lance McCullers but the feeling was just the same Saturday. Total frustration.
    McCullers got the ball yesterday afternoon for his 2nd start of the season and he pitched pretty well though not as good as he did last Tuesday. He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits with no BBís and 10 Kís. McCullersí downfall came on two pitches, one to Royals cleanup hitter Salvatore Perez in the 1st inning with nobody on and another solo shot to Mike Mustakas in the 5th. McCullers went 7 innings giving up 3 runs which qualifies as a quality start but Iíll bet he didnít think so. Will Harris pitched a scoreless 8th and Chris Devenski came on in the 9th with the score tied 3-3. Devo got the first batters out but Royals DH Brandon Moss was up next when Devenski made a mistake on a 2-2 2-out pitch that Moss sent to the right-center field seats to give the Royals a 4-3 lead. To call KC a pain in the ass to the Astros is an understatement. The Astros tied the score in the bottom of the 9th on a Jake Marisnick dinger and it was all Devenski the rest of the way. As he had done on Wednesday night he went 4 innings of stellar relief pitching giving up just the one run to Moss. In the bottom of the 12th Houston finally got something going offensively. Springer led off the inning with a single. Alex Bregman laid down a sac bunt to get Springer to 2nd for the first out. Jose Altuve was walked intentionally and Carlos Correa hit into a fielderís choice that nailed Altuve at second. Houston had 1st and 3rd with 2 out and Brian McCann came up. McCann put together a nice at-bat working the count to 3-2 before finally getting a walk to load the bases. Up next was McCannís doppelganger Evan Gattis. Gattis was uncharacteristically patient at the plate but he had had a nice day at the plate on Sunday going 2-3 with 2 walks up to the AB in the 12th. Gattis admitted a pitch up in the zone that was probably ball four on a 3-1 count was a mistake and the grimace on his face at the time showed he knew he had helped KC pitcher Matt Strahm with that swing. It didnít matter however as the next pitch was high and tight for ball four giving Gattis a walk off walk to score Springer from 3rd and win the game. 5-4.
    Houston finished its first week of the season 4-3 splitting their opening home stand beating Seattle 3-1 and losing to KC 1-2. They are in second place behind the LA Angels who began the season 5-2 and the Astros are a game ahead of Oakland followed by Texas and Seattle brings up the rear. Houston travels to Seattle for their home opening series beginning today at 3:30 PM. It will be a rematch between Game 3 starters with Charlie Morton going for Houston and LHP James Paxton going for Seattle.

    Thank God for George Springer because without him the Astros may have gone 0-7 this past week. As the Astros offense struggles Springer put the team on his back and carried them this first week of the season. He became the first player ever in MLB history to hit 3 leadoff homers to begin a game in the first 7 games of the season. Springer homered in the very first AB of the season last Monday and he did it again yesterday to end the week. He also homered to lead off the game Thursday in the series finale against Seattle. In all Springer had 4 home runs last week including the walk-off 3 run shot to end Wednesdayís 13 inning game. Springer is hitting .250 so far with 7 hits in 28 ABís which include 4 HRís with 7 runs scored, 8 RBIís and 7 Kís. Houstonís offense has been stagnant to begin the season as they are 22nd in runs scored so far on the season. The Astros have scored a total of 21 runs and Springer has either scored or driven in 15 of them. It seemed like the offense was starting to come alive over the weekend at they started hitting the ball better they just canít seem to get one when it counts all except for George.

    The Astros got some bad news on Sunday. P Collin McHugh will miss over 6 weeks with a sore elbow, officially called a posterior impingement on his right elbow, McHugh will not even throw for 6 six weeks as the Astros are hoping the inflammation will calm down and go away. McHugh has never had any elbow issues before so the Astros are hoping this is just an anomaly that complete rest and rehab will take care of. McHugh was penciled in as the Astros No. 3 starter until the arm issues crept up during spring training.
    they should give free beer if bregman or gurriel gets a hit

