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Thread: 2017 Houston Astros Season

  
  1. #106
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Quick update and youíre not going to like it. Lance McCullers is scratched from his regular start tonight in Los Angeles because of arm fatigue-whatever the hell that means. Taking his place is Mike Fiers who is sure to give up at least two home runs tonight. You just broke a 4 game losing streak and now you send a guy to the mound who routinely gives up multiple homers in his starts. The way Houstonís offense is struggling I wouldnít be surprised if the Astros lost by double digits tonight.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...om-next-start/

    You might know this already because itís really old news from last week but Collin McHugh will not make the start tomorrow night because in his last start he suffered a split fingernail that cut into his finger on his pitching hand. The Astros and McHugh donít think this will be a lingering problem but he will miss his next start tomorrow night. Itís certainly a better situation going into tomorrow with Brad Peacock getting the call. Given his performance this year you certainly have a lot more confidence in Peacock than you will in Mike Fiers.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...heduled-start/

  2. #107
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Man, I hate being right sometimes. I was wrong about the double digit loss last night but I was close as Houston was slapped around by the Angels to the tune of 9-1. I was absolutely right about Mike Fiers sucking. He started off sucking in the very first inning by giving up 4 doubles and a 2-run HR to former Astro Luis Valbuena to put his team in a 5 zip hole right out of the box. By the time Fiers got thru his 3.2 innings of work he had allowed 8 runs on 10 hits and a walk. Way step up there, Mike.

    The offense let another half baked pitcher, Tyler Skaggs, and his 4.86 ERA come in make the Astros hitters look foolish. It was so bad that AJ Hinch pulled Jose Altuve out of the game in the 7th to spare him any more embarrassment. Altuve had one of the 5 hits the Astros managed last night watching this offense sputter like it has is starting to make me sick especially when Cleveland notched their 21st win in a row last night.

    Jose Altuve's hit last night brings him to within 10 hits of reaching 200 hits for the 4th season in a row.

  3. #108
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Ah, home sweet home. The Astros had 3 days at home in their last home stand and it came on the heels of Harvey when they were away from their families and homes and couldn't get back due to the widespread flooding. The Astros swept the Mets in those 3 games in a very emotional return to Houston. They road that wave of emotion into Seattle where Justin Verlander made his first start for Houston. Then came Oakland. Four games in 3 days that will live in infamy in Astros lore as Houston was ambushed by the A's and lost all four games including both ends of a double header on Saturday. Houston took 2 of 3 against the Angels to end the 10 game road trip on a happy but it was definitely tainted by that trip to Oakland.
    Fast forward one week and Houston has returned to Minute Maid Park and they have won their first game at home on Friday night over the Seattle Mariners 5-2. Since returning from the DL both George Springer and Carlos Correa have been in hitting slumps, as has pretty much of the Astros lineup. Right now Houston has won 89 games and they would have to go 11-4 in their last 15 games to reach 100 wins. At the end of a red hot July it seemed Houston would have no problems winning 100 games but a dismal August and very inconsistent September to date makes winning 100 or more games seem out of reach. The Astros only month with a losing record was August. Everyone sucked from the pitching staff to the equipment managers. I don't know when or how but it was about the end of July when both Springer and Correa went on the DL and it wasn't long after that the Astros started losing more than they won. It's a testament to just how hot the Astros had been the first 4 months of the season that the past 7 weeks haven't mired the Astros in the cellar of the AL West instead of maintaining a 13 or 14 game lead in the division.
    The guy who really needs to get going is Jose Altuve. He is almost a lock to win his 3rd AL batting title in 4 years but he can't keep losing points on his batting average. He had a season .364 BA in early August and it's dwindled down to a mere .347. That's still pretty good but since mid-August he has put together a string of oh-fer's. Up to August he probably had just 5 or 6 games when he didn't get a hit but now it's become pretty frequent and one hit games are more normal. I would love to see Altuve start to put together a string of multi-hit games to get his BA over .350 again and also have him get to, and surpass the 200 hit mark for the fourth season in a row. He now has 191 hits so he needs 9 more hits to reach 200 with 15 games to play. In a perfect world he would reach 210 or more but I'll just be happy with the 200. He still leads the entire MLB with his .347 and he trails Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies by 5 hits but he's far and away the champ of the American League in hits with Eric Hosmer of the Royals 12 back with 179.
    Houston can clinch the AL West title and a spot in the postseason with a win tonight over Seattle and a loss by the Angels who are playing Texas. Given how I feel about Texas I'll be happy with the Astros win. The Astros can clinch tomorrow by sweeping the Mariners.

