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Thread: 2017 Houston Astros Season

  
  1. #31
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros took Game 1 of their 3 game series with the Miami Marlins last night by a score of 7-2 but it was frustrating to watch the Astros struggle for 5 innings against Marlins starter and former Astro Dan Straily. The only base runner he allowed in 5 innings was Jose Altuve who he hit with a pitch in the 1st inning. Straily was cruising through the Astros lineup until the 5th inning when Evan Gattis who led off the inning hit a come-backer to Straily. It wasnít just a routine come-backer, it was a shot that hit Straily in the forearm of his pitching arm. Straily was able to get Gattis out at first followed by a short injury delay and Straily stayed in the game after getting some attention from the trainers. He got Yuli Gurriel to line out to center field for out number 2. Alex Bregman followed with a double to left and then Straily intentionally walked Nori Aoki to get to Joe Musgrove whom he struck out in 4 pitches. That was it for Straily on the night as he never came back into the game because, everyone assumes, the forearm tightened up and he couldnít answer the bell for the sixth inning after only 63 pitches. After Miami scored a run off Astros starter Joe Musgrove in the bottom of the 5th Houston finally got on the board in the top of the 6th when Strailyí s replacement Junichi Tazawa had trouble finding the strike zone and when he did he gave up multi base hits. After a K of George Springer, Josh Reddick doubled. Jose Altuve flew out to right field and thatís when it all went south for Tazawa. He walked Carlos Correa and followed that be hitting Evan Gattis with a pitch after Gattis had worked the count to 3-1. Yuli Gurriel was up next and the normally aggressive Gurriel was patient and worked the count to 2-1 when Tazawa grooved a fastball right over the middle of the plate which Gurriel lined into the Astros bullpen in left field. The hit was Gurrielí s first career grand slam and flipped the score from a 1-0 deficit to a 4-1 lead that Houston never relinquished. Houston added 2 more in the 7th on a 2 run RBI by Altuve for a 6-1 lead. The Marlins answered in the 8th with a solo HR by Justin Bour to straight away center field but Jose Altuve hit a two out bomb to the fancy fountain in left-center field to give Houston itís final margin of victory of 7-2. Brad Peacock came on in the ninth to close out the game and the win.

    A day after Alex Bregman got his first career Grand Slam on the way to the Astros win over the Yankees in the final game of their four game series Yuli Gurriel first Slam was the game winner for Houston last night against the Marlins.

    Is it me or, is this team more dangerous the longer a game goes on? How many times have the Astros exploded in the back half of a game to snatch a win out of what looked like a defeat in the making? Houston now has a new high water mark on the season at 15 games over .500 and they continue to sport the best record in the majors at 27-12. They hope to keep it going tonight when Dallas Keuchel (6-0, 1.69 ERA) goes for his first start of the season against a National League team in 2017. The Marlins counter with Tom Koehler (1-1, 5.60 ERA).

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/astros-v...ay,game=490683

  2. #32
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros beat the Marlins last night 12-2. It was just a case of the Astros just being better than Miami. Jake Marisnick got his first career multi-homer game as he hit back-to-back 2 run homers consecutive ABís in the 3rd and 5th innings. His HR in the 5th extended the Astros lead to 10-2. The Astros came out smoking scoring 3 runs in the 1st and 3 in the 2nd on a bases loaded 2 out double by Brian McCann followed by Marisnickís two home runs. It looked like Dallas Keuchel was in for a long night as he gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st due largely to two errors in the inning. One was a throwing error by Keuchel after a swinging bunt by the Marlins leadoff hitter Dee Gordon. Gordon is really fast and he would have been safe whether or not Keuchel made the throw to 1st as evidenced of the fact that Gordon was given a hit on the play. The real damage was it was the only time Keuchel missed his spot as he threw on the infield side of Gordon and the ball went far enough away from any Astro that it allowed Gordon to advance all the way to 3B. Later that same inning a throwing error by Yuli Gurriel allowed a run to score. The 2 runs were the first given up by Keuchel in 2017 in the first inning but after that Keuchel reverted back to his old self and he cruised through the next 4 innings seemingly barely breaking a sweat retiring 12 of the next 13 batters. I suppose with a 10-2 lead AJ Hinch figured he would save Keuchel some wear and tear so he pulled him after 5 after throwing only 70 pitches. He kept Keuchel in the game long enough to qualify for his 7th win in 9 starts and he allowed Michael Feliz and Tony Sipp to close out the last 4 innings. To their credit they did it in good fashion by not allowing another Marlin run down the stretch while the Astros offense added 2 more runs, one in the in the 7th and one in the 9th to bring give Houston the final margin of victory.