  7. #7
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    With all the crap in the world, specifically in Syria and North Korea, worrying about the Astros lousy hitting to begin the season seems pretty lame. Itís only the second week of the season for goodness sake so to get bent out of shape because they are in a team-wide slum. I looked at the box score from yesterday Houston is actually hitting lights out compared to the Mariners and a lot of those anemic batting averages of the Mís actually got better after banging out 11 hits against Houston pitching yesterday. Take it easy. Climb down off that ledge. Donít panic because it will be okay. Really it will, I promise. What Houston has traditionally done is have a lousier than lousy April and then come storming back. The problem is April has been such a miserable month for the Astros but April isnít the month Astros fans need to worry about, itís September. The Astros cost themselves home field advantage and a division championship in 2015 with a September meltdown going 11-16 after logging a plus .500 record the other 5 months of the season except July when they were exactly .500. Last year another September swoon cost Houston a shot at one of the AL wild cards. Now, Houstonís worst month of the season was a painful 7-17 record which took Houston 2 months to climb back into contention but the 12-15 September is what derailed them in the end. Right now Houston is 4-4 and .500 ball isnít terrible. Consider this, if Houston goes .500 on the season they will have a record of 81-81 but what if they win just 12 more games? Doesnít 93 wins look pretty good? Damn right it does and 93 wins is almost a lock to win a wild card spot if not the division. Iíll take that all day every day. I donít care if I predicted Houston will win 95 games, Iíll take my 93 and go home.
    All that said there isnít much to take away from yesterdayís 6-0 shutout loss in Seattle. Joe Morton went 5 innings allowing 3 runs, a couple of walks with a six Kís. He gave up 7 hits and he held the damage down by not allowing a home run but he did allow 3 doubles to the Marinerís hitters. Not a quality start but not terrible either. I think itís safe to say Morton was just okay yesterday but ďokayĒ doesnít cut it when your offense doesnít score. The only Houston hitter to get more than one hit was Carlos Correa who went 3-4 on the day but the trouble with that is nobody was on base ahead of him and none of his hits went for extra bases. Carlos Beltran went 1-4 behind Correa and it probably came after the only time Correa didnít get a hit. (I looked and thatís not true. Correa had men on 1st and 3rd with 1 out in the 8th when he struck out and Beltran followed with a weak pop out to 3B Kyle Seager in foul territory. This goes to a disturbing trend of Houston being unable to get a meaningful hit with men on base.) Itís just frustrating to wait for 5 month for baseball to crank back up again only to see your favorite team sit around spanking their monkeys instead of hitting the baseball.
    Houston has two more games in Seattle before getting Thursday off before heading into Oakland for 3 over the weekend. Itís crazy, 10 of Houstonís first 13 games are division games. Certainly a chance to get some early separation but right now Iíll settle for keeping pace.

    Joe Musgrove gets the nod for Houston tonight while Seattle will send Ariel Miranda to the bump. It will be the 2nd start for both and both starts come against each other. Houston lost Musgroveís last start but it wasnít Musgroveís fault. He gave up 2 runs in the 5 innings he worked as did Miranda. That 2-2 tie lasted until the 9th when Ken Giles gave up 2 runs to give the Mariners a 4-2 win. Hereís a preview of tonightís game from Astros.com.

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/astros-v...b=,game=490208

  8. #8
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    First off, very cool and funny and accurate reply to my post of Monday. Thank you!

    Btw, Bregman got a hit and his first RBI on the season last night. He actually got 2 hits last night as Houston beat Seattle 7-5 in a game that shouldn't have been that close. Ken Giles allowed 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th that likely made AJ Hinch's butt cheeks tighten up becore closing the door on the Mariners. Joe Musgrove got the win, his first of 2017, as Houston evened the series at one game apiece. Jose Altuve got his first RBI of the season last night as well. The Astros exploded in their half of the 6th inning with four runs to give Houston a 6-3 lead after beginning the inning on the wrong side of a 3-2 Mariners lead. Unlike Monday's game when Carlos Correa was the only bright spot in Houston's batting order he was the only one who didn't get a hit. That includes a 3 for 4 night from Yuli Gurriel. Hopefully, the bats coming alive is a sign the Astros offense is breaking out of its slump. The final game of the series is tonight at 9:10 PM.