  4. #109
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros did it, they clinched their first division title in 16 years and they won their first division title as an American League team. The Astros clinched the AL West yesterday afternoon as Justin Verlander pitched 7 innings of one hit baseball and the Houston offense hit 4 home runs in the game scoring 7 runs all told in a 7-1 win that not only clinched the division but completed the series sweep against division rival Seattle. It wasnít just an also ran that was mailing in these games. Not hardly. The Mariners came into the series last Friday in the hunt for a Wild Card spot in the American League. They are still in contention but being swept by Houston didnít help the Marinersí cause one bit. Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander closed the door on the Mariners and the magic number of 3 needed to clinch the division. The link below is from Astros.com and contains videos of the game winning play and the celebration after the game. This was a big deal for Houstonians and people of SE Texas who could use the emotional lift of having a champion in their city after all they have endured and will continue to endure because of Hurricane Harvey.
    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...e-in-16-years/
    Jose Altuve didnít play yesterday because AJ Hinch gave him the day off so he wasnít on the field for the win and he didnít get any at-bats to get an opportunity to get closer to the 200 hit mark. He currently stands at 193 hits, still the tops in the AL, with 14 games to go. Given his plate success even in a September when heís been slumping he is still averaging over a hit a game so that means in 7 games minimum he will get to 200. I would be willing to wager Altuve might not play in the last game, or possibly the last two games, of the season just to allow him and maybe a few others to rest up for the post season. Houston canít rest too much because they are only 1-1/2 games back of Cleveland and you know Houston would love to have home field advantage throughout the AL side of the playoffs. Cleveland for their part has won 2 straight since Kansas City ended their win streak at 22 games. To put this in perspective, Cleveland is 24-1 in their last 25 games. That is SICK!
    The Astros have a day off, their last one of the regular season, today. They begin a 3 game home stand with the Chicago White Sox tomorrow night and Collin McHuch will make the start for Houston after missing a start last week because of an injured finger on his pitching hand. The Sox counter with a young pitcher, Lucas Giolito. Giolito, 23 years old, is making just his 5th start of the season. He is sporting a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA. He made his MLB debut last year while with Washington. He was 0-1 in 4 starts and 6 appearances with a 6.75 ERA for the Nats.
    The Indians are playing a series In Los Angeles against the Angels and the Halos could really help out the Astros by winning that series or, even better, sweeping the series with the Tribe. The Angels are still in the hunt for a Wild Card spot in the playoffs and they have every reason to play hard. The Indians, BTW, also clinched the AL Central this past weekend so maybe they will let their guard down a little bit. I sort of doubt it because Houston is breathing right down their necks as they compete for the top seed in the AL. GO ANGELS!

  5. #110
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    I donít care about stats or how long a starter goes in a game but I do care when my team sucks the big one against a team that annoys the heck out of me. Dallas Keuchel had a couple of bad innings but he only gave up two runs. Most pitchers who have a bad game give up a way bigger crocked number than 2. The problem with all this is the offense. Houstonís offense is a problem. I know they have scored some runs in the 6 game winning streak that ended last night but they are just an average offense. The last great month for Houston was July and since then every single one of the Astros hitters has seen their batting average drop. Alex Bregman made a late surge and his BA creeped up close to .290 but now itís definitely going the wrong way. At one time 6 Astros everyday players were hitting over .300. That would be Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Yuli Gurriel, Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Reddick. Now itís only Aluve and Reddick that are above .300. Since they came off the DL both Carlos Correa and George Springer have really stunk it up as neither has been able to find that winning stroke. Since his return on September 3rd Correa has lost 23 points on his BA going from .320 to his current .297. Correa has hit a paltry .182 in the month of September getting just 12 hits in 66 ABís. In last weekendís series against Seattle it looked like he was coming out of his slump as he got 4 hits in the series including a big 2-run HR in Sundayís finale. Against the White Sox this week he went oh-fer for the entire series. Not a single hit in 10 ABís. That wasnít just Correa, last night in the 3-1 loss to Chicago the top hitters in the Astros lineup combined to go 0-17. Seven half assed relievers for the White Sox blew the Astros away holding them to just the one run in the game.
    As for George Springer, he has struggled for nearly two full months. When he went on the DL on July 24th he was hitting .310, leading the club in HRís and RBIís. Since his return on August 9 he has struggled at the plate. In August, his BA dropped from .310 to .290 as he hit just .200 for the month. So far in September Springer has his BA has dropped from .290 to .286. He is hitting improved over August but he is still batting just .261 for the month of September.
    Jose Altuve has struggled the past two months as well. He finished July with a .368 BA and he actually got that average up to .369 at one point. He hit record setting .485 for the month of July but he has struggled ever since. At the end of August his BA was down to .355 as he hit .304 for the month. In September, itís been worse as he is now batting .346 for the season and a troubling .271, so far, this month. You just canít have your 3 best hitters struggling this bad with only 10 games left in the season.