    Iím worried about Yuli Gurriel. In recent games he has been guilty of some dumb errors and he added two more last night. One was a throwing error and the other a fielding error. Gurriel was a career 3rd baseman that had to move to 1st because of the emergence of Alex Bregman. Clearly he is not used to the first basemanís glove which is just a step away from being a catcherís mitt. I am hoping Gurriel will get better at 1st but right now he makes me sweat on routine plays at first because I donít fully trust him. I feel much better when Marwin Gonzalez is playing 1B from a defensive standpoint. Gurriel is playing in his first full season in the MLB and heís playing a brand new position so I guess I need to have faith. Maybe if he traded in that clunky first basemanís mitt for an outfielderís glove Iíd feel better.

    George Springer and Alex Bregman got the night off last night. They should be back in the lineup today as Houston goes for the series sweep of the Marlins in a game that starts at 11 oíclock this morning. Lance McCullers (3-1, 2.98 ERA) will square off against Marlins starter Jose Urena (1-1, 1.98 ERA). McCullers is 1-0 in his last three starts. He got a win in New York last Friday against the Yankees as he didnít allow a run in 6 innings of work. In his previous two starts against the Angels and Rangers he allowed 1 run and 2 runs respectively but got no decisions in both games. After struggling most of April with bad innings he seems to have found something in May. One thing heís improved is he has cut down on allowing walks and he has only given up one home run in May after allowing 4 in April.

    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/astros-v...ox,game=490697

  3. #33
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros completed the sweep of the Marlins yesterday recording a 3-0 win. Lance McCullers went 6 innings of shutout baseball allowing no runs on 3 hits, 2 BBís with 3 Kís. McCullersí outing was an emotional one for him because he was friends since their high school days with former Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez who was killed in a boating accident last September. McCullers grew up playing against Fernandez when they were children and he wanted to honor his friend in his first ever start in Miami on the same mound Fernandez pitched upon. McCullers ran his scoreless innings to 17 and, BTW, his last run allowed was unearned. He also improved his season record to 4-1. Through the first six weeks of this season the worries about the health of McCullers and Dallas Keuchel have been put to rest. Keuchel had a disappointing 2016 season that stemmed from hurting his shoulder in his opening day start against the Yankees on a freezing cold day in New York last April. Keuchel continued to pitch despite pain in his shoulder until they Astros shut him down in August of last year. McCullers also had issues with his pitching arm, his stemming from elbow soreness that ended up getting him shut down in August of last year as well. Keuchel just needed rest to let his shoulder to completely heal and now his is back and as good as new as evidenced by his 7-0 record in 9 starts. He also has the disappointment of last season that taught him not to hide physical problems from the coaches so you feel like you donít have to worry about him going forward. McCullers had had elbow problems over the course of his time in the big leagues since 2015. In the offseason the pitching coach, Brent Strom, had McCullers make a slight change in his delivery that took a lot of pressure off his arm, his elbow in particular. McCullers has hit his stride after struggling a bit early in the season and as long as his mechanics stay sound he should be good to go going forward. That is a very good thing for the Houston Astros.
    Jose Altuve did something in yesterdayís game that even more rare than a batter hitting for the cycle, he had two triples and two doubles in the game yesterday marking the first time any player has done that in a game since 2005 and the first Astro to do it ever and had only be done 13 times before in MLB history! Ironically Altuve only had one RBI and he didnít score a run in yesterdayís game. He went 4-5 in the game which got his batting average above .300 (.311) for the first time in a week. He had been suffering through a slump which saw his BA dip down to .286. He got healthy in a hurry in Miami though going 7-11 with two walks and he was hit by a pitch as well.

    Carlos Correa got the afternoon off yesterday and the entire team will get today off as they return home to Houston. Tomorrow they begin their longest homestand of the season, 10 games as they host Cleveland for 3 games, Detroit for 4 and they close with the Baltimore Orioles for 3 games. Houston has just concluded a very productive road trip with a 6-1 record and, as AJ Hinch noted after yesterdayís win over Miami, they are one bad inning away from going 7-0. This 10 game homestand will be a pretty tough test for Houston as they face three contending teams in the American League and they hurting doesnít stop because their first series when they go back on the road is against the Twins. The month of June begins another full month of division games with a series against Kansas City and Boston thrown in for good measure. The next six weeks are going to be a big test for the Astros. Right now though, itís nice to be rooting for the team with best record in baseball (29-12).

    You would have to say Houstonís record so far is a big, and for Houston fans, pleasant surprise but what about the Colorado Rockies? They have the 2nd best record in the National League behind only the Washington Nationals with a 25-15 record. Who saw that coming when the season began?