  9. #9
    5-STAR POSTER Big T's Avatar








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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Is it just me, or does Bregman look a little soft? I don't know if he has put on some weight or his lack of AB's in ST due to the WBC has caused him to come into the season a little out of shape. Either way, they guy will hit and in fact had two hits last night. Gurriel just needs to learn that they don't throw 85% fastballs in MLB. Once he adjusts to hitting more off speed his bat will come around and his defense has been awesome at times. Dallas, Lance, and Joe have looked pretty amazing so far. The elements are there for the Astros, but due to the WBC they are still getting to know each other and the roles each player is going to play. Hinch is not helping matters by rolling out a different line-up every night.
    I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can't trust 'em.

    Jim Valvano

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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    You are so right Big T! Good to see you back!

    After looking like absolute crap on Monday night offensively the Astros bats have come alive the past two nights in chilly Seattle. The Astros banged out 16 hits last night on the way to a 10-5 (good buddy) win over Seattle to take the series 2 games to 1. It didnít look like it through 3 innings though as Mike Fiers looked more like he was pitching batting practice to the Mariners as he got the Astros down 5-0 after 3 innings. It all changed in the 4th as Houston sent 7 men to the plate scoring their first two runs of the night. It could have been more but Carlos Correa wasnít paying attention to 3B coach Gary Pettis as he ran past his stop sign and was caught in no-manís land between 3rd and home and tagged out to end the inning. BTW, a co-worker of mine made an observation that the Astros have made several base running errors in the early going which needs to be corrected pronto. Good teams donít beat themselves and bad base running is not a sign of a good team. That said, Houston put up two more in the 5th to make the score 5-4. Houston came back in the 7th and 8th innings scoring 3 runs in each inning to take the lead and extend it to the final 10-5 result. Fiers was pulled after just 4 innings but he had thrown 89 pitches and this early in the season that about what Hinch has been doing with his starters--theyíve averaged around 90 pitches as this is the 2nd time through the starting rotation. Tony Sipp replaced Fiers and I was holding my breath waiting for Sipp to suck again but he didnít as he pitched a scoreless 5th. Brad Peacock took care of the 6th and 7th innings in good shape and Luke Gregerson has recovered from that monumental meltdown in Dallas Keuchelís last start this past Saturday when he allowed 6 runs in 1/3 of an inning. He has pitched several times since then including last night and been fine. Jandel Gustave closed the game, it wasnít a save situation, but had I been awake when the game was on I would have again held my breath waiting for him to suck again. Like Sipp he didnít suck and he allowed a hit to lead off the 9th but he retired the next 3 batters on a groundout, a pop out and another groundout to end the game.
    Talk about wake up a sleeping giant, in the last two games Houston has left Seattle with the Mariners having to be feeling quite a bit shell shocked. Houston has definitely broken out of the slump at the have gotten 30 hits and scored 17 runs in the past two games. In the games prior to Tuesday night it seemed the only way Houston could score a run was if they homered. Houston couldnít string enough hits together to get a runner past 1B much less score a run. However, in the past two games Houston has hit just one home run the rest coming from Houston stringing together hits and working walks to get runners on base. Itís been good to seen. I know this sort of run production isnít going to happen all the time but after the first 8 games itís nice to see.
    How about George Springer? The guy hit his 4 HR to lead off a game on Tuesday night and pair that with the walk-off 3 run shot to win a 13 inning game against these same Mariners last week in Houston and youíre looking at a guy who has 5 home runs in his first 10 games! Not bad for a guy hitting just .233 so far. Houston is Ĺ game out of 1st in the AL West behind the Angels and they lead Oakland but a full game as they will get today off and begin a weekend series in Oakland Friday night.
    Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 0.64 ERA) will face Kendall Graveman (2-0, 2.08 ERA) on Friday night. Hereís a preview from Astros.com.
    http://m.mlb.com/gameday/astros-vs-a...0245,game_tab=

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    5-STAR POSTER Big T's Avatar








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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    What a fun game to watch last night! Looks like the Astros are starting to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and figuring out their roles. How about Altuve?! 11 straight plate plate appearances ending in him getting on base by either a walk or a hit. Three games in, Dallas looks like he is trying to reclaim his Cy Young award. So far the Stros are 3-1 on this road trip and the bats have finally came alive to match the pitching that has been solid all year. Good performance boys!
    I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can't trust 'em.