  6. #111
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Okay AJ, what the hell are you doing? Yeah, I know, you are beating the crap out of the Rangers and you're feeling pretty good about Collin McHugh getting out of a bases loaded jam in the 5th inning without giving up a run and your up 8-2, I get that but why take Altuve out an not give him the chance to get hit number two hundred last night? Are you trying to drag this whole process out or what? I know you're trying to give your starters some rest going into the playoffs but what is 2 or 3 more innings going to do? Not much and fans are still waiting on hit number 200. This is killing me AJ Hinch. Let Jose get that final hit and it will reduce the stress in my life by a lot. As for his 3rd batting title in four years? That's a lock, Altuve is 18 points up on 2nd place Avisail Garcia of the White Sox and his .348 BA is the best in all of MLB. Altuve is 2nd in the AL in stolen bases, he's 2nd in the AL in runs scored and 6th in MLB. Altuve is 3rd in the AL and tied for 4th overall in OBP, he's 3rd in the AL and 8th overall in OPS and he's first in the AL and tied for 2nd overall in hits. Not a bad year for Mr Altuve if you don't mind me saying.

    I guess I neglected to say Houston beat Texas 11-2 on the strength of a huge 8 run 5th inning that broke the game open for Houston. Marwin Gonzalez had a big game after an extended slump. He went 4-5 with 3 RBI's and 3 runs scored including a solo HR in that big 8-run 5th. One down and two to go in what I hope is a season series ending sweep of the hated Rangers. The biggest excitement of the night was whether or not Houston starter Collin McHugh and the Rangers Carlos Gomez were going to duke it out. McHugh had gone high and tight on a pitch to Gomez and on a subsequent pitch which was over the plate Gomez swung and missed. Naturally, Gomez swing took him off balance and into the opposite batter's box. It was then he decided to stare down McHugh who was having none of Gomez' crap. The two exchanged words as the benches cleared in the expectation of a fight which never materialized and the Rangers came up short in the 5th when they loaded the bases but failed to score as McHugh wriggled out of trouble in the inning.

    Dallas Keuchel goes tonight in what is likely his last start before the playoffs and Justin Verlander will pitch the series finale in his final regular season start on Wednesday. Hopefully, that will be more than enough get the series sweep of the Rangers.

    If the playoffs began today Cleveland would own the #1 seed in the AL and they would play the winner of the Minnesota - NY Yankees one game Wild Card play-in game as the winner would be the #4 seed. Houston would be the #2 seed and they would host the #3 seed Boston Red Sox. If Houston does end up being the #2 seed it would mean that Houston and Boston will play a minimum of seven games against each other. On Thursday the Astros travel to Boston to close out the regular season with a 4-game series with the Sox. At the conclusion of the regular season both teams would pack up and head to Houston for games 1 and 2 of the ALDS. Potentially, Houston could win the series in a 3-game sweep but it could go the whole 5 games. In that case the Astros and Red Sox would see each other in 9 straight games. If Houston should manage to overtake the Indians and win the #1 seed they would play the Wild Card round winner and they would host games 1 & 2. To be honest, both the Twins and the Yankees scare me especially since Houston's offense has been struggling for such a long time. The Astros didn't struggle against Texas last night and I hope that 11-2 win ignites the team through the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.