  4. #34
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Houston has lost its first series since April 26 and 27 and it was at the hands of the last team to beat them in a series, the Cleveland Indians. The home and home series has just one more game left but the damage has been done. Believe it or not Houston has lost only three series this season and two of them were at the hands of the defending AL Champs. Kansas City, in the second series of the season in KC beat Houston at home and that's it. Think about it, Houston has lost only 3 series in the first seven weeks of the season. How incredible is that. The fact that Cleveland has been getting their asses handed to them by just about everyone else they've played is even more puzzling. On Friday the Indians had Trevor Baur as their starter. A guy who hasn't pitched deeper in a game than the 6th inning and sported an ERA of nearly 5.00. But there are 'horses for courses' and the Astros are Baur's course. After Friday's win pushed his season record to 4-4 he is 7-0 in seven career starts against the Astros. Yesterday the Tribe trotted out Mike Clevinger who was making only his 3rd start of 2017. What did Clevinger do? He no-hit the Astros into the 7th inning when Jose Altuve got a single to lead off the inning. Between Baur and Clevinger Houston has scored a measly 3 runs in two games in this series. It's hard to keep things in perspective given how hot of a start to the season Houston has had but I'm sick of losing to the miserable Indians. The Astros have one more game this whole season against them this afternoon and they won't play them again until a possible meeting in the playoffs in Octorber. Good riddance.

    I don't know how a pitcher can be so good for 3 or 4 innings and then just stink but that's Charlie Morton in a nutshell. He lucked out and won his last start even though he gave up 4 runs in the 5th inning in his last start and he had the 2nd best record on the Astros staff but the old middle inning malaise hit Morton again on Friday as he gave up a 2-run HR in the 4th, A solo HR in the 5th to Jason Kipnis and another solo shot to Jake Chisenhall in the sixth to stake the Indians to a 4-2 lead after his six innings of work. On the flip side of the coin Mike Fiers had a good game holding the Tribe to 2 runs over his 6 innings of work. By definition a quality start but the Astros offense took the afternoon off yesterday.

    The offense has done enough to win games--a lot of games--so far this season but their offense hasn't really been dynamic. Now I know they are sixth in runs scored in the AL but Houston doesn't pound anyone into submission. With a few exceptions they do just enough to win games which is great but when you get into games with playoff caliber teams you need to be better than Houston has been against Cleveland. They have Detroit and Baltimore coming up and they could be contending for either a division win or a wild card in September so Houston has to find another gear for their offense. Maybe I need to lighten up some, after all, Houston still has the best record in the bigs. Maybe I just need to calm down. A friend of mine warned me about this very thing. He said the Astros have been doing so well the first time they lose a couple of games in a row we'll be wondering what's wrong. He was right. Houston has had only 2 occasions when they lost as many as 3 straight. Let's hope today isn't their 3rd time to do that.

    Houston released some bad news yesterday when they put Dallas Keuchel on the 10 day DL because of a pinched nerve in his neck. It apparently happened in the game this past Tuesday against Miami and if I was a betting man I'd wager that he did it in one of his at-bats. Keuchel was staked to a comfortable lead but AJ Hinch took Keuchel out after only 5 innings and 70 pitches. That seemed a little odd but I figured it was just to save some wear and tear on Keuchel's arm in a blowout game. The bad thing for American League pitchers is they have to bat in games against National League teams on the road. Keuchel went 0-3 with 2 K's which tells you something of the Astros offensive fortunes if the pitcher got 3 AB's in just 5 innings. It seems Keuchel's neck stiffened up on him and, not wanting to injure himself further like he did when he didn't tell anyone about his bad shoulder last season, he went to Hinch and told him about his neck. The good news is Keuchel is thought to miss only one start, tomorrow's game against Detroit, and that he will likely be back for his next start next weekend against Baltimore. Brad Peacock will start tomorrow's game.

    There has been a Collin McHugh sighting. He has been continuing his rehab from a pinched nerve in his throwing elbow and signs are he's coming along just fine. The disappointing thing is he probably won't be back for at least a month and if I had a guess, considering how AJ Hinch has taken a conservative approach to his pitchers this season, McHugh might not come back until after the All Star Break.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...-elbow-injury/