    Jim Valvano

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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    I agree completely Big T except for the part about solid pitching. Oh, the starters have been pretty good with only one shaky performance by Mike Fiers in his last start but there have been some crazy meltdowns by the bullpen. By and large the team just needed the offense to start performing and they have done that. The win last night, a 7-2 score in the series opener against the A's, was the 3rd win in a row for Houston. Their record is now 7-4 and they have reclaimed the AL West lead. The Angels are in 2nd followed by Oakland, Texas with a surprisingly struggling Seattle bringing up the rear. The standings don't mean too much right now as there is still a long, long way to go.

    Today is Jackie Robinson Day across the MLB landscape and to honor the first black baseball player in MLB history every player on every team will be wearing Robinson's number 42. It should be a great day honoring a great man.

    Lance McCullers (1-0, 2.77 ERA) takes the hill for Houston in a 3:30 CDT start time. Oakland will counter with Sean Manaea (0-1, 7.15 ERA).

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...picId=26688836

    As Big T mentioned in his post Dallas Keuchel has been money in his first 3 starts in 2017. He's gone 7 innings in each of those starts and if not for an inexplicable meltdown by Luke Gregerson in Keuchel's 2nd start against Kansas City Keuchel would be 3-0 instead of 2-0 as he is giving up less than a run per start so far. His ERA stands at 0.86. It's nice to see that all the issues that plagued him seem to all be in the rearview mirror.

    To say that two of the newest Astros have perplexing walk up music is an understatement. Last night in Josh Reddick's return to Oakland and his first as a Astro the A's played his walk up song when he was with them. If I gave you a year you would never guess his walk up tune is 'Careless Whisper' by George Michael. What, really? Most guys have a walk up song that is usually a rocker, generally from the heavy metal genre not a slow torch song. What was Reddick thinking when he decided on that song? Was his plan to lull the defense to sleep so he could sneak in an extra hit or two? I would love it if somebody asked him WTF he was thinking. Only slightly less disturbing is Norichika Aoki's song of 'Johnny B Goode'. At least that is an up tempo rocker for goodness sake. Aoki must like the song or else Norichka is Japanese for "Johnny".

    Okay, now for the legend of the Astros bats suddenly awakening after beginning the season with barely a pulse. It was this past Tuesday night in Seattle with the Astros trailing the Mariners 3-2 going into the top of the 6th inning. Starting pitcher Ariel Miranda retired the first two batters in the inning but he then walked Brian McCann and Marwin Gonzalez back to back. Miranda was pulled in favor of James Pazos. While Pazos was warming up Root Sports went to their sideline reporter Julia Morales who was about to eat a big soft taco but there was something else on Morales plate a lot less appetizing. Apparently Seattle's concession stands offer toasted grasshoppers as a side dish. This is not a cute name for something else it is real, honest to goodness toasted grasshoppers. Somebody, I think it was Seattle fans in the boxes above Morales position near the Astros dugout, must have goaded Morales into trying the not-so-delectable treat. She put a whole grasshopper in her mouth and bit down and that was it, she turned around and spit it out and did her best not to hurl on the spot. She got rid of the plate with the taco and grasshoppers and said she needed a drink of water as she embarrassingly laughed as the TV guys, Todd Callas and Geoff Blum, teased her about her situation. In the mean time Yulieski Gurriel was the next Astros batter and he had a 1-2 count when Pazos threw a 95 mph sinker that Gurriel swung at catching the ball with the bottom part of his bat. He drove the ball straight into the ground in front of home plate and it bounced so high that by the time it came down Pazos had no chance to get Gurriel at 1B. Next up was Evan Gattis with the bases loaded and he hit a sinking line drive to right field that Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger tried to make a sliding catch on. He got to the ball okay but instead of hitting in the pocket of his glove it hit on the thumb and caromed away. By the time Haniger got the ball in 3 runs had scored and Gattis was standing on 2B with a double. I was a little surprised the official scorer gave Gattis a hit instead of an E9 but that didn't matter as Houston captured the lead and went on to win 7-5. To add insult to injury the Astros got base hits by George Springer and Alex Bregman who drove in Jake Marisnick who pinch ran for Gattis for a 4th run in the inning. That was enough to win the game and give Joe Musgrove his first win of the season. It was pretty funny how disgusted Julia Morales was and Geoff Blum called Gurriel's hit a 'grasshopper chopper' that began the rally and thawed out the Astros bats. It was the first time all season Houston had sent as many as 7 men to the plate and the 4 runs scored was the most in any inning so far in the Astros season. I doubt very seriously if Julia Morales can be talked into putting a grasshopper in her mouth the next time the Astros go into a team wide slump but it sure worked on Tuesday night. As an aside, as disgusted as Morales was Todd Callas and guys in the Astros tv truck were munching grasshoppers like they were popcorn. The only guy not to try them was Geoff Blum who wanted no part of eating insects at all. Of course Blummer was roasted on twitter for being a wuss but he didn't care, he wasn't about to eat a friggin bug! And that is why Houston's bats have suddenly come alive in the past week.

