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Astros 2016: Key questions for the second half


A few games past the halfway point of the season, there are a lot of interesting story lines related to the Astros and as many questions as answers.

The team after a rousing end to the first half of the season sits 7-1/2 games behind a slightly floundering Texas Rangers club. They are also 1 game behind the second wild card and 1-1/2 games back of the first wild card.

  • Can they catch the Rangers for the division crown in the next 3 months?
  • Would it be disappointing to end up with a better record than 2015, but end up in the WC play-in game again?

The AL MVPs are often Josh Donaldson type sluggers, but…..in 2008 it was 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was a hitting, run scoring, doubling machine. This season Jose Altuve is at or near the top in many categories in the AL, first in BA and hits, 2nd in SBs, 3rd in 2Bs, OBP and OPS and 4th in runs scored…..

  • What does Jose need to do to win this award in 2016?
  • More importantly, what does the club need to do for Jose to win this award?

Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa are both right at the 50 RBI mark as the second half of the season gets under way. The last 100 RBI guy for the Astros was the much maligned Carlos Lee – 102 RBI in 2009.

  • Of these three, who will make it to 100 RBIs, if any of them make it this season?

In 2016, Dallas Keuchel was THE ace, along with being the AL Cy Young Award winner for the Houston Astros. There was no doubt that Dallas and his beard would start the play-in playoff game.

If the Astros make the Wild Card play-in game this season, who would be their starting pitcher?

If one of the Astros’ starters went down for an extended time who would you want in his place?

With Tony Sipp being Mr. Hittable this season, what is the Astros best bet for facing left handed hitters?

  • Send out their best right handed pitcher, Will Harris?
  • Choose from Feliz, Devenski, Luke Gregerson or Ken Giles?
  • Trade for a left handed specialist?
  • Look to the minors?

A number of Astros got off to poor early season starts in 2016 and bounced back to varying degrees.

Any other questions you would like to throw out there for consideration?

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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

121 comments on “Astros 2016: Key questions for the second half

  1. Dan P
    July 5, 2016

    If you get a chance go to mlb final vote and vote for George Springer to give the Astros 3rd All Star.

    Like

  2. Mr. Bill
    July 5, 2016

    Altuve is other worldly. He just has to keep being who he is.

    McCulllers is the guy I give the ball.

    And way to go, Wrenn Tin Tin and the Valley Cats Win!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      July 5, 2016

      Bill, the LHP from Dallas Baptist, who was signed as an undrafted free agent pitched the last three innings of that 12 inning game for Tri City tonight and won that game.
      His name is Sean Stutzman and this was his third relief appearance for TC and he has not given up a hit in five innings of work. He has one walk and 6 Ks in those five innings. Tonight was his first pro win to go along with his one save.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        July 6, 2016

        I know he has a long way to go, but come on, Sean Stutzman! I would love to see an undrafted free agent from Dallas Baptist make it big in our organization.

        Like

  3. Dan P
    July 5, 2016

    Another good win for the Astros. Keuchel is coming around – the pen is quite strong and they are getting timely bombs – today by Valbuena, Rasmus and Reid.

    Like

    • Dan P
      July 5, 2016

      Reed

      Like

    • Mr. Bill
      July 6, 2016

      Reid hits from the other left, Dan.

      Like

      • Dan P
        July 6, 2016

        I type from the other left apparently….

        Like

  4. MarkW
    July 5, 2016

    “The larger concern for me is that we can’t expect Altuve to keep hitting .350 and I expect both Valbuena and Rasmus to correct down a bit at some point. Who picks up the slack?”

    Is this what you mean by a goofy fan, Dan?

    Why, if we had shipped off these gents for Kemp and Moran, according to the (penny penching) gurus, where ever would the Astros have been tonight, lil ‘o Penelope Pitstop?

    I’ll give you this…AJ Reed belongs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      July 5, 2016

      Absolutely my kind of goofy.

      Like

    • daveb7
      July 6, 2016

      Mark, it would be great to see all three guys to have career years. It’s not likely to happen tough. And as much as I like the new kid Reed, he’s still hitting .120 so I can’t tell if he belongs yet. But I’m also not a guru and I’m certainly not one for pinching pennies, in support of our owner who has turned our mid market club into a small market club. So you must not have been talking about me.

      Like

      • Dan P
        July 6, 2016

        Well for whatever it is worth – once Reed finally got a hit he is 3 for 10 in his last 4 games with 2 HR, 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs. When he was hitless he looked lost. I loved his HR last night. A high fastball outside that he hit the other way near the Conoco pumps. He looks like one strong dude (I guess at his size he should be) and I think he will only improve.

