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Thread: 2017 Houston Astros Season

  
  1. #16
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Charlie Morton pitched really well for 5 innings. He got a little shaky in the 5th when he allowed 2 Tampa Bay runs to tie the game at 2. Houston came right back in the top of the 6th with a go ahead run that was all Jose Altuve. Altuve led off the 6th with a 4 pitch walk. Carlos Correa flew out to right field for the first out of the inning. Next up was Evan Gattis and during his AB Altuve stole 2nd base. Later in the same AB Gattis grounded out to 1B Logan Morrison. Morrison took the ball to the bag himself but he didn't count on Altuve's heads up base running. As Morrison sort of lollygagged his way to the 1B bag to get Gattis Altuve turned on the jets as he rounded 3rd and he easily scored to give Houston the 3-2 lead. It was just a beautiful thing to see as Altuve took advantage of the Rays' lethargy to score a very unlikely run.

    http://m.mlb.com/hou/video/v13123394...rt-baserunning

    The Astros offense was all Altuve and Gattis yesterday with both players getting their first home runs of the season. It was Gattis' groundout to 1st that enabled Altuve to score the, at the time, go ahead run. Houston only managed 3 runs as they fell back into their old pattern of not being able to score runs against Tampa in Tampa. The D-Rays looked like they were in the same funk until the bottom of the 6th. Charlie Morton allowed the first 3 batters to reach base before getting the hook by AJ Hinch after throwing 89 pitches. The bullpen still could have saved the game for Morton but it just didn't happen. The normally reliable Will Harris came on and he allowed 2 consecutive base hits to give the Rays a 4-3 lead. Harris got the next hitter, Corey Dickerson, to ground out to Altuve who gunned down Derek Norris at home to save a run. Harris was so grateful for Altuve's play he promptly gave up a 2 RBI single to Peter Bourjos, who will henceforth be named Peter Blowjob, that gave the Rays a comfortable 6-3 lead which they took to the house along with the victory tying the series at 1 game apiece.

    Some other bad news hit the Astros as George Springer came out of the game in the sixth inning after pulling a hamstring trying to leg out a ground ball to short. Springer was the 2nd half of a Rays twin killing and Springer came up limping as he got near the 1B bag. He will listed as day-to-day and he isn't in the Astros lineup this afternoon.

    The Astros have already begun their rubber game against the Rays. They have Joe Musgrove going this afternoon while the Rays have Matt Adriese. So far it's all Andriese as Tampa leads Houston 4-0 after just 2 innings! The hell of it is Musgrove shouldn't have given up squat. The Rays had Corey Dickerson leading of the game and he struck out but Musgrove had thrown a wild pitch on strike 3 allowing Dickerson to get to first base. Dickerson was followed by Logan Morrison who flew out to Jake Marisnick in center. Hitting third was Evan Longoria who grounded to Carlos Correa who took the force out at 2nd. Two outs that really should have been 3. That's when everything went south for Musgrove. Next up for Tampa was Brad Miller who tripled into the right field corner scoring Longoria. Stephen Souza connected on a 2 run homer to put the Rays up 3-0. Remember all this is taking place with 2 outs. Shane Peterson, Ricky Weeks Jr and Jesus Sucre hit back-to-back-to-back singles that also scored 1 more run to put the Rays ahead 4 zip. Joe Musgrove's bludgeoning finally ended when he got Tim Beckham to fly out for the final out.
    While I was writing this Carlos Beltran hit a 2-run homer to right field to edge the Astros close with the score now 4-2 with the Rays coming up in the bottom of the 3rd.
    I'll be glad when Houston gets the hell out Tampa. You've heard of the Black Hole of Calcutta? Well, Tampa is the Black Hole of Houston. I thought maybe the Astros had broken the Tampa jinx but it appears to have been just an anomaly.
    Last edited by eagle eye; 04-23-2017 at 01:40 PM.

  2. #17
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    I wasnít too hopeful that the Astros were going to win yesterday after the Tampa Bay Rays went up 4-0 after the first inning especially given the Astros history in Tampa. But danged it Houston didnít do it! They came back from 4 runs down to end up beating the Rays by a score of 6-4. It took Houston 10 innings to do it but they got it done. Maybe this team is different. Maybe this team, here in April, is showing signs of being special. So far after just three weeks of play in the 2017 season the Astros have come back from two 5-0 deficits and now a 4-0 hole. In one of the 5-0 games the Aís no-hit the Astros for 6 innings before losing 10-5 when Houstonís offense exploded in the final 3 innings. Yesterday, Houston began chipping away at the Rays lead beginning in the third inning when Carlos Correa hit a two out 2 run HR to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Rays. In the 5th inning Jose Altuve got his second homer in as many days when he hit a two out solo shot to inch even closer to the Rays making the score 4-3. In the Astros last AB they had providence shine on them. Yuri Gurriel led off the inning with a single and he advanced to 2B on a ground ball to 1B Ricky Weeks by Nori Aoki. Evan Gattis came in to pinch hit for Marwin Gonzalez. During Gattis AB Rays closer Alex Colome threw a pitch that wasnít played by catcher Jesus Sucre and it was ruled a passed ball. The passed ball allowed Gurriel to advance to 3B and he was driven home when Gattis hit a sac fly to right field. Gurrielís run tied the game at 4 and after Luke Gregerson retired the Rays in the bottom of the inning the game went to extra innings.
    In the 10th Brian McCann singled home Carlos Beltran who had walked to lead off the inning and he advanced to 2B on a single by Jose Altuve. That put the Astros up 5-4 and Yuri Gurriel came up with two outs in the inning and singled home Altuve to give Houston itís final 6-4 lead. Ken Giles came in and he got his 5th save on the season. This is the first series Houston has won in Tampa since 2008.