  13. #13
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros were rained out yesterday in Oakland which is a bit of an unusual situation for Oakland to be rained out but it happened. The game will be made up in September as one of the games in that fall series will become a doubleheader. Itís a shame because Houston is on a bit of a roll and you hate to see anything stall their current momentum.
    The Astros won the series on Saturday afternoon beating the Aís 10-5 in a game that saw the Astros down 5-0 through 5 innings. On top of that, the Astros didnít even get a hit until the 6th inning. A sixth inning in which Houston began chipping away at that 5-0 lead scoring 2 runs in the 6th and 7th before ramping it up with 3 runs in each of the final two innings.
    Lance McCullers did not have it on Saturday, he just didnít. He gave up all five Aís runs in just 4.1 innings of work and I mean it was work. The day started out like it was going to be a dominating performance by McCullers as he shut down the Aís 1-2-3 in the 1st inning. That was just camouflage for what was to come. In the 2nd he gave up 3 runs as McCullers faced 7 Aís hitters throwing 35 pitches. In the 3rd McCullers faced six batters as he loaded the bases with a walk and a pair of singles to the first 3 hitters in the inning. He buckled down and retired the last 3 on a K, a groundout and another K. It was an awesome job not allowing a run when he was facing a bases loaded, no out situation. In the 4th McCullers looked like he found something in the 3rd as he retired the side in order with a thankfully quick inning but in the 5th whatever McCullers found he mustíve lost it in the dugout between innings. The Aís Trevor Plouffe led off the inning with a first pitch HR to center field extending the Aís lead to 4-0. Plouffe was followed by former Astro Jed Lowrie who hit a hard line drive to center field but it was caught by Jake Marisnick who got a nice jump on the ball to make the catch. McCullers then gave up a 1-0 HR to Khris Davis again to center field. Just like that the score was 5 zip and the Aís were tattooing McCullersí pitches right back up the middle of the field which means he wasnít fooling anyone. AJ Hinch had seen enough and just like that McCullersí day was done.
    Houston pitching beginning with Tony Sipp and ending with Luke Gregerson shut the door on the Aís offense with only Ken Giles giving up a run in the 8th. Itís interesting to see that it only took 2 weeks for Giles to pitch his way out of the closers role.
    The Astros had no solution for Aís starter Sean Manaea who went 5 inning throwing a no-hitter. Unfortunately for the Aís Manaea should have quit after 5 because he got into trouble in the 6th allowing the first 3 batters in the inning to reach base on walks. Carlos Correa reached 1st with the bases loaded on a fielding error by SS Adam Rosales when he threw away his throw to 2nd base with the ball ending up in center field. The bad throw allowed 2 runs to score and the flood gates opened after that. Manaea was relieved after Correaís at-bat and the Aís shaky bullpen did the rest. Manaea was tagged for 2 runs but the bullpen surrendered the other 8 over the next 3 innings. Houston has won 4 in a row and they won the series with the win on Saturday.
    Next up is a trip to LA-LA Land to play the Angels. Charlie (Jimmy Fallon) Morton (1-0, 4.63 ERA) will face off against the Angelsí Jesse Chavez (1-1, 5.40 ERA).