  5. #35
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Week started out so well. A 3 game sweep of the Miami Marlins and the Astros had a big game offensively on Tuesday beating the Fish 12-2 but it was a costly win as Dallas Keuchel suffered a pinched nerve in his neck that ended up landing him on the 10 DL. But, what happened over the weekend sort of ruined the whole damn week. Cleveland completed a sweep of their own beating the Astros 8-6 to nail down a lousy weekend for the home team. It was the first time this season Houston has been swept in a series and only the 3rd series loss on the season.
    Let me try to spin this--no, that wonít work. There is no spin that will make what happened to Houston feel any better. Itís the Astros own fault raising expectations the way they have but truth be told being swept sucks and nothing feels worse unless itís being swept in the playoffs. We all remember how lousy it felt when Houston got swept by the White Sox in the World Series in 2005. Fortunately, this isnít October and the season isnít over, there are still 118 games left and there is not a doubt in my mind Houston will be swept again, probably more than once, so we can all climb down off the ledge. The world isnít over and the sun came up again this morning. Life will go on.
    Despite losing 3 games in a row Houston still has the best record in baseball. The Rockies closed a little ground and they are nipping at Houstonís heels with 28 wins on the season and they have two more losses than the Astros. Thatís a good thing. Houston still owns a 5.5 game lead in the division and that spot is currently held by the stupid Rangers. The Astros have seen progress made by Collin McHugh but he is still a few weeks away from being back. That is concerning considering how the Astros 3 thru 5 starters looked this weekend. Mike Fiers didnít look bad but he kept he consecutive game streak of allowing a home run alive with a solo shot accounting for one of the two runs he allowed on Saturday.
    The guy who is still the spark of the Astros offense is still Jose Altuve and except for some spurts here and there he hasnít been as consistent as weíve become accustomed to seeing but even so heís still hitting .307 on the season. The most disturbing thing is Houston has stopped getting base hits. When Houston scores it comes via a home run more often than not. In yesterdayís game the Astros hit 4 HRís accounting for all six of their runs in the game. They have resembled the 2015 and 2016 Astros who were all or nothing at the plate. Against the Indians the Astros hit 6 HRís accounting for all 9 runs they scored in the series. By contrast they struck out 30 times. That hasnít been this teamís M-O for most of the season but thatís the way they went against Cleveland and if it werenít for grand slams and a bases clearing double the series against Miami could have turned out much differently. Base hits and efficient small ball has gone by the wayside in recent games.
    The Astros will be playing at home this week against Detroit for 4 games and Baltimore for 3 but they arenít beginning the week the way they would like because Dallas Keuchel is on the DL. Instead of their staff ace the Astros send Brad Peacock to the mound tonight against the Tigers. That doesnít exactly make you feel like the team will avoid their first 4 game losing streak of the season does it? Who knows, maybe Peacock will surprise everyone and pitch the game of his life. Of course even if Peacock pitches lights out it wonít do any good if the Astros offense fails to turn on their lights.

  6. #36
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros did not have their 3 game losing streak extended last night. They came out and played gritty, albeit frustrating, baseball as they eeked out a 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers. Without Dallas Keuchel the Astros were counting on Brad Peacock and he delivered big time. He pitched 4.1 innings of 1-hit ball. He threw 70 pitches on the night which was twice as many pitches as he had thrown up until last night. The rest of the staff was even better with Chris Devenski, Will Harris and Ken Giles combining for 4-2/3 of no-hit ball. How Ďbout them apples?!! The Astros offense continues to struggle to score but it didnít look like it at the beginning of the game. George Springer led off the game with a walk and after a Josh Reddick line out to center Jose Altuve smacked a double right down the left field line scoring Springer all the way from 1B. Thatís where the clutch hitting stopped on the night for Houston. It wasnít like they didnít get hits, they got 9 on the night to go along with 2 walks. Houston left 10 stranded on the base paths last night and they were 0-9 with RISP. The Astros had base runners in every single inning of the game but only managed the one run. Typical of the night you need look no further than the 7th inning when Houston got back to back singles by Marwin Gonzalez and Yuli Gurriel to lead off the inning. Unfortunately Alex Bregman and George Springer had totally forgettable ABís with both striking out swinging, or should I say flailing at sliders by Detroit starter Michael Fulmer. Fulmer did all he could do going 7 innings holding Houston to just the one run despite all the traffic he had to deal with on the bases. Shane Green pitched the 8th for the Tigers and he even gave up a hit, a 2-out double to Carlos Beltran and a walk to Evan Gattis, before closing the door on the Astros with a strike out of Marwin Gonzalez. Chris Devenski got the win and Ken Giles got his 12th save in 13 tries but it was Brad Peacock who was the unsung hero of last nightís game. Iíve bashed Peacock plenty of times in the past but he deserves to be recognized for the job he did last night. Way to go Brad!!!
    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...picId=27118380
    If you were wondering about where Giles stands as a closer he is tied for 2nd in saves with Clevelandís Cody Allen and Bostonís Craig Kimbral with 12. The 3 of them trail saves leader Greg Holland of the Rockies who has 19 saves in 19 attempts. Itís no wonder Colorado is right behind Houston in wins on the season. Houston notched their league best 30th win last night but the Rockies are right behind them with 29.
    Dallas Keuchel isnít the only Astro on the DL right now. Since last Sunday Brian McCann has been on the 7 day concussion DL. He believes he was concussed when he took a foul tip of the bat of Aaron Judge on a 97 mph fastball by Charlie Morton in a game against the Yankees on May 14. McCann had gone in and out of some fogginess since then and he finally told AJ Hinch about it this past Saturday which ended up landing him on the 7 day DL.
    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...picId=27118380
    Tonight itís Lance McCullers (4-1, 2.65 ERA) against Detroitís starter Jordan Zimmerman (4-2, 6.25 ERA).
    https://www.mlb.com/gameday/tigers-v...ox,game=490775