    So, how do the Astros stand in relation to Cleveland? They are exactly 2 games behind the Tribe since Cleveland had a day off yesterday and both have six games left in the season. Houston will have to win 3 more games than Cleveland to close out the season as the #1 seed. That would make up for the 2 games they are behind and an extra game to win the #1 seed. The Astros cannot tie Cleveland because the Indians would have the Astros on the first tie-breaker as they beat Houston in their head-to-head matchups this season. In a perfect world the Astros would go 6-0 and Cleveland would go 0-6 but we all know this is definitely not a perfect world. The fact is, it is highly unlikely the Indians are going to choke in these final 6 games but it's nice to dream.

    The rest of the American League is pretty much set but there is one race that is not completely decided. The Yankees have come on strong here in September and it's taken an equally hot Boston club to maintain their lead in the division. The Yanks and Bosox have both clinched a playoff spot but Boston has just a four game lead over the Yankees and the Sox are playing Toronto who are definitely trying to play the spoiler role to the hilt winning the first game of their 3 game set last night. The Yankees were off last night but they have the benefit of playing all six of their remaining games at home. First they host the Tampa Bay Rays and they are no gimme for the Yanks and then the close out the season with Toronto. The National League is pretty well set. The Cubs is the only division leader not to clinch yet but they are six games up on 2nd place Milwaukee so their magic number is 1. Arizona is the top Wild Card. It's hard to believe a team that won 90 games so far is nothing more than a wild card but the Dodgers have topped 100 wins on the season and they only have 5 games left. The second wild card is going to be between Milwaukee and Colorado with the Rox holding a 1-1/2-game lead over the Brewers. The Rox play their final 5 games at home while the Brewers finish the final two games with Cincinnati at home then they travel to St Louis for the final series of the regular season. St Louis has an outside shot at the 2nd wild card but they are 2-1/2 games back of Colorado and they are a real dark horse to make the playoffs.

  7. #112
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    I am on cloud nine today. The Astros topped the 11 runs they scored on Monday night by putting up 14 last night in a 14-3 rout of the Rangers. Couldnít be happier unless maybe they score 17 tonight behind the pitching of Justin Verlander which would give the Astros the series sweep and the season series will be won by a margin of 12-7. The Astros offense finally gave Dallas Keuchel some run support coming out in the top of the first inning with 4 runs. Keuchel notched his 14th win of the season and we are left to wonder just how many wins he would have had if he hadnít missed 2 months of the season being on the DL. He went into the All Star break 11-0 in 13 starts if he hadnít had to deal with a pinched nerve in his neck he might be in line to win his 2nd Cy Young in 3 years. What a shame. Fans should be grateful heís healthy and pitching well heading into the playoffs. With Keuchel and Justin Verlander leading the pitching staff Houston has a real chance to do some damage in the playoffs.
    Another reason Iím so happy is because Boston was beaten by Toronto last night which means Houston has clinched the 2nd seed in the AL playoffs which means home field advantage in the ALDS.
    Another reason Iím happy is because Minnesota beat Cleveland last night 8-6 and that means Houston is just one game behind the Indians for the top seed in the AL with just 5 games left in the season. Houston canít tie with Cleveland because the Tribe owns the tie-breaker over Houston so the Astros have to win 2 more games than Cleveland in the final 5. For example, if Houston goes 4-1 then Cleveland will have to go 2-3. Realistically, that isnít going to happen. Houston should win tonight but they finish against Boston and going 3-1 or 4-0 will be next to impossible. Not only that but Cleveland plays one more with Minnesota but their final 3 games are against the White Sox who they have owned this year.
    One reason Iím not happy is because on Monday night with Jose Altuve closing to within one hit of reaching 200 hits for the season he was hit on the right forearm by a 95 mph fastball. He was taken out of the game with 3 innings left to play on Monday and he was held out of last nightís game which is totally frustrating because just about every player who had an at-bat got at least one hit. AJ Hinch said he knows Altuve is one hit away from 200 but he doesnít care, if Altuve isnít healthy he isnít playing. Did I happen to mention I hate the freaking Rangers? Altuve can become one of only 5 players in MLB history to get 200 hits 4 years in a row if he can just get one more hit. I hate the Rangers.