    The past week was a good week for the Astros. They went 5-2 this past week beating The Angels in 3 of 4 games at home and Tampa Bay in 2 of 3 games on the road. They are the first team with 11 wins in the majors and they are one of just 3 teams that have 13 wins and they are the only AL team with 13 wins. The Astros are currently in 1st place in the AL West 3 games ahead of 2nd place Oakland. Their starting rotation has been solid with Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers leading the way. Keuchel especially, with his 3-0 record in 4 starts. Keuchel has also gone 7 innings in each of his 4 starts which is phenomenal. McCullers had one shaky start last week but he rebounded with a strong start against the Angels last week going 6.2 dominant innings allowing no runs on 3 hits, 3 BBís and 8 Kís. The Astros offense is coming to life as well after a slow start to the season. The Astros have a team batting average of .266 which is the 3rd best in the majors. The biggest revelation is that Houston has the 3rd FEWEST strike outs in baseball. Only Boston (117) and Pittsburgh (127) have less than Houstonís 132 Kís. This a HUGE change from recent years when Houston was at, or near, the top in the MLB with most Kís. This ability to avoid striking out and putting the ball in play surely has a lot to do with Houstonís ability to overcome deficits and win games they would have lost in the past.

    Carlos Correa got hit in the hand by a pitch last Sunday and he missed several games last week. He returned for the Tampa series and he got a big HR in yesterdayís finale. George Springer pulled a hamstring on Saturday night and he missed yesterdayís game and he could miss a couple more as he is listed as day-to-day. There will be this last week in April but even if Houston goes oh-fer this week they would still have a nice 1st month of the season. I donít think they will go oh-fer but they have 3 games against Cleveland in Cleveland and 3 at home against Oakland.
    Houston begins the series against Cleveland with Dallas Keuchel (3-0, 0.96 ERA) making his 5th start of the season as Cleveland counters with RHP Josh Tomlinson (1-2, 11.68 ERA).

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/astros-v...b=,game=490393

  3. #18
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Is it really all that simple? Does baseball come down to pitching in final analysis? If you look at the Astros in their first two games with Cleveland it sure seems that way.
    On Tuesday Dallas Keuchel got his fifth start of the season and he again pitched at least 7 innings. Had he stopped after seven he would have only given up one run on 4 hits. The one run came on a solo HR by Austin Jackson with one out in the 3rd inning. Keuchel didn't stop at 7 inning of work, no, he went the distance allowing 6 hits and 2 runs, the 2nd run coming off a solo HR by Michael Brantley to lead off the 9th. It was Keuchel's 10th career complete game and his first of 2017 and it runs his record to 4-0 on the season. If not for Keuchel's 117 pitch gem all the accolades would go to Josh Reddick who was the position player star of the game. Reddick drove in 3 of the Astros 4 runs on the night he also made the defensive play of the game robbing the Indians Jason Kipnis drove a ball to deep center field. Reddick, playing center field because of injuries to George Springer and Jake Marisnick tracked the ball to the wall and he timed his jump perfectly snatching the ball just as it was about to clear the wall. Nice start to a series with the AL representative to last season's World Series.
    Game 2 featured Lance McCullers and he didn't fare as well against the Tribe. He gave up 3 runs in the first and another 2 in the 5th as he gave up 5 runs on 7 hits, 3 BB's and just five K's. McCullers just wasn't very good last night. Despite it all he did only give up the five runs and Houston has come back from big leads before. It wasn't going to happen last night because in the sixth Tony Sipp came in for McCullers who threw 90 pitches in his 5 innings of work. Sipp immediately got into trouble allowing a leadoff single and he advanced the runner 90 feet when he uncorked a wild pitch followed by a sac bunt to get the runner to 3rd with one out. Sipp then walked the next batter on 4 pitches. AJ Hinch had seen enough and he gave the hook to Sipp and brought in Michael Feliz to bail Sipp out. Trouble was Feliz didn't follow the script Hinch had in mind. During the AB of his first batter Feliz threw a wild pitch that advanced the runner from 1st to 2nd. The runner on 3rd was forced to stay so Feliz had men on 2nd and 3rd with just one out. It looked like Feliz might escape after he struck out that first batter to get to 2 outs but he gave up a 2 run double to Carlos Santana who Oye Como Va'd into 2B. Feliz retired the next batter but the extra 2 runs tacked on to the 5 McCullers gave up was just too much to overcome. Houston had pulled to within one run on a 2 run HR by Evan Gattis in the 4th and another 2 run dinger by Brian McCann in the top of the sixth. Houston got 2 more runs in the 8th on a 2 run double by Marwin Gonzalez but that's as close as Houston could come the Indians on the night as they lost 7-6. Houston squandered a golden opportunity in the 7th inning to score some runs when the Astros had the bases loaded with just one out but Carlos Correa struck out at the end of an 8 pitch AB and Brian McCann struck out right behind Correa to end the Astros threat. A base hit would have likely resulted in 2 runs and could have led to a big inning. It's quite disappointing that Correa and McCann failed to even make contact.

    The Astros are at a big disadvantage right now as they have several key position players out of action. George Springer pulled a hamstring in Tampa over the weekend and he's been out of action except for a brief appearance on Tuesday night which I will detail in a sec. Jake Marisnick is on the 7 day concussion DL because he ran head first into the wall in center field in Tampa on Sunday making a catch in that series finale. Teoscar Hernendez was called up to replace Marisnick and he came into the game as a defensive replacement for Carlos Beltran on Tuesday night and with one out in the 8th inning he and Jose Altuve were tracking a fly ball down in shallow right field when they collided. The collision resulted in both players coming out of the game and even worse caused Hernandez to go the DL with a bad contusion on his leg and Jose Altuve missed Wednesday's game as a precaution after he received a blow to the head in his collision with Hernandez. It is not known for sure but Altuve could be back in the Astros lineup tonight after being cleared for a concussion. He does have a stiff shoulder as a result of the collision. Tony Kemp was called up from AAA to replace Hernandez and he played last night. With the injuries to Springer and Marisnick Josh Reddick was tabbed to play center field and hit lead off for Houston the past two games in Cleveland. Reddick will likely get the call to do it again in the series finale tonight.