  7. #37
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Lance McCullers was great but he had to throw a lot of pitches in a short amount of time. He lasted only five innings throwing 96 pitches in the process. Except for a bad outing by Michael Feliz Houston might have gotten their second straight shutout of the Detroit Tigers. Houston beat Detroit for the second night in row by a score of 3-2. Feliz compounded a walk he gave up in his second inning of work to former Astro JD Martinez with a 2-out HR to Tigerís center fielder Mike Mahtook who hooked an outside pitch on a line drive into the left field Crawford Boxes that cut the Astros 3-0 lead to what turned out to be the final 3-2 score. Luke Gregerson, Will Harris and James Hoyt pitched the final 2.1 innings without allowing a run. The offense got some hits, 8 in all, but 3 of them were hit by Jake Marisnick who went 3-4 on the night with an RBI and a run scored making him the star of the game on any other night but last night. The guy who takes that honor is newbie catcher Juan Centeno who was called up from AAA to fill in for Brian McCann and who made his first start last night.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...picId=27118380

    I like what Lance McCullers is doing and the results have been impressive as he ran his scoreless innings streak to 22 innings after his outing last night. Since May 1 McCullers is 3-0 in 5 starts with a microscopic 0.59 ERA in 30.1 innings of work. McCullers should get one more start this month, likely this coming Sunday against Baltimore. It really looks like he has had a light go on and he is pitching up to his potential. Letís hope he can keep it going.

    Dallas Keuchel and Brian McCann are scheduled to return from their respective DLís this Saturday. Thatís just the tentative schedule because McCann still has some concussion hurdles to get over but so far so good with him. SFSG for Keuchel as well but he may not get to do his normal bullpen work. Personally, I would rather wait one more start to make damn sure the pinched nerve in his neck is totally healed AND he can do his normal routine that he does between starts. Only then would I be confident that heís good to go. Houston can afford to be overly cautious with players because the team is doing so well and is enjoying a nice lead in the division so, for the long term good of the team, why push it when you donít have to? Given how well Brad Peacock pitched against Detroit he certainly has earned the right for another spot start and, who knows, if he has another quality outing why not slide him into the rotation for one of the guys who are struggling?

  8. #38
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Houstonís offensive woes continue only last night the pitching couldnít hold the Detroit Tigers offense down the way they had in the first two games of the series. Houston got beat 6-3 and in a way it just wasnít that close. Charlie Morton did his part going 7 innings allowing just 2 runs but last night that just wasnít good enough. Not when Chris Devenski has a rare bad outing allowing 2 runs in the 8th and Jordan Jankowski makes his MLB debut last night in the Astros 9th inning. Jankowski began the 9th striking out Mike Mahtook and Andrew Romine but he gave up a triple to Tyler Collins followed by a Jose Iglesiasí homer. Jankowski then struck out Ian Kinsler to retire the Tigers in their half of the 9th. He threw 31 pitches in his one inning of work with the killing blow coming off the bat of the 9th batter in the Tigers Lineup. Iglesias. The offense just managed 3 runs off so-so Tigers pitching but during the game former pitcher, mainly with the really good Atlanta Braves teams of the 90ís, Mike Stanton who pointed out that he feels the Astros have a different approach at the plate on the road than they do at home. Stanton stated that he sees the Astros taking a use-the-whole-field-just-make-contact approach on the road while the team seems to be swinging for the fences at home. Stanton pitched 19 years in the bigs earning a couple of World Series rings along the way. I think the man knows what heís talking about. Normally Stanton joins Kevin Eschenfelder or Bart Enis on the Astros postgame show on Root Sports Southwest but this week he is filling in for color commentator Geoff Blum for the Tigersí series. There is no doubt that could be a big factor but what isnít debatable is some of the team is fighting through a slump right now. Also, the Astros are fighting through some bad luck. Marwin Gonzalez hit a shot to left-center to lead off the 8th. Tigerís left fielder Justin Upton was on a dead run towards the outfield wall. As he reached the warning track he stuck his glove up and caught the ball and since he wasnít looking at the ball at the time he was probably as surprised as anyone that he caught it. Two weeks ago thatís a leadoff double. Thatís just baseball. Sometimes youíre lucky and sometimes youíre not. Itís tough when youíre not hitting AND youíre not lucky at the same time.
    Game 4 of the series is this evening with Mike Fiers starting for Houston and Justin Verlander pitching for Detroit. No disrespect to Mike Fiers but anyone say, ďseries splitĒ?