  8. #113
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros swept the Rangers!! Whoo-hoo!!!! They did it scoring double digit runs and to make it even sweeter the final out was made by Tony Sipp who picked off Will Middlebrooks who was on 2B after he hit a two out double. Carlos Correa snuck in behind Middlebrooks and Sipp spun and threw to Correa who applied the tag. For all the crap Houston fans have had to eat at the expense of the Rangers who dominated Houston through the lean years after coming over to the American league that pick-off was sweet revenge.

    Not only did the Astros complete the sweep of the Rangers but Jose Altuve finally got his 200th hit! That took a load off my mind and I'm sure Altuve was glad to get that last hit. Of course, AJ Hinch sat Altuve after 6 innings but who cares? The important thing is Jose got to 200.

    Justin Verlander likely pitched his last regular season start for Houston in 2017 as AJ Hinch will now begin setting up the rotation for the playoffs. Houston certainly got their money's worth out of him so far as he is 5-0 since he became an Astro with an ERA just a skosh over 1. Keuchel and Verlander with Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock would make our best playoff rotation IMO. I am not concerned about Lance McCullers because he's just missed too much and he is definitely not ready for playoff work. He will get a start Sunday but he's still on a pitch count and he might not make it past 4 innings. I'm sorry but you don't want to be nursing along a starter in the playoffs. If I didn't go with Brad Peacock the next option would be Collin McHugh but Peacock has earned the right to represent in the playoffs. Yep, that's me saying that. The same guy who was pissed when Houston traded Jarred Cosart to Miami for Jake Marisnick a few years back when Houston was suffering through 3 straight 100 loss seasons and trying to restock their franchise with draft picks and prospects. I'm glad I was wrong about Peacock because when Houston had 4 starters on the DL he and Mike Fiers carried the team.

    On to Boston to close out the season. The Astros have clinched the #2 seed and Boston hasn't clinched the #3 seed just yet but they will. Houston and Boston will play 4 games to end the regular season then they will likely go back to Houston for the playoffs. As little as 7 straight games together or as many as 9 if the series goes the distance. It's unlikely that Houston, who is trailing by a game, will overtake the Cleveland Indians for the #1 seed. That's what happens when you win 30 of 32 games from late August to late September which is exactly what Cleveland has done. To overtake Cleveland Houston has to win two more games in the final 4 to gain the #1 seed. That is not likely to happen. So, get ready folks because we are all going to get to know the boys from Beantown way better than we ever really wanted to.
    Last edited by eagle eye; 09-28-2017 at 02:40 PM.

  9. #114
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    It didn't seem possible as recently as 2 weeks ago but tonight the Astros won their 100th game of the season. Their current win streak is now 5 games after they beat Boston 3-2. They have also won 8 of their last 10. Houston picked up a game and half this week on #1 seed Cleveland but there are only 2 games left and Cleveland would have to lose both games and Houston would have to win both to claim the #1 seed in the AL. A 4-game sweep of Boston is unlikely just as the White Sox beating the Indians twice is pretty much unthinkable but you never know, stranger things have happened. If Houston does win their final 2 games they will tie the franchise record for wins in a season.

    The only downer is Josh Reddick, who has been a big part of the Astros season, has been sent back to Houston to have doctors check out his current back issues that has kept him out of games this week. You hope whatever it is turns out to be minor and he will be ready for the playoffs.

    Lance McCullers pitches for Houston tomorrow and Collin McHugh will close out the regular season for the Astros. Then it's playoff time, Baby!!!!!
    Last edited by eagle eye; 09-30-2017 at 12:13 AM.

  10. #115
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Houston finished the regular season with a 4-3 win over Boston. They also closed out the season with a series win. It was a pretty good week as they swept the Rangers then they won 3 of 4 against the Bosox. They had a nice month of September going 21 and 8. If not for that miserable August Houston would also have won the #1 seed in the American League despite the Cleveland Indians amazing run from late August into mid September when they won an AL record 22 straight games. What Cleveland did over the last six weeks was amazing.. I hope the winner of the Yankees-Twins wild card game beats them in their half of the ALDS. Houston also had the second best season in franchise history becoming only the second Astros team to reach 100 wins in a season. They ended up with 101 wins, just one game behind the 1998 team who posted 102 wins. Great job all around. Now all they have to do is make good on Sports Illustrated's prediction from a couple of years ago.