    Mike Fiers (0-1, 5.40 ERA) will go for Houston tonight while Cleveland counters with Kory Kluber (2-1, 4.28 ERA). Fiers wasn't terrible in his last start in the opening game in the series with Tampa last Friday. He gave up 7 hits and 3 runs in 5 innings of work in a game that Houston came back to win late but he needs to be better against a free swinging and potent Cleveland offense.

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/astros-v...b=,game=490421

  4. #19
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Houston's pitching let them down again last night. Mike Fiers only lasted 4.1 innings and 74 pitches as he gave up 5 hits and 3 walks to along with just 3 K's. Despite constantly being in trouble last night Fiers still only gave up 2 runs on 2 solo HR's. Edwin Encarnacion spanked a homer to left in the 2nd inning and he gave up another HR to Abraham Almonte in the 5th that made the score 3-2 in Houston's favor at the time. After giving up the HR to Almonte and a double to Yan Gomes followed by a groundout by Carlos Santana that advanced Gomes to 3rd base when AJ Hinch brought in Chris Devenski. Devenski got out of the 5th without any problem and he also breezed through the 6th and it looked like he would lock down the 7th until Francisco Lindor golfed a low breaking ball to straight away center field with a man on that gave the Indians a lead they never relinquished as they beat the Astros 4-3 to win the series. This was the first road series the Astros has lost this season so it's been a pretty good run to begin the season. The HR by Lindor wasn't a mistake by Devenski. The pitch was down nearly out of the strike zone on the inner half of the plate. The pitch was probably just about where Devenski wanted it but sometimes the batter just wins and that is what I believe happened there. It just seems like left handed hitters just thrive on inside and down pitches. Lindor reminded me of Ken Griffey Jr when he made that swing and I'm not saying Lindor has Griffey-like power but on that particular pitch he got it all.
    Another thing about the series, Houston didn't have their All Star 2nd baseman for one game and they didn't have their star right fielder and it didn't help that their All Star SS is in the middle of a huge slump. That isn't all because their next best center fielder is on the DL with a concussion and the guy the Astros brought up to replace Jake Marisnick went on the DL after colliding with Jose Altuve in the 8th inning in Tuesday's game. The Astros were not even close to full strength and they lost 2 of 3 games to Cleveland, a World Series participant just a few month ago, by one run in both games. Also they lost on the road. IMO the Astros lost the game in the 1st inning when they loaded the bases with just one out and failed to score a run. Josh Riddick led off the game with a double and Nori Aoki singled to give Houston runners on the corners. Carlos Correa had a horrible AB striking out on 3 pitches and he was followed by Evan Gattis who worked a walk to load the bases. Yuli Gurriel flared a pop fly to right field that was ruled a catch by the umpire but AJ Hinch felt Almonte trapped the ball and didn't really catch it. The challenge was upheld by review and Gurriel was the final out of the inning.
    The Indians Corey Kluber went 7 innings despite giving up 8 hits and 4 walks to the Astros. What bailed Kluber out were the 10 K's he also recorded. All in all a disappointing series loss to a good team but nothing to be ashamed of either given how many starters and primary backups were out of the lineup last night.

    Houston returns home for the final series of April beginning tonight against the Oakland A's. Right now Houston owns a 4 game lead over the 2nd place A's heading into tonight's game. Charlie Morton (1-2, 4.29 ERA) goes for Houston while the A's counter with Jharel Cotton (2-2, 4.76 ERA) in a 7:10 start at the Juice Box.

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/athletic...ox,game=490439

  5. #20
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    It was a big night for the Astros as they returned home after and 6 game road trip in which the went 3-3. It didn't look good early as Astros starter Charlie Morton got tagged for 3 runs in the first inning on a Kris Davis 3 run homer. Davis came up again in the 3rd inning and he went deep again smacking a solo shot into the seats. Houston came back in the bottom of the third in a rally that included a balk by A's starter Jharel Cotton and a catcher's interference by Stephen Vogt on Josh Reddick helped the Astros score 3 runs of their own to tie the game at 3 after just one inning of play. Vogt was again guilty of catcher's interference and again it was with Josh Reddick at the plate. It was the first time in 2 seasons that has happen. Ironically, it was Vogt who was guilty of catcher's interference against Jacoby Ellsbury in a game in 2015. It's a wonder that Vogt didn't end up with a couple of broken fingers especially after the 2nd time it happened when Reddick knocked Vogt's mitt completely off his hand. In spite of Charlie Morton's troubles with Kris Davis he actually picked really well. As AJ Hinch remarked after the game it was an evolution for Morton during the game and by the end of the 7th, and final inning that Morton pitched, he had become a much better pitcher going from a guy who didn't seem to know where the ball was going as it came out of his hand to a focused and deadly pitcher who was spotting his pitches well. Hinch even noted that Morton's velocity actually increased and his breaking balls had more bit as he piled up innings. Last night was only Morton's 5th start in 2017 and he missed almost all of 2016 with a bad hamstring. He made only 4 starts with the Phillies when he pulled his hamstring legging out an infield hit. He pulled it bad enough it caused him to miss the rest of the season. So, maybe we can forgive Morton for his early struggles as this is his first action in over a year. He is learning to pitch again and if last night was any indication we are in for some good things going forward. Morton recorded a career high 12 K's last night as he went 7 complete innings shutting down the A's after Davis' 3rd inning homer.
    Of course Morton was the beneficiary of some good offense by the Astros that was sparked by a George Springer hustle play in the 4th inning that enabled Evan Gattis to score from 3rd base with 2 out. Springer hit the ball in the hole between SS and 3B but A's SS Adam Rosales made a really good jump-throw that Springer barely beat to the bag. Any worries about Springer's hamstring had to laid to rest with his all out hustle to 1B.
    Yuli Gurriel and Evan Gattis both went 3-4 on the night. Houston beat the A's without depending on the home run as the only round tripper was hit by Gurriel in the 7th inning. Gurriel hit a solo shot that extended the Astros lead to 7-4 at the time. Carlos Correa showed signs that he is coming out of his slump as he went 2-5 with 2 RBI's. It was a nice win for Houston who scored 9 runs in their 9-4 victory. It was a season high runs scored for 2017 at home as the Astros were averaging just 3 runs a game at home this season.