  9. #39
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Well hush my mouth and call me for supper! Mike Fiers did pitch a good game on Thursday and for the first time in 5 games against Justin Verlander the Astros scored 6 runs and they beat Verlander and the Tigers 7-6 thanks to a Jake Marisnick home run in the 8th inning to break a 6-6 tie. Unfortunately, Fiers didn't get the win because 1) he didn't pitch 5 innings and 2) if he had Will Harris gave up a run to blow the hold in the top of the 8th. Fiers did give up 4 runs in his 4.2 innings of work but only 3 were earned and probably only 2 would have scored were it not for the error by Carlos Correa. Marisnick came in to pinch run for Nori Aoki in the 6th and he managed to have a big night. He stole a base even though the Tigers knew he was going to try, he made his usual defensive gem in the field and he went 1-1 with that game winning home run in the bottom of the 8th. Not a bad night's work for a defensive sub. The win also gave the Astros the series win in their 4 game set and it probably took some of the sting out of the loss the night before.

    So, Baltimore came to town and if you follow the Astros you might have said it would be a coin toss as whether Houston would beat the O's or not. After all Joe Musgrove was coming off the worst outing he's had in 2017 when he got roughed up by Cleveland last weekend. The burning question going in was, how was this kid going to do after being shelled by the Indians? Turns out he came back very well, thank you. He pitched 7 shutout innings walking none while striking out 6 Orioles. Chris Devenski came in with the Astros leading 2 zip in the 8th and he made Astros fans sweat by loading the bases with nobody out before he got a K and induced two fly ball outs to get out of the inning. There was one more ounce of sweat before the end of the inning when Adam Jones drove a ball deep to right field but George Springer hauled the fly ball in on the warning track to end the inning. Ken Giles came on in the 9th and shut Baltimore down 1-2-3 to earn his 14th save in 15 tries. The Astros are still frustrating to watch because they are finding it exceedingly difficult to get a hit with RISP. Last night they went 1-6 with RISP and they stranded 8 base runners in the game. The Astros got both their runs off solo shots by Jake Marisnick in the 3rd and Carlos Beltran in the 6th. Anyway, Houston took Game 1 of the series with a 2-0 shutout win and THAT is a good thing.

    Carlos Beltran's 6th inning HR was his 426th in his career putting him tied with Billy Williams for 50th on the all time home run list. The next man in Beltran's way is Mike Piazza who had 427 career HR's.

    The Astros will get both Dallas Keuchel and Brian McCann back off the DL today. Keuchel is scheduled to take his regular turn in the rotation and McCann will likely be behind the plate. The only shame is that Juan Centeno will be going back to the minors with the return of McCann. Centeno made two starts in McCann's absence and he did a really nice job. Not just behind the plate but at the plate too. He got his first and second big league home runs, one in each of his two starts, and they were home runs that really helped the team. It's nice to know Houston has a guy who can perform in the wings in case McCann and/or Gattis should be unable to play. Centeno became the first player in Astros history to hit home runs in his first two games. Not freaking bad! Jeff Jankowski will also be heading back to AAA Fresno. He made one relief appearance in which he gave up 2 runs in an inning of work in the Astros loss to Detroit on Wednesday.

    Last night at the Juice Box the Astros had a Yuli Gurriel rally wigs. Gurriel for a time was sporting a very unusual hair style. He had a shock of red dyed hair that was styled to look like a red fountain spewing from his head. The rally wigs were a tribute to that. In the article linked below Jose Altuve and Gurriel himself tried on the wig. Funny picture!

    http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/05/26/...he-astros-game

  10. #40
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Houston completed the sweep of the Baltimore Orioles today with an 8-4 win. This coming after the win yesterday afternoon in Dallas Keuchel's return to action. The aces of the pitching staff continue to hold up their end. Keuchel improved to a major league best 8 wins against zero losses. McCullers is now 6-1 on the season with a 0.99 ERA in May. Keuchel won AL Pitcher of the Month in April and he could be win the same award for May but McCullers actually has had a better May than Keuchel. As a fan I love seeing our team's 1 and 2 starters dominate.

    On the other side of the ball Marwin Gonzalez has had a terrific May. He is now officially batting .373 for the month of May. He's playing so well that Astros GM was on the Astros pregame show touting Gonzalez to make the All Star Game.

    The Astros completed their longest home stand of the season, 10 games, going 6-4 but it was really skewed by being swept by Cleveland last weekend. I suppose a glass half full person could point out that the team got the sweep back this weekend and that person would be right. It was a nice rebound going 6-1 this past week.