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  11. #116
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Hereís some pre-playoff news for the Houston Astros.
    Jose Altuve has won his 3rd batting title in 4 years. He led the AL in hits with 204 and with those 204 hits he becomes the first right handed hitter in big league history to lead the league outright in hits 4 years in a row. Ichiro Suzuki did it between 2006 and 2010 but in 2008 Ichiro shared the title with Bostonís Dustin Pedroia. Altuve will likely win his fourth consecutive Silver Slugger Award given to the best hitter at each position. The one award that has eluded Altuve in the past 3 years is the MVP Award. In 2015 Josh Donaldson won the Award and Altuve was 10th in the voting. In 2016 Mike Trout won with Altuve finishing 3rd in the voting. This year there is nobody even close to being The Man for the American League. Not only has he won and the things mentioned above but heís top 5 or top 10 in almost every single offensive category. He leads all of the American League in WAR. He just canít be denied this year. The next guy pundits are saying is the #2 candidate is the Yankees Aaron Judge who, as a rookie, hit 52 home runs but he had an extended slump during the summer when he hit only .178 for the better part of 2 months.
    Dallas Keuchel is in line to win his 4th straight Gold Glove award. He may have trouble winning because he missed two months of the season with a pinched nerve in his neck. By winning his 3rd Gold Glove last year Keuchel became the first Astros player to win 3 straight since Craig Biggio won 4 straight from 1994 to 1997. Obviously, if he wins again this year he will tie Biggioís team record but Keuchel will have to go a while to catch the all-time leader for consecutive Gold Gloves. That honor is held by HOF pitcher Greg Maddux who won Ė get this Ė 18. Right now the favorite is Bostonís Chris Sale.
    Jose has another honor that could come his way. He is a finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award which goes to a player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. There is one player from each of the 30 teams in MLB and Altuve is Houstonís representative.
    Who is the team MVP? I mean after Jose Altuve of course. IMO itís Marwin Gonzalez. Marwin has been invaluable as a player who has played almost every position on the team except pitcher and catcher. Because of injuries heís played as many games as most of the starters and heís been at the top of the class with his bat. Marwin played in 134 of 162 games and he had 455 at-bats and he finished the season with a .303 batting average which puts him 4th on the team in hitting and one of four Houston players hitting .300 or better for the season. If there was an award similar to the Sixth Man Award in basketball for utility players in baseball Marwin Gonzalez would win the award hands down. I would bet he is in the starting lineup in the postseason when teams put the best 8 position players on the field. How could you keep a guy like Marwin on the bench.

  12. #117
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros named the Game 1 and Game 2 starters yesterday. Game 1 will feature Justin Verlander whom the Astros acquired via trade at the very last minutes of August 31st to bolster their starting rotation. A boost it he did. In 5 starts for Houston Verlander went 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA.
    Game 2 will go to Dallas Keuchel who finished the season 14-5 with a 2.90 ERA. Through the first two months of the season Keuchel was unstoppable going 11-0 in 13 starts. The only thing that held Keuchel back was a balky bullpen who blew the holds/saves in the 2 starts he got a no-decision. Then came the pinched nerve in his neck. He missed a couple of starts in early June and he came back, undoubtedly too soon, and he went back on the DL for the rest of June and July. This effectively took Keuchel out of the Cy Young race as he did not pitch enough innings to qualify for consideration. With Verlander and Keuchel the Astros will sending out 2 former Cy Young award winners. Verlander won in 2011 and he also was named AL MVP. Keuchel won the Cy Young in 2015.
    The Red Sox also have a former Cy Young winner in Rick Porcello who won last season but he will not be starting Game 1 or 2. The Red Sox will start the probably 2017 Cy Young winner Chris Sale who the Red Sox acquired in a deal with the Chicago White Sox before the season began in Game 1 and they have announced their Game 2 starter will be Drew Pomeranz who last pitched last Saturday against Houston getting the win as Houston starter Lance McCullers was roughed up in his first start in two weeks. McCullers has suffered arm fatigue in his first start in over a month because of back pain.
    Speaking of McCullers, after beginning the season with an All Star worthy first half he suffered back issues in the 2nd half of the season. He pitched last Sunday and it was clear he was not ready to warrant the trust to deal with a playoff baseball game. You just canít afford to babysit a player rehabbing from an injury in the playoffs. He might be worth of a bullpen spot and heís certainly better than James Hoyt or Reymin Guduan but he canít be trusted to make a playoff start. I believe that the playoff rotation after Verlander and Keuchel will be Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) and Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00 ERA). That leaves Collin McHugh as a long relief man in the bullpen.