    Next up the Astros will send Joe Musgrove (1-1, 5.79 ERA) to face the A's who will have RHP Andrew Triggs (3-1, 2.42 ERA) against an Astros lineup that is killing right hand pitching so far this season.

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/athletic...ox,game=490454

  6. #21
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Saturday night The Astros offense took the night off with the help of a journeyman pitcher for the A's Andrew Triggs. Did I say journeyman? Well, Triggs is 28 but he only has only pitched in 29 games in the big leagues with just 11 starts. The thing is he is having a nice year so far as he's sporting a healthy 4-1 record including the win on Saturday night. The entire Astros lineup was totally befuddled by Triggs constantly taking fastballs for strikes and whiffing at his slider that most of the time wasn't even close to a strike was frustrating to watch. Maybe not as frustrating as if was for the Astros hitters but I'll bet it was pretty close. The shame of it all was the offense wasted a really nice job by Astros starter Joe Musgrove. After a disastrous 1st inning in Tampa last weekend where he gave up 4 runs he settled down and pitched 6 innings for Houston in a game they eventually came back and won. On Saturday night Musgrove went 6.1 innings and why AJ Hinch pulled him after one out in the seventh and just 86 pitches I couldn't say but he could have finished 7 easily.
    Musgrove seemed to have a light go on in Tampa and he showed resiliency and toughness coming back after a rough start. Musgrove is going to be okay and it doesn't matter that he lost the game Saturday night he is learning to be a major league pitcher and he's having success in the process.
    Dallas Keuchel pitched in a beautiful sunshiny day with the Juicy Box rook open. Keuchel made it 6 straight starts where he has gone at least 7 innings and he and Roger Clemens are the only pitchers in Astros history to win 5 games in April. That you very much Luke Gregerson, if not for a huge meltdown where you blew a save chance in Keuchel's 2nd start, Keuchel would have gone 6-0 in April and own the franchise record for wins in April. Fast forward to this afternoon and Gregerson came in with two outs in the 8th inning and he promptly fucked up Keuchel's shutout and he allowed a baserunner Keuchel allowed when Adam Rosales singled to left after Keuchel recorded the first two outs in the inning. Gregerson could not find the strike zone to save his life as it took him 3 batters to record one out. He walked Yonder Alonzo on 4 pitches which also allowed Adam Rosales to steal 2nd and a wild pitch later in the AB got Rosales to 3rd. Alonzo was followed by Ryon Healy who singled to center field scoring Rosales who was Keuchel's responsibility. Kids, tell Luke Gregerson he's a douche. Luke Gregerson you a douche. Great, now you kids go play chicken in traffic. Gregerson did get Khris Davis to ground out to 2B to end the inning but the damage to Keuchel's line score had been done. The Astros were leading 7-1 heading into the 9th and Brad Peacock went out to shut the door on the A's. Peacock has pitched well up until togay when he could not find the strike zone with a road map or a seeing eye dog. Peacock faced six batters in the inning and only got 2 out and he allowed his first run of the season and had the bases loaded when Hinch gave him the hook. Ken Giles came in and got Yonder Alonzo to fly out to right field to end the game.
    Houston won the series 2 games to 1 and they finish April winning all but 2 of the series they played during the month. Houston ends the month of April in 1st place in the AL West with a very healthy 16-9 record, the best in the AL. The have a 3 game lead over 2nd place LA Angels and 5 games ahead of 3rd place Oakland and Texas. It's a nice start to the season and when the some of the Astros slump the other guys in the lineup are picking them up with just a couple of exceptions. This is a good team and with the emergence of Charlie Morton and Joe Musgrove even the back end of the starting rotation looks like it could be really formidable.
    The only negative for Houston is absence of Collin McHugh who is on rehab for a nerve issue in his right elbow. Hopefully, he will be able to start throwing soon but the rotation is holding up fairly without him. It makes the failure of obtaining Chris Sale in free agency even more painful especially since Sale is kicking ass and taking names for the Red Sox. How can you say he is kicking ass for Boston when his record shows anything but? He is currently 1-2 in five starts which is hardly kick-ass but when you look at his 1.19 ERA you can see he just hasn't gotten any run support from his offense. Sale has allowed just six runs, 5 earned in 5 starts and he's allowed just one HR in those 5 starts. So, yes, I'd say Sale is kicking ass for Boston it's just that Boston is not kicking ass for him.
    Oh well. I am happy with this Astros team and I don't foresee any prolonged slumps because of the lineup being so strong. If the pitching continues to hold up all I have to hope is that the September swoon that has hit this team the past two seasons keeps the hell away from Houston.