    While Keuchel and Brian McCann came off the DL this week Houston had to put Charlie Morton on the 15 day DL with a strained oblique muscle. Jordan Jankowski who was sent down when Dallas Keuchel came back will rejoin the team after two days in Fresno. That isn't the only move Houston has made. Houston decided prior to Morton's injury that Brad Peacock has earned the right to start based on recent outings and a general positive season overall so he will take Mike Fiers spot in the rotation and Fiers will become a long relief man. What has happened is Peacock will actually start for Morton when Houston goes back on the road to play Minnesota. Expect Fiers to start on Tuesday with Joe Musgrove going on Wednesday.

    Houston continues to sport the best record in baseball with a 35-16 record which is a full 10 games ahead of AL West 2nd place team LA Angels with Texas at 10 games back but with one less win and one less loss.

    May still has 3 days left but, again, as an Astros fan I can't help but love where we are right now.

  11. #41
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Memorial Day was sure memorable! The Astros tied for the second most runs scored in an inning with 11 in the 8th inning of yesterday's game, they came back from 5 runs or more down in a game to win for what seems like the bazillionth time and they beat the Minnesota Twins by a score of 16-8. Brad Peacock and Jordan Jankowski combined to suck it big time as they allowed 8 runs and staked the Twins to an 8-2 lead after seven innings. The Astros couldn't really get anything going against the Twin's ace Ervin Santana held the Astros to just the two runs, only one earned on a solo HR by Carlos Correa but when Santana left the game after the 7th all hell broke loose for Minnesota. Ryan Pressly, Craig Breslow and Matt Belisle each pitched 1/3 of an inning and they combined to allow 11 runs on 8 hits with just two walks, a hit batsman and no K's. Among the 8 hits was a 3 run HR by Carlos Beltran. The Astros took the lead on a 2 run double by Josh Reddick who scored one batter later on a Josh Altuve single. Carlos Correa singled and he was followed by Beltran's 3 run HR to end the scoring for the inning. The scoring wasn't done yet, Houston got 3 more runs in the 9th thanks to a 2 run homer by Alex Bregman and an RBI groundout by Correa. In a nutshell Houston took an 8-2 deficit and turned it into a 16-8 win in the space of two innings.

    After pitching very well up until yesterday Brad Peacock went out and laid a huge egg yesterday. He did got 4-2/3 innings but he gave up 4 runs on 4 hits with a walk and 8 K's. It was either feast or famine with Peacock. Jankowski came on in the 5th and he pitched 2-1/3 innings allowing 5 hits, 4 runs with a walk and a K. Among the 4 hits was a 2-run homer by Miguel Sano and a solo shot by former Astro Robbie Grossman. After the game Jankowski was shipped back to AAA. It was Jankowski's 2nd call up in the past week and while he may be a future contributor he has had no luck so far in the big leagues. Jankowski wasn't sent down because he stank, well maybe a little because he stank, but because AJ Hinch said he needed a fresh arm since Jankowski pitched too many innings yesterday to have him available for tonight's game. Who that will be remains to be seen.

    Another former Astro was in the dugout for the Twins last night. Jason Castro is now a Minnesota Twin but he didn't see action last night because Chris Gimenez is the regular catcher for Ervin Santana. There is no doubt Castro will see some action against his former team.

    Santana was making his bid to tie Dallas Keuchel for the MLB lead in wins but after the epic meltdown by the bullpen all he could manage was a no decision.

    Houston continues their series with Minnesota tonight at 7 o'clock. The Astros will be sending Mike Fiers to the mound while Minnesota counters with Jose Barrios who is 3-0 in 3 starts for the Twins with a 1.66 ERA in 21 innings of work. Looks like Fiers has drawn the short straw again and, again, the opposing teams looks to have a big advantage in the pitching matchup. The last two times out Fiers has faced Justin Verlander and Mike Cleavinger. In both games he was the underdog but he only gave up 3 runs in each of those games. Against Cleveland's Cleavinger the Astros offense was shut out 3-0 so you can't blame Fiers for not doing his job.. Against Detroit and Justin Verlander Fiers again only gave up 4 runs but only 3 earned in what eventually was a Houston win on a Jake Marisnick HR in the 8th inning to give Houston a 7-6 win. Fiers had been demoted to the bullpen to give Brad Peacock a chance to start but Fiers was right back into the rotation when Charlie Morton went on the DL. Fiers is pitching for a spot in the Astros rotation you can bet your bottom dollar he wants to turn his season around.

  12. #42
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Houston won their 6th game in a row for the first time this season beating Minnesota 7-2 last night. The six game winning streak is the first since last June which is a nice milestone to achieve They also won the series last night as they go for the sweep this afternoon. Mike Fiers did, in fact, pitch the best he's done this season. He went 6 innings allowing just 2 runs coming in the first inning when he was really on the ropes. AJ Hinch noted in the postgame presser that he did a good job of limiting the damage to the 2 runs and beginning in the second inning his curve ball began to work the best it's worked all season. In the postgame show former pitcher Mike Stanton noted that Fiers' curve is his best pitch and when it's not working it really limits his effectiveness. Stanton continued by saying that Fiers fastball, slider and cutter are all average to below average pitches which is okay when his best pitch, the curve, is working and last night for the first time all season the curve was working and what he did after that 1st inning is throw 5 shutout innings. Last night in innings 2-6 is the no-hitter Mike Fiers and he will be needed to continue that performance going forward.

