Sunday Update: Your turn to update me


Okay, so I’ve been away for a few days working at the Louisiana high school baseball championships. Great time, with a lot of baseball, some good, some bad, some very intriguing.

I do believe I saw it all this weekend. And, I’ve been around baseball for so long I thought I had seen everything before heading out this weekend.

A two-out, two-strike suicide squeeze bunt attempt..in walk off fashion.

Base running faux pas after base running faux pas. Blunderful base running. The kind you go “What in the heck were they thinking?” At the state championships!

Routs, tight games, incredible pitching duels, kids stepping up who hadn’t all season, magnificent coaching (and not-so-magnificent), ejections, diving plays and much more.

And…many kids playing in a championship game that they knew would be the last high school game they ever played. Perhaps the last organized baseball game ever for them. I remember that feeling for my kids, even though they would play at the next level. Very emotional.

All in all a good weekend of baseball, but…

In the mean time, I’ve been out of touch with the Astros, so hoping you can give me an update. When last I was able to check in with you, there was considerable angst over a number of things.

When I checked in this morning, the Astros are on a four-game streak with the best record in the American League. Wow, these guys are horrible aren’t they!?

Help me catch up on this Sunday morning?

1. Despite the club’s record, what still causes you the most angst?

2. Finish this sentence: Look, I know things are going well in the win-loss column, but I fear the Astros are…

3.What’s one of the biggest problems now that could actually turn into a huge plus?

4. Having been out of touch the last 4-5 days, what’s the most important thing you should catch me up on?

5. What else do you think I should know about the Astros this morning?

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55 comments on “Sunday Update: Your turn to update me

  1. The thing that worries me right now is the batting average and OBP. Home runs are lonely when not shared with runners on base.

    I fear the Astros are due for some bad pitching. And this offense might not have what it takes to overcome 5-6 run holes.

    The good news is that the worst offenders on the hitting front — Carter, Gattis, Springer — are due to start clicking. So my worries may be for naught.

    What you’ve missed has been Preston Tucker figuring it out. This is a PROFESSIONAL hitter. Good swing, makes contact, goes to all fields, drives drives drives the ball, and he’s got a good eye at the plate. I almost want to sit Springer in favor of Tucker.

    The bullpen is amazing. DanP covered that the other day, but it bears repeating. When you haven’t seen Tony Sipp in four days, and you really didn’t miss him, that says a ton.

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    • Awesome I was thinking I was the only nut case. I love Springe,r but man he is just bad at the plate right now, (unless that ball finds his bat). Makes me nervous also that we have 3 guys still hitting on the interstate mid May Yikes. Go Tucker , until now I never have gotten to see him play, man his bat stays level and long through the hitting zone, nice. Alan Ashby has a man crush on him. Correa 5 games hitting ..348, see you in H-town soon

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    • Facing a lefty today, a lefty tomorrow, Sonny Gray on Tuesday and probably another lefty on Wednesday. We are definitely the team that other teams are having to look at as the top dog and they are going to throw everything at us. So this is how it feels. I like it.

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  2. What causes me the most angst is that every hitter on the Astros is trying to hit a home run on every swing except Tucker, but also that certain hitters take the first pitch right down the middle and never see that one again.
    Right now, I don’t fear anything about the Astros. They are 11 games over .500 and have a couple of hitters they depend on that haven’t even woken up.
    One of the biggest problems that could turn into a huge plus is the SS position.
    I think the thing we should catch you up on is that LMJ is starting Mondays game against Oakland!
    Chip, I think you should know that it looks like a two team race right now in the AL West because the Angels are also winning and the other three teams are falling behind. All the teams with a lot of money in both leagues are surfacing toward the top and that bodes well for crazy spending in July.

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  3. Welcome back Chip!
    1. Despite the club’s record, what still causes you the most angst?
    If you are not talking about the federal government – the most angst I have is over the starting pitching. One injury in the top two and they are in big time trouble. It does not mean it will happen – just what I fear.

    2. Finish this sentence: Look, I know things are going well in the win-loss column, but I fear the Astros are…due to start losing when they fall behind. They have been very good coming from behind, but you can’t live on the edge that way.

    3.What’s one of the biggest problems now that could actually turn into a huge plus?
    Totally agree with old pro – SS is one call-up from being a huge plus. The 5th starter could turn around if LMJ is the real thing – but that is a lot to lay on a kid who has not pitched above AA.

    4. Having been out of touch the last 4-5 days, what’s the most important thing you should catch me up on? McCullers being called up from AAA after not pitching at AAA.

    5. What else do you think I should know about the Astros this morning? Cartis and Springer are waking up a bit – but waking up for them is hitting a home run along with striking out twice. Tucker seems to have the best bat control on the team behind Altuve. He can pull it into the right field corner and hit it in the left field corner with equal ease. He has one of the flattest long swings you will see – the bat is in the hitting zone for a long time.

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  4. Chip, I’ve been following this club pretty much everyday for the past 45 years, and yet I feel kind of out of touch too, so don’t feel bad. I think it was Monday when I stated that I thought the Stros would be a .500 club by the end of May. I’m pretty sure now that I’ll be wrong on that account. Thing is, this is an odd a club as I’ve ever seen.

    Yes, I’m still very concerned about the rotation. And I know that the pen simply can’t remain as effective as it has been. And can homeruns keep bailing out a club that can’t get on base enough and strikes out far too often? Is Springer ever going to get to the point where he’ll hit .250 for us? But this odd team also leads the league in stolen bases. And this new lefty bat came along at just the right time. Jeez, it’s so nice to see Tucker drill the ball down into the leftfield corner. And heck, we’re going to have a stunning, brand new shortstop anytime now.