  7. #22
    5-STAR POSTER Big T's Avatar








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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Here we go! This four game series versus the Rangers is extremely important. I keep hearing "it's just another series" and "it's not that important in the long run," but given the recent history against the Rangers and the Astros inability to beat them this series is huge. This will set the tone for the fan base as to whether or not this is truly a different Astros team or if it's going to be more of the same. Buy not only that, it sets the tone for the players in the clubhouse. It is completely demoralizing for these players to get beat over and over by the Rangers. A series win or at least a 2-2 split will allow the Astros players and fan base take a deep breath and say, "this year can be different." A series lose or sweep would be utterly demoralizing.
    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

  8. #23
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros beat Texas last night in a contentious affair that included a bench clearing confrontation in the 6th inning. No punches were thrown, it was just a bunch of macho posturing mainly by the Rangers. It all began when Rangers starter Andrew Cashner hit Jose Altuve in the 1st inning. Cashner also led off the 3rd by hitting Yuli Gurriel. Neither plunking looked like it was on purpose, but the Astros werenít happy with Cashner nonetheless. In the 4th inning the Rangerís Mike Napoli hit a towering home run to straight away center field which gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead at the time. The next time Napoli came to the plate Astros starter Lance McCullers threw a pitch behind Napoli. The pitch didnít hit him but Napoli acted like a little bitch about it and started talking smack to McCullers who talked smack right back at Napoli. The rivalry between the Rangers and Astros has gotten pretty heated since Houston joined the AL and it hasnít helped that Texas has gotten the better of Houston most of the time. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the teams went back to playing baseball. McCullers came back and retired Napoli on a swinging strike to end the Rangers 4th inning. The Astros still trailed the Rangers 2-1 as they came to bat in the bottom of the 7th but when the final out was recorded the Astros had batted around and scored 5 runs to take a 6-2 lead. Among the hits by the Astros were doubles by Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel that drove in all five runs in the inning.
    Lance McCullers did pitch a nice game going 6.1 innings allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits with 2 walks. He also punched out the Rangers 10 times in the game. He came out in the 7th after throwing 105 pitches. Chris Devenski did his magic as he finished off the 7th for McCullers and pitched a scoreless 8th that ended up earning him the win. Michael Feliz came on in the 9th but he had his second straight poor outing logging one out while putting two runners on base before AJ Hinch had seen enough and gave Feliz the hook in favor of Ken Giles. Giles faced Elvis Andrus who put up a good at-bat taking Giles to a 3-2 count and battling through a 9 pitch AB before Giles got Andrus to ground into a game ending double play. Houston won the first of a total of 19 games these teams will play this season. Personally, I would love it if Houston got some payback and go 19-0 against the Rangers this season. I donít like the Rangers in general but I really donít like Redneck OH-der and Carlos Gomez. IMO they are twin dicks from different mothers. It wonít be easy to achieve 19-0 when you have a pitching matchup the Astros face tonight. Cole Hamels goes for the Rangers while the Astros send Mike Fiers to the hill. There hasnít been a pitch thrown and the Rangers have the advantage.

    Jake Marisnick was active and played in the game last night. After brief absences by Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, George Springer and Marisnick the team is back to full strength and it comes none-too-soon as the Astros face their nemesis, the Texas Rangers, in a four game series this week. Houston took Game 1 but there are a lot of games left to play and the Rangers have owned Houston since the Astros made the move the American League. Houston would love to turn the tables on the Rangers and Astros fans would love it too.

  9. #24
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros won the series against the Rangers but I was sure hoping for a sweep. Game 4 of the series started badly with Astros starter Joe Musgrove giving up 4 runs in the very first inning and another run in the 2nd so Houston was down 5-1 before anyone knew what the heck was going on. After 7 innings the Astros had scratched and clawed their way back into the game to where they were down just two runs with score standing at 6-4. Then came Luke Gregerson. In the past week he has been pretty awful and he did manage to make it through the entire inning but not without giving up 3 more runs effectively slamming the door on his own team. The Rangers took Game 4 in the series yesterday by a score of 10-4 but it wasnít as if Gregerson was the only problem the Astros had. The offense was hitting the ball but they didnít do when it counted. Houston was 2-14 with RISP and they stranded 16 base runners in all. Houston had the bases loaded in the 7th with less than 2 outs and only scored one run in the inning. They had two men on with less than 2 outs in the 8th and didnít score at all. The Astros got their leadoff man in every inning except the 5th and the 9th on base. The pitchers didnít show up either. Besides Musgrove and Gregerson, Brad Peacock and Michael Feliz gave up a run each. Peacock pitched 2 innings in relief of Musgrove and Feliz pitched the 9th. The only Astros pitcher who didnít suck was Tony Sipp. In his inning of work Sipp didnít allow a run, a hit or a walk with one K.
    After Wednesdayís game Houston was the only team with 19 wins and they went into Thursdayís game with the chance to be MLBís first 20 win team. That didnít happen and the Washington Nationals won their 19th game yesterday. Itís kind of ironic that the two teams with the best record in baseball began spring training sharing their brand new facility at the Park of the Palm Beaches. Could we be looking at the two World Series teams? That would be a heckuva story.

    Speaking of the Nats, they will get the first shot at being the first team in the bigs to win 20 games when they face the Phillies at 6 oíclock this evening. The fact is, by the time the Astros game in Los Angeles against the Angels begins that game should be over. Right now the Angels are in 2nd place in the AL West so Houston needs to take care of business there beginning tonight through Sunday. The Astros played a 4 game series in April taking 3 of the 4 games. In April Houston played a total of 25 games 16 of which were division games. The Astros played just 3 series outside the AL West and those were with Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Cleveland. After playing the first seven games of May against division foes the Astros will not play another division game until June 2nd when they travel to Arlington for Round 2 with the Rangers.