    The Astros have their 3rd starting pitcher go on the DL. Actually the 4th starter when you consider Collin McHugh has been on the DL since the start of the season. Dallas Keuchel missed a start about 2 weeks ago because of a pinched nerve in his neck. He came back on Saturday and won his 8th victory of the season. Charlie Morton was put on the DL on Sunday with a strained oblique muscle with Brad Peacock taking his spot in the rotation on Monday. Peacock didn't all that great and neither did Jordan Jankowski who came into the game in relief of Peacock. Between the two of them they gave up 9 hits and 8 runs. The saving grace was an epic 11 run rally in the 8th that helped Houston take the lead and get the win. It also gave Jankowski the win in the game despite a rather bad performance. Because he pitched 2+ innings Jankowski was sent down to AAA in anticipation of the team calling up another prospect to fill a reliever's role. David Paulino is in because Joe Musgrove becomes that 4th starter to hit the DL. Musgrove was complaining of tightness in his shoulder so Houston took the conservative approach, as they have to all to their pitchers, and they have placed him on the 10 day DL. The team expects Musgrove will only miss one start meaning he can come back to his next start next week. Paulino is the Astros #3 prospect and he has been having a lot of success at AAA Fresno which the team hopes he can continue in his first start of the 2017 season with the big club.

    Early update: George Springer walked to lead off the game and one batter later Carlos Correa jacked a shot into the left field seats to give Houston an early 2-0 after 1/2 of an inning. Minnesota is just coming to bat in the bottom of the 1st.
    Last edited by eagle eye; 05-31-2017 at 12:23 PM.

  13. #43
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Paulino looked okay in the 1st. He gave up a leadoff hit and a batter later he gave up a Texas leaguer that fell in for a hit but then he got a double play to end the inning. After one Houston leads 2-0.

    The lineup is pretty different today. George Springer is leading off but he's the DH today. Josh Reddick has the day off so Nori Aoki is playing right field. With Springer DH'ing Jake Marisnick is getting the start. With Aoki in right Marwin Gonzalez is playing left. Brian McCann is also getting the day off so Evan Gattis is catching today. the infield is 100% with Gurriel at 1B, Altuve at 2B, Correa at SS and Bregman at 3B.

    Houston went down 1-2-3 in the 2nd, the Twins are coming to bat.

  14. #44
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    You might think that David Paulino is the pitcher called up to replace Jordan Jankowski who pitched on Monday but that is not the case. Paulino is up to replace Joe Musgrove. The guy who was called up to replace Jankowski is Reymin Guduan. Guduan, 25, was 3-3 with one save and a 5.47 ERA in 20 games at Triple-A Fresno, including a 1.69 ERA in May. Guduan has an upper 90's fastball and a hard slider. Guduan has been in the Astros minor leagues since 2010 and he's worked his way up to AAA Fresno but this is the first time he's been with the big club and he's accumulated no big league stats. Guduan is only 25 with 7 years of seasoning in the minors he could be ready for a role in Houston. The advantage to Guduan is he's a lefty which gives Houston an option other than Tony Sipp which is a good thing because Sipp is the only left handed arm in the bullpen and he's been very inconsistent all the way back to the beginning of last season.

    Paulino set the side down on strikeout with a very expeditious use of a change up. The change up is a pitch Paulino doesn't use much so you have to give a lot of credit to Evan Gattis who is calling the game behind the plate.

    Houston is now up in the top of the 3rd still leading 2-0.

  15. #45
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Houston got 4 straight hits by Springer, Altuve, Correa (1 RBI) and Gattis (1 RBI). Marisnick led off the inning with a pop out in foul ground and Marwin Gonzalez hit a fly to right that was caught on the first half of a flyout putout when Correa was gunned down at home trying to score. The ball wasn't deep enough to score Correa but it's another case of Gary Pettis' ineptitude as a 3B coach. Houston now leads 4-0 after 2-1/2.

    Minnesota is up to bat.

    Altuve went 4-5 last night with 3 RBI's. The pitcher for Minnesota Jose Berrios had been excellent all season but I believe he was scared of this Astros lineup especially after the bullpen got bombed for 14 runs in the final two innings. Altuve's big day at the plate zoomed his batting average up to a more Altuve-like .320. This comes two days after he had the 3rd best BA on the team behind Carlos Correa and Marwin Gonzalez. In 13 games in Minnesota Altuve is hitting .500 (15 hits in 30 ABs).

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