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/angels-v...b=,game=490288

  14. #14
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros lost for the first time in 5 games on Tuesday when Joe Musgrove had a couple of rough innings in his 3rd start of the season and the offense took a brief vacation except for a HR by Springer and another by Yuli Gurriel which gave the Astros a brief 2-1 lead in the game before Albert Pujols went all Brad Lidge on Musgrove when he jacked a 3-run HR over the train tracks in left field.
    The Astros got back on track on Wedneday night when Dallas Keuchel on the mound for Houston. The Astros starting rotation was jacked up a little because of the rainout in Oakland on Sunday. Charlie Morton was scheduled to pitch Sunday made his start on Monday getting his first Astros win. Musgrove made his start on Wednesday but Mike Fiers was skipped in favor of keeping Dallas Keuchel on his regular schedule. It looks like a really good move as Keuchel made it 4 times in 4 starts that Keuchel has pitched 7 seven innings and he led the Astros to a 5-1 win over the Angels. He got all the help he needed from Josh Reddick who went 3-4 on the night falling a single short of hitting for the cycle. Reddick tripled in the first inning and he scored when Jose Altuve singled him home giving Houston an early 1-0 lead. In the 6th inning Reddick led off the inning with a double and 3 batters later with 2 outs in the inning Evan Gattis singled Reddick home. In the seventh Reddick hit a 2 out, 2 strike 2 run homer to right that just did get over the wall. Houston is 10-5 on the season and they have opened a 3 game lead over the 2nd place Aís in the AL West. Only the Yankees have won 10 games in the AL while only the Diamondbacks and Rockies have won 10 games in the NL. I know itís still way too early to worry about records and who has won what but itís way better than the situation last season when the Astros had won just 5 games by this point on their way to a 7-17 April record.

    The Astros play an afternoon game today at 1:10 PM as Lance McCullers tries to put a real sticker of a start behind him. Last Friday McCullers only lasted 4.1 innings as he gave up 5 runs to spot the Aís a 5 zip lead. Fortunately Houston came roaring back scoring 10 runs in four innings to beat the Aís 10-5 which was great for McCullers because the offense saving McCullers from suffering his first loss of the season. As it is McCullers did not factor in the decision and he comes into todayís finale in the four game series against the Angels. If Houston gets the job done today that would give them 4 series wins in 5 tries which is not too shabby.

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/angels-v...b=,game=490331

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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros inserted Mike Fiers as the starting pitcher last night and it didn't look good early as he allowed one run in each of the first 3 innings giving the Tampa Bay Rays an early lead. Carlos Beltran got a solo HR in the 2nd inning but after 3 TB led 3-1. Houston came back in the 4th with 2 runs to tie the game. In the 7th Rays starter Alex Cobb loaded the bases with nobody out before being pulled in favor of Jumbo Diaz a huge guy with a so-so ERA but he had his split finger working last night. The first batter he faced was George Springer who promptly grounded sharply to 3B Evan Longoria. Longoria briefly bobbled the ball and it must have messed up his mind because instead of going home with the ball to get Brian McCann, which he had plenty of time to do, he ran to third base for the force out there. Longoria got the out but he also allowed the go-ahead run to score when he didn't have to. Jumbo Diaz got Josh Reddick to pop out in foul territory to Longoria and he got Altuve on a comebacker to the mound to end the inning. Diaz did a great job coming in with bases loaded and one out escaping with just one run scoring but if Longoria hadn't had a brain fart he would have escaped without any damage at all. Longoria could have been the goat of the game if the final score had ended up 4-3 but Houston tacked on 2 more runs in the 9th for insurance and the bullpen was amazing again going 4 innings allowing no runs on just one hit with no walks and 3 K's. Michael Feliz pitched a perfect 6th and ended up getting the win. Will Harris allowed a lead off hit in the 7th but he retired the next 3 in order. Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect 8th and Ken Giles picked up his 4th save of the season with a perfect 9th giving Houston a 6-3 win.

    Last night on the TV broadcast Kalas and Blum talked about the futility the Astros have had in Tampa. The Astros had not won a single game in Tampa since joining the American League 5 years ago and they have averaged, prior to last night, just 1.76 runs per game in Tampa. In fact Houston had not scored more than 5 runs in any game until last night's 6 runs. Maybe this will open the flood gates to more wins!

    Charlie Morton (1-1, 2.81 ERA) will start tonight's game while Tampa will counter with LHP Blake Snell (0-2, 2.76 ERA).

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/astros-v...b=,game=490356

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