    Tonight the Astros will send Dallas Keuchel to the mound for his seventh start of the season. Keuchel was named AL Pitcher of the Month for April this week after going 5-0 in six starts with a 1.21 ERA. Keuchel has also gone at least seven innings in each of his 6 starts. I believe we can declare Keuchel healthy and good to go by now. Keuchel even pitched a complete game throwing 117 pitches in beating the Cleveland for the Astros only win in that series. AJ Hinch has really put a limit on Keuchelís pitch count, the only other start he let Keuchelís pitch count get to triple digits was an even 100 pitches against the Aís in Oakland in his third start of the season. I think Hinch learned a lesson as he let Keuchel to throw 106 pitches in freezing weather in the season opener in Yankee Stadium. Keuchel hurt his shoulder in that start and he was never the same pitcher for the rest of 2016 going 9-12 for the season and he never pitched again after August 27th last season until opening day this year. The two biggest worries about the Astros coming into the season was the health of Keuchel and Lance McCullers and both appear to be healthy. So far Keuchel is pitching to the level of his Cy Young award winning season in 2015. McCullers made one small change in his mechanics in the offseason and heís throwing the ball better than ever. The thing about McCullers is can he maintain his level of play while he continues to learn how to be a major league pitcher. The same can be said of Joe Musgrove in that he has all the tools but heís just beginning to learn HOW to pitch in the bigs. I would love to see Houston go on a 10 game winning streak but so far the offense isnít as consistent as you would like and the pitchers except for Keuchel need to stop giving up 4 and 5 runs in the first inning all the time. First up, the Angels. Letís take care of business in LA this weekend behind Keuchel, McCullers and Fiers.

  10. #25
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Game 1 against the Angels was a cake walk for 8 innings. Dallas Keuchel was again magnificent allowing just two runs on two solo home runs in those 8 innings. The Astros were leading heading into the bottom of the 8th 4-2 but they pushed across two insurance runs to take a 6-2 lead into the last inning. At that point Keuchel had thrown 95 pitches and looked unstoppable but after 4 times through the Angels lineup they either figured Keuchel out or Keuchel was just tired and lost his mojo. Either way the first three batters singled loading the bases with nobody out. Keuchel had thrown 103 pitches and the Angels had Mike Trout and Albert Pujols coming to bat. In came Ken Giles who has his worst outing of the season. He allowed all 3 runners Keuchel was responsible for as well as one of his own to allow the Angels to tie the game. Houston came right back in the 10th with a Jose Altuve single and a stolen base followed by a base hit by Carlos Correa to score Altuve giving Houston a 7-6 lead. In the Angels half of the 10th the Astros brought on Chris Devenski and he retired the Angels 1-2-3 to give the Astros the win. Yet again Dallas Keuchel goes 7+ innings for the 7th time in outings. This time a meltdown by the bullpen with a little help from Keuchel himself resulted in a blown chance for Keuchel to become the first pitcher to reach 6 wins for the season. The consolation to this disappointment is that the Astros got the win anyway which, in the grand scheme of things is what is most important.

    In Game 2 Houston got a really superior effort from Lance McCullers. He went 7 innings allowing just 2 hits, 2 BB's with 4 K's. The one run scored on him was unearned thanks to a passed ball by Brian McCann that allowed former Astro Luis Valbuena, who had singled to lead off the 2nd inning and had stolen 2B, to advance to 3B. He scored on a ground ball to short by Cameron Mayben. That run tied the game at one, Houston had taken an early lead when they scored a run in the top of the first when Carlos Beltran doubled scoring Carlos Correa who had singled just before Beltran's AB. Houston had 9 hits in the game but they stranded 8 base runners in the game with all 8 in scoring position but Houston just couldn't seem to get a hit that would have broken the game open. The game stayed tied at 1 through 8 innings when Chris Devenski came in to pitch the 9th. It was an unfortunate outing for him after he was victimized by a bad call on ball four to lead off hitter Kole Calhoun and that was followed by a doink single by Albert Pujols and some heads up hustle by Calhoun got Calhoun to 3B. Luis Valbuena struck out after Pujols but Andrelton Singleton hit a bouncing ground ball to short that allowed Calhoun to score for a walkoff win to even the series at a game apiece. As with Keuchel, McCullers deserved to get the win last night but sometimes stuff happens and we don't always get the good things we deserve.

    Today Mike Fiers (0-1, 5.68 ERA) goes for his first win of the season in 7 starts this season. Houston has won some games he started but he has had a propensity to allow a lot of early runs. Fiers leads the majors in home runs allowed with 12, 4 of which came in his last start against the Rangers. A game Houston eventually came back and won. The Angels counter with RHP Matt Shoemaker (1-1, 4.78 ERA) who pitched against Houston on April 20 going 7 innings allowing just two runs but he took the loss anyway as Lance McCullers went 6.2 innings of 3 hit ball allowing no runs. Chris Devenski came on in relief of McCullers. He went the final 2.1 innings allowing 3 hits and one run giving Houston a narrow 2-1 win.

  11. #26
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros won their series with the LA Angels with a 5-3 win yesterday afternoon. Mike Fiers won his first game of the season pitching 5 innings allowing 3 runs on 4 hits with 4 walks and 1 K. James Hoyt, Will Harris and Ken Giles combined to work the final 4 innings allowing no runs and just 2 hits with no walks and 7 Kís. Houston got behind early when Fiers gave up a game lead off HR to Yunel Escobar and he surrendered an RBI single by Martin Maldonado giving the Angels a 2-0 lead after 2 innings. Houston came back big in the 3rd when Josh Reddick singled home Alex Bregman who had doubled earlier in the inning. Jose Altuve followed Reddick with a big 3 run HR to give the Astros a 4-2 lead. The Angels closed the gap to 4-3 on Yunel Escobarís 2nd homer of the game in the 5th but that was all the runs the Angels could manage for the rest of the game. The two HRís allowed by Fiers extends his major league lead in HRís allowed to 14 on the season. AJ Hinch said after the game that Fiers hasnít been a pitcher who gives up a lot of HRís in his career but he is a pitcher who normally pitches up in the strike zone and if heís not getting the ball up enough bad things can happen. Itís a good thing that Houston won and the Astros and Nationals continue to pace their respective leagues in wins with 21.