  13. #118
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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    Since the last time I posted the Astros have done what we pretty much expected of a team that had the second most wins in the American League and had home field advantage. There are some surprises like Jose Altuve hitting 3 home runs in a game and like that makes him only the ninth player in MLB history to accomplish that feat in the postseason. Yet another milestone Altuve has passed on his road to greatness. Justin Verlander was the Game 1 starter which should come as no surprise especially given the fact he was 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA since joining the Astros. The team's front office bought his services for just this reason, to lead Houston into the post season, and he didn't efficiently. He had some bumps along the way but this isn't some chump squad they are playing. Boston is a legit playoff team and to beat them in Game 1 8-2 was huge for the psyche of the team. Dallas Keuchel was up next in Game 2 and he was pretty darn good. Both Verlander and Keuchel gave up two runs in their time on the hill with Verlander going 6 innings and Keuchel giving the Astros 5.2 innings. The offense did their part by staking both starters to a 2-run lead right out of the box. In Game 1 Alex Bregman and Altuve went deep back to back for Game 1's 2 run lead. In Game two Carlos Correa jacked a two run bomb to left high off the wall in left just under the train tracks. Altuve was on first with a 2-out single to set the table of Correa. In the 5th inning of Game 1 Altuve hit his second HR off Boston ace Chris Sale to extend the Astros lead to 5-2 and in the 7th he went deep off reliever Austin Maddox to push the score to 8-2. It was eerily similar in both games as Houston took an early lead, allowed a run that could have been more to the Red Sox. They then pushed across a couple of runs to make the score 4-1 then allowed the Bosox another run to make the game a little tighter at 4-2. Both games played out similarly but Game 1 saw the Astros push across runs in 4 consecutive innings from the 4th to the 7th. to get from the 2 runs Bregman and Altuve gave the team in the 1st to the 8 runs they ended up scoring. The Starters in both games were solid if unspectacular and the bullpen was Johnny-on-the-spot for the 3 innings they pitched.

    So, I did mention I was puzzled so here goes because I need some help here. Boston paid P David Price a boatload of money to come pitch for them but all they have him doing is long relief which he did very well in Game 2. Another guy who came into Game 1 as a reliever was former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. Porcello and Price are former Cy Young winners and they pitch in relief? The kicker is, the Red Sox Game 3 starter is former Astro pitcher Doug Fister. He's sort of a minimum wage guy and he's who the Bosox are going to hang their hats on tomorrow in what could be the final game of the series. Fister did win the only game against the Astros last Saturday in the regular season final series but that was mainly because the Astros trotted out Lance McCullers and he sucked. More on him in a minute. Houston will counter with the surprise starter of the season for Houston, Brad Peacock. All the guy has done all season is pitch his ass off all year long. He was a long reliever in April and May but when injuries slammed the Astros in early June, at one time 4 of the 5 starting pitchers that began the season were on the DL, Peacock and Mike Fiers saved the Astros bacon. Fiers faded as the summer wore on but Peacock just kept rolling. I'm sure Charlie Morton isn't happy because he had a better record than Peacock and he's got league seniority but this is how AJ Hinch wanted things to go. So, can Peacock overcome his nerves in his first experience in the playoffs? We all hope the answer is a resounding "YES".
    Another puzzlers is Hinch's snub of Collin McHugh on the playoff 25 man roster. McHugh made it back off a season long stint on the DL to make 11 starts and post a 5-2 record with a 3.55 ERA. McHugh had pitched well in September and he won the season finale against Boston last Sunday. The last time McCullers pitched prior to last Saturday's loss, in which he looked just terrible, was Sept 24 when he lasted just 3.1 innings when he had to come out of the game because he was on a pitch count. Prior to that he pitched on Sept 6 and he was out for almost three weeks with 'arm fatigue' whatever the hell that is and THAT was the first time he pitched since July 30. I don't know why Hinch felt compelled to screw over McHugh for McCullers because, in my mind, you can't trust McCullers. He's missed most of the second half of the season and he hasn't pitched all that well when he has.
    McHugh is joining a host of pitchers who didn't make the final squad. Guys like Tyler Clippard, Francis Martes, James Hoyt, Tony Sipp, Michael Feliz just to name a few.
    I'm stoked about the game tomorrow. Peacock vs Fister with the game beginning at 1:30 PM. I will have an afternoon and evening of Astros, Cowboys and Texans. Who's got it better than us? Now we just need all three to win!
    Last edited by eagle eye; 10-07-2017 at 09:31 PM.