    It’s not fear, but I’m still dubious that that this club with the best record in Major League Baseball is a tease, that the wheels will spin off and we’ll still be a struggling franchise. And yet, Carter will eventually hit .200 plus and give us 30 homers. Gattis will do the same thing. Can a team win with two, mirror image, one dimensional players? I just don’t have a good pulse on this club. Like I said, this is an odd group.

    Of course! The biggest problem we have right now is that we don’t have a shortstop. But we’re about to have a resolution on that matter.

    I’m not sure about the McCullers start on Monday. That’s the strangest news of the week. Why send the guy out the West Coast only to bring him home a couple days later? We’ve been hearing these rumblings about Hamels, which is strange in of itself, because our GM usually keeps things very quiet. Now I’d be delighted to see Hamels in an Astro uniform. I do not care about the expense. But, I do not want to lose McCullers. Give them Appel, but not Lance.

    I think you should know that the Astros actually had 27,000 folks in the park last night, plus 10,000 Dallas Keuchel bobble head dolls. I’m trying to figure out if Houston will finally start showing up to watch this very entertaining squad, even if they still have a distaste for the ownership of the organization.

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      • I live in Mississippi, and have been an Astros’/Colt .45s fan since 1962! This is my first post on here Love this blog!

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      • Big time welcome old senior – a number of us might want to arm wrestle for that honor.
        They might send Buchanan back down to make room – that would be my guess.

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      • Welcome oldsenior!!! Glad you like our little family, and don’t be a stranger….post often! We love having a new voice to add on Chip’s blog!! Becky 🙂

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  5. I doubt that you’ve missed much….I have a feeling you couldn’t help reading your own blog to “see” what’s been happening!! Worth noting is, Luhnow HAS reached out to Rubin Amaro to get a feeling of what he wants back for Hamels. I personally think the Phillies are gonna want 1/2 of our farm for the guy, and that might kill the deal. I’m not on the side of daveb…….I haven’t given up on Appel. We have two BIG holes in the lineup, and those are another pitcher, and bringing up Correa., and sending Villar down!! MLBtraders hinted at the reason Luhnow brought up McCullars was to “show case”
    him for a potential trade…..that’s the reason I won’t get too invested on ANY guy in our farm. How good does it feel (for just a few hours), that the Astros have the BEST record in baseball!!! AWESOME!

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  6. According to the Newspaper That Cannot Be Named, LMJ will go through pregame activities with the Astros today even though he won’t be added to the roster until tonight or tomorrow. He’ll go to team meetings and play catch on the field, but cannot be in the dugout.

    No word on how Bo Porter feels about this.

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  7. Old Senior welcome to AA, Astros Anonymous . Hamels/schmamels pass move on , be smarter than big $$ deals for pompous old arms.

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    • You mean like Andy Pettitte. There’s a real good comparison to Hamels. What did Andy have left in the tank at the ripe old age of 31. I don’t think you’ve watched enough video of Cole Hamels. But pompous is a good word.

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      • Andy Pettitte is a a great comparison to Hamels, but he signed with the Astros as a free agent. I would spend Crane’s money in a heart break for Pettitte, I just wouldn’t give any pitching prospects for him.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Chip – one more thing you may not know – they just swept the 4 games from the Blue Jays. Mc Hugh got past early game problems. Valbuena and Rasmus with dingers and Villar with two doubles scoring one and knocking in one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t know how to post a copy of a tweet, but see @amandarykoff Twitter feed. I let her know original credit should go to Chippalatta folks. Sorry, didn’t remember which of you actually originated the intellectual property.

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  10. Ok,ok, ok……..I’m not ready to sing Villar’s praises, but the last two games he’s been in he’s done quite well…….with NO errors. Who knows, maybe someone slipped him some brains for supper. He really DID make the difference today, and after he got that double…..this team kinda woke up. I don’t want to play who’s on first anymore, it’s time to bring up Singelton AND Correa. Carter is out of options, so Luhnow would either place him on waivers, or try to trade him……but something has to get done about situational hitting.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In the for what it’s worth department, I was trying to figure this team out too as I think we’ve had better teams in the past. The difference is clutch and situational hitting. I mean I’m with Becky…unload Villar and then he turns into Roger Hornsby. It’s the damn-est thing I’ve ever seen. Same for the pitching. Just when you think the wheels are coming off, it gets turned around and we keep cruising. Over the past few years and over the life of the Astros I’ve always felt we had some of the worst luck one can imagine but this year the sun, moon and stars must be aligned because like I presume everyone else on this blog, I’m enjoying this like there’s no tomorrow. Lets keep riding the wave people!

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    • Zanuda, your point is well taken. JD Martinez! OMG! So what! So what if DDJ has some good days. So what if Cosart wins some games or Kike hits a homer.
      Let those guys do well. We are in freaking first place and having the time of our lives watching things happen for our team that we have been waiting for forever.
      We’ve never wished our former players from the last 3 or 4 years bad luck, so some of them do fine and others drift on. It’s going to be that way tomorrow and next year.
      The Astros sweated and toiled and spent on a lot of players that are gone, but we have a group of guys that are clicking now and there are going to be more of them in the months and years to come.
      Some of this is charm, but none of it is any better for me than seeing my team win and knowing that we came out smelling like a rose in the Aiken deal.
      It is like riding a great wave, if I knew what riding a great wave was like.
      Yippee kay yay, Preston Tucker!

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  12. carter hit a three run dinger to help win yesterday. hinch likes him, luhnow likes him. don’t look for him to go anywhere soon.

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  13. I hope no one but me continues to watch each game KNOWING this is the game it all ends and the BadStros return. And as for the lineup – I think everyone should be placed lower in the batting order. Because the guy that I HATE to see come to the plate in the clutch – is the guy that delivers. If this team were in Vegas – they would clean out the houses.

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