    The first week of May was a good week for Houston as they finished the week with a 5-2 record and they own a 5.5 game lead in the AL West over 2nd place LA Angels. Texas, after losing 3 of 4 to the Astros last week continued their slide losing 2 out of 3 to Seattle. The Mariners are in 3rd place in the division 6 games behind Houston. The Aís are 6.5 back of the Astros in 4th place and the Rangers are bringing up the rear a full 8 games out of first. For me, that is a win-win. Astros in 1st place - Rangers in last place. The best thing about this season is that Houston is near the bottom of list of teams with most strike outs, they are 26th out of 30 which is a total flip of recent seasons. Not only that, they are 2nd in the MLB in most hits trailing only the Nationals. The Astros are also in 2nd place in team batting average, 3rd in OBP, 6th in slugging % and 4th in OPS. Houston is 4-0 in extra inning games so far and they have come back from 5 runs down 4 separate times in the first 5 weeks of the season. Despite some struggles by the starting rotation and an occasional breakdown of the bullpen the Astros pitching is 5th in team ERA, they are 3rd in BA against and they are tied with the Yankees for the best WHIP (1.19) in baseball. All in all, Houston has had a terrific start to the season. They are actually tied for the best start in their first 32 games in franchise history. They could have been even better but last week the Astros wasted great outings by Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers this past week. The fact is Keuchel probably didnít need to pitch the 9th last Friday but what the hell, stuff happens. In McCullersí last two starts he pitched 6+ innings and did not allow an earned run and he lost one and he didnít figure in the decision in the other.
    All in all, Astros fans have to be ecstatic about this team and the we all need to applaud GM Jeff Luhnowís offseason moves to revamp the Astros roster. None of them were really sexy changes but they flipped the whole nature of the Astros offense. They have gone from the HR or nothing strike out heavy lineup of the past few years to a group who make contact, donít strike out that much and they still have pop in the lineup. Overall Houston is not nearly as frustrating to watch as they have been. All fans have to do is never give up on the team considering how many times they have scored, and scored big, late in games and just relax and cheer the team on. One thing, pray that the injury bug doesnít hit the team. The Astros have had to weather a game or three with minor injuries to several of the players. Iím not talking about that, Iím talking about stuff that would sideline players for long periods of time if not for the season. That appears to be the only thing to derail the team so cross your fingers, knock on wood or build a shrine to Jo-Bu --- whatever it takes --- to keep these guys safe and sound.

    One item of good news, Collin McHugh actually played catch for the first time in six weeks as he is going through rehab from an elbow impingement problem that landed him on the DL to start the season. His first day to throw was Friday prior to the game against the Angels. If he had no discomfort he was scheduled to throw yesterday but no update has been posted on that. McHugh played catch from just 45 feet from his partner on flat ground. He was not throwing hard but the fact that he was throwing is a good sign. His slated to throw every other day for the first week but everything depends on how his arm and body feels. AJ Hinch said that this was the first step in a long process in getting McHugh back to the active roster. You kind of get the feeling we might not see McHugh until after the All Star Break.

  12. #27
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros won the first of two games with Atlanta in this abbreviated series by a score of 8-3. The game was over for all intents and purposes in the bottom of the 1st inning when the 1st 5 Astros hitters got hits. Not only did they get hits, they got meaningful hits. Springer, Reddick and Altuve all singled with Altuve scoring Springer with his hit scoring the Astros first run. Carlos Correa came up and had the biggest hit of the inning as he blasted a 438 ft. HR to dead center field scoring Reddick and Altuve giving Houston a 4 zip lead. Carlos Beltran was next and he jacked a Bartolo Colon fastball into the right field seat to give Houston a 5 nothing lead. It could have been worse as Yuli Gurriel missed a third consecutive HR literally by inches. Gurriel ended up striking out for the first out of the inning. He was followed by Brian McCann who popped out to 2B and then Alex Bregman struck out to end the inning but the 43 year old Colon had to feel like a kid being bullied on the playground to begin the game. He settled down and got through to the 5th when Josh Reddick hit a solo HR to extend the Astros lead to 6-0. Bartolo Colonís night ended in the 6th when Alex Bregman hit a two out triple scoring Beltran who had doubled to lead off the inning. Nori Aoki ended the scoring for Houston with an RBI single scoring Bregman from third. The score at that time was 8-3 which is how the game ended. Charlie Morton looked unhittable for 5 innings then, in the 6th inning, in the words of AJ Hinch in his postgame presser said that Morton just lost command of his pitches but he was able get two outs in the inning. It was just that he surrendered 3 hits, 2 walks and he was victimized a bit by an error by Carlos Correa. Well, maybe a little more than victimized when you consider Morton allowed 3 runs but only one was earned because of Correaís error. Morton did get the win running his season record to 4-2 and lowering his ERA to a respectable 3.63. I have my own theory about Mortonís 6th inning woes. Have you ever seen a postgame interview with Morton? Itís weird seeing a guy who looks like Jimmy Fallon talk like a dyed in the wool stoner. I think Mortonís buzz wore off. Either that or he went down into the clubhouse after the 5th inning and took a toke or three off a doobie before running out for the 6th. Okay, Morton probably isnít a stoner but you really sort of have to wonder, donít you? Check this interview out after his start at the Juice Box on April 21st. He looked Dazed and Confused in his interview on the Astros postgame show last night, so much so, the website didnít include his interview as a featured video on their site.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZS9FlLDClY

    Houston finally broke past the 10 games over .500 barrier for the first time this season last night. The Astros are now 11 games over .500 and they own a 6 game lead in the division.