  14. #119
    LURKER WildCard's Avatar









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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    It looks like the AL Pennant may come down to Houston's team vs. Beaumont's Team, aka Cleveland. Cleveland is hard to dislike with Westbrook's Jay Bruce in right field, former Beaumont Golden Gator Sandy Alomar Junior coaching first and former Lamar Cardinal Mike Sarbaugh coaching third. The two best teams in league playing for the pennant is the way it should be.

  15. #120
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









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    Re: 2017 Houston Astros Season

    The Astros couldnít close out the Red Sox yesterday and they sort of looked bad not doing it. After repeating the formula from the first two games of the series, jumping out to an early lead via a home run (or two) they hang on until the offense could add on to the lead in the middle innings. Houston began with an RBI single from Josh Reddick and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa in the top of the first as it looked like same story different chapter for the Astros. But, who knew those 3 runs were all they were going to score for the whole game? It wasnít like Houston didnít have chances, they had runners in scoring position in the 5th when Reddick and Jose Altuve led off the inning with singles only to fail to score a run. That was the Astros best chance at scoring a run but Houston had a baserunner in every single inning of the game. Every single one. Boston can thank David Price for a lot of that because he came on in the 3rd after starter Doug Fister was knocked out of the game after 1.1 innings of work and his replacement, Joe Kelly, managed to get through 1.2 innings before Price came on. It just wasnít the Astros day as they banged out 13 hits with 2 walks which is a terrible hit to run ratio.
    Manager AJ Hinch at times during the year exercised an early hook of his starting pitchers and he did it again yesterday. After getting the first two batters out in the 3rd Brad Peacock allowed back to back hits to Mitch Mooreland and Hanley Ramirez. Mooreland doubled and Ramirez drove him in to cut the Astros lead at the time to 3-2. Ramirezí hit was made even worse by LF Marwin Gonzalez who decided to play soccer with a carom off the Green Monster that allowed Ramirez to advance to 2nd base. The Astro still had the lead and there were two outs but Hinch pulled Peacock in favor of Francisco Liriano. Bad move, AJ. Lirianoís second pitch to Rafael Devers ended up in the bleachers in center field when he crushed a hanging slider. Deficit Astros, as the score was now 4-3. Lance McCullers came into the game in the 4th inning and as is his recent history he had a couple of good innings followed by a disaster. The 7th inning saw McCullers give up back to back hits to lead off the inning when Hinch pulled him in favor of Chris Devenski. When Devo is on nobody can touch him but when he is not on everyone slaps him around like a red-headed step-child. Devo didnít retire a single batter but he allowed both of McCullersí runners to score plus 3 more of his own. It wasnít all Devoís fault; Joe Musgrove came on a gave up a 3 run homer to Jackie Bradley Jr scoring 2 inherited runners from Devenski and one that ended up credited to him. The 7th inning was a 6-run disaster for Houston and effectively iced the game for the Red Sox. The score after that 7th inning was Boston 10 Astros 3 and thatís how the game ended. Itís the playoffs and to expect a sweep was not realistic and now that itís in the past we turn to Game 4.
    Game 4 will feature Charlie Morton for Houston and Rick Porcello will go for Boston. Morton had a good season for Houston going 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA. Morton had issues earlier in the season getting past the 4th or 5th inning but he righted the ship and had a nice year. Porcello was the 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner but in 2017 he has had mixed results. For the season, he went 11-17 in 33 starts and posted an ERA of 4.65. The question on the Astros minds must be, will we get the somewhat crummy 2017 version of Rick or will we get the Cy Young winner from last year? In September Porcello went 2-2 in 27.1 innings pitched in 5 starts with an ERA of 5.93. That is somewhat encouraging. If itís any help, baseball man for the MLB Network Tim Kurkjian thinks Houston will close out the series tonight. That would be awesome if heís right because the Astros rotation would be set for the showdown with either New York or Cleveland and, of course, they would win the series which is the immediate goal.

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