    It was old folks night at Minute Maid last night as 43 year old Bartolo Colon pitched for the Braves and he surrendered two hits including a 1st inning HR to 40 year old Carlos Beltran. It was actually like an oldies radio station last night as Colon gave up homers to players born in the 70ís (Beltran), 80ís (Reddick) and 90ís (Correa). Rock on, Bartolo!

  13. #28
    5-STAR POSTER Big T's Avatar








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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Astros took game two and the sweep of the short series versus the Braves today with a score of 4-2. They are now 23-11 which is their best start in the entire history of the franchise! Now they are on to a huge four game series against the 21-10 Yankees in the Bronx. Fingers crossed the Astros can take the series, but I would be satisfied with a 2-2 series split.
    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

  14. #29
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    It was a great start to the weekend for the Astros. Dallas Keuchel allowed on unearned run in six innings of work and the bullpen took care of business. Ken Giles had a 3-1 lead going into the 9th and if not for a terrific throw by Jake Marisnick from left field after a Gary Sanchez single scored Aaron Hicks, who had walked earlier in the inning, Marisnick's throw got Jacoby Ellsbury at home plate for the 3rd out of the inning or Giles would have blown another win opportunity for Keuchel. I would definitely say Giles owes Marisnick a steak dinner for pulling is ass out of the fire. The win on Friday gave Houston a 24-11 record on the season which was the best in baseball.

    http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/1149321...game_pk=490629

    On Friday night Lance McCullers tried to help Houston keep the winning momentum going and he did just that. He pitched 6 scoreless innings allowing just 4 hits on the night. George Springer made a really awesome diving catch on a tailing fly ball to left-center field by Brett Gardner in the bottom of the 8th that Springer tracked on a dead run and he finished it off with a dive for the ball snagging it before he and it hit the ground. The offensive star of the game last night was former Yankee Brian McCann who jacked a 3 run HR into the upper deck in right field to give Houston all the offense they would need on the night. Houston led 3-0 at that point and they tacked on single runs in the 5th and the 9th to take a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the 9th. James Hoyt came in for Houston to finish off the inning but it wasn't without a struggle. Hoyt allowed 3 hits to go along with his 3 K's and he allowed a Yankee run before recording the final out to preserve a 5-1 Astros win. McCullers was awesome and he notched his 3rd win of the season making his overall record 3-1 for the season.

    http://m.mlb.com/video/v1381371083/m...game_pk=490629

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...in-vs-yankees/


    Houston's Game 3 with Yankees has been postponed today because rain is expected all day. The Astros and Yankee will play a double header tomorrow beginning at noon. The Yanks' Luis Severino is expected to face Houston's Mike Fiers in the first game, with Masahiro Tanaka and Charlie Morton scheduled to pitch the nightcap.

  15. #30
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Houston had a nice trip to New York winning 3 out of 4 games as they continue to sport the best record in baseball at 26-12. The final game of the series on Derek Jeter night at Yankee Stadium was all Houston for the most part as they jumped on Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka with 6 runs in the top of the first that featured back to back jacks by George Springer and Josh Reddick and the big blast coming off the 8th hitter in the Astros lineup, Alex Bregman, who got his first homer of the season and his first grand slam of his big league career to drive the score to 6 to nothing before everyone even got to their seats. Charlie Morton had a pretty good outing going 6 innings throwing 102 pitches on the night. He did give up 4 hits and 4 runs with 4 walks go to with 10 Kís but 3 of the hits, including a 3 run bomb by Matt Holliday came in the 5th. The fact is, Morton has the second most wins on the Astros staff as he ran his season record to 5-2 with the win last night but he has a disturbing propensity to give up big innings last night being a prime example. Thatís great as long as he gets the run support heís gotten the past two games but that isnít going to happen every time out.
    The earlier game featured the home run king, Mike Fiers, who gave up 2 homers for the sixth consecutive start as the Yankees beat Houston 11-6. It wasnít all Fiers fault as Will Harris and an uncharacteristically ineffective Chris Devenski allowed 6 runs late in the game. If youíre AJ Hinch you are praying for Collin McHugh to get back so they bench Fiers who is the MLB leader in home runs allowed.
    The past week was pretty good for Houston as they went 5-1 for the week losing only that opener of the double header yesterday against the Yankees. The Astros finish with the best record in the majors at 26-12 and they enjoy a 7.5 game lead over 2nd place Texas. The rest of the AL West changes almost daily as Texas left Houston last week in the AL West cellar and a week and a half later they are in second place. Nobody but the Astros have a winning record as Texas is one game under .500 at 19-20 after they won their last six games in a row.
    Houston begins a 3 game series in Miami against the Marlins who are currently in 4th place in the NL East with a 14-22 record. The pitchers for the series for Houston will be Joe Musgrove, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers. Monday and Tuesdayís games begin early, at 6:10 PM while Wednesdayís game is a getaway game which begins at 11:10 AM.
    Joe Musgrove is the only Astros starter with a sub .500 record at 2-3. He also has the highest era at 5.02. He is hoping to build off of his last outing last Wednesday against Atlanta when he went 6 innings allowing just 2 runs. He did allow too many base runners as he gave up 4 hits and 3 walks but it was two solo HRís where the Braves scored their runs. This is sort of a theme of this staff in that they all tend to give up runs via the homer, Dallas Keuchel included. As long as they are solo shots itís okay but they wonít always be that lucky.
    All that said, you have to like where the Astros are six weeks into the season. Iím not complaining, thatís for sure.

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