        A fan almost cost him his homer last night. Reached out and deflected it slightly into the yellow vertical tape to the left of the overhang. The umps reviewed and realized it would have been a HR if not touched.

        Like

      • Tim
        July 6, 2016

        I have been critical of Crane and his lack of spending on the major league roster, but I also see him spending money in the international market and the first year player draft. I will give him credit for making an effort to keep the farm system strong and help maintain a competitive team for several years.

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      • daveb7
        July 6, 2016

        Tim, I agree with you in that Crane has spent on building a foundation, rebuilding the minor league system, using all means available to the club. But it’s time for the major league squad to be more than just competitive for the next decade or more. Houston is a mid market city. He’s still running the club as if he’s in a small market. I expect more at this point.

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      • pencil01
        July 6, 2016

        So why exactly has Crane turned the Astros into a small market club. He signs most all the draft choices, and he spends big on international signees. I guess to get the monkey off his back he needs to throw money away on the likes of Josh Hamilton, David Price and Albert Pujols.

        Like

      • daveb7
        July 6, 2016

        Pencil, actually I’d like Crane to spend more in the line of a St. Louis club. You’ll remember that the Cards were smart enough not to re-sign their beloved firstbaseman. That’s a smart organization that operates with a realistic budget.

        Like

      • pencil01
        July 6, 2016

        I agree, but who has he passed on that he should have signed. I think he should pay Altuve what he’s worth right now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • daveb7
        July 6, 2016

        Pencil, I would have made sure I had a second lefty in the pen along with Sipp. (Easy for me to say now). And I would have signed a righthanded bat that excels against lefties, whether he was a corner infielder, corner outfielder or DH. I think we’re still the worst in the league in the DH department.

        Like

  5. Becky⚾
    July 5, 2016

    I voted 50 times tonight for Springer! I’ll keep voting until the time runs out for this kiddo. We are used to seeing him save run, after run….it’s time to reward his effort on a daily basis to vote for him to go to the All star game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      July 6, 2016

      yes, I’ve voted for him a couple of hundred times on MLB.com.

      Like

      • Dan P
        July 6, 2016

        Is there a limit to the number of times you can vote – I just do 10 or 20 at a time and keep going back and it never kicks me out.

        Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 6, 2016

      Dan….NO limit!!! The other guys on this team have voted hundreds of times!! Let’s get him in!!!

      Like

      • Dan P
        July 6, 2016

        It may not seem so, but I work for a living (though the way things are going here in the oil patch, that may go away soon). So, I probably have done about 100 votes so far and will do them as I have time.

        Like

      • Mr. Bill
        July 6, 2016

        Hold onto that pocket protector, Dan. Engineers rule [slide rule, that is].

        Like

      • Dan P
        July 6, 2016

        Wait a minute Mr. Bill – I have to tape my glasses back together

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Bill
        July 6, 2016

        Dan, I know you are from a later generation than my father, but by any chance do you keep books containing page after page of trigonometry tables on top of your desk?

        Like

      • Dan P
        July 7, 2016

        I had to use those tables when I first studied engineering, but thank the Lord and Texas Instruments that I was able to buy an affordable calculator before I got a job. I’m not a big fan of those tables or of slide rules though I used both once.

        Like

  6. Devin_
    July 5, 2016

    100 RBI plateau – I expect Correa will heat up in the second half and blow past this. With Springer and Altuve on base in front of him there should be a lot of opportunities.

    WC starter – I said Devenski the other day and stand by it. Unless someone really steps up I think he has a good shot to give you five great innings and then hand the ball off in an all-hands-on-deck mode.

    Oddly based on my above answer, if a starter went down I’d like to see Devenski and Feliz each get a start or two, but would mainly give Feldman the starts.

    Against LHB I just don’t send Neshek out there.

    I think Reed may be more critical than Castro, Gomez, Gattis, or VB. Even if those four struggle at the plate you know that you get good defense, great defense, passable catcher defense, and great defense, respectively, out of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 1oldpro
    July 6, 2016

    In order for Altuve to win the MVP I think he will have to duplicate his first half, the Astros will have to be in contention for a playoff spot and David Ortiz will need to cool off a bit.
    I think the Astros have a chance to catch the Rangers if the Rangers don’t manage to pull off another deal like the Hamels deal.
    I think Correa has the best shot at 100 RBIs because of his position in the lineup.
    If one of the Astros starters went down for a considerable length of time I would want to see Feliz or Rodgers take his place because of the similarities of the the other Astros pitchers. Feldman, Fiers, Fister and McHugh are all throwing under 90 mph and all have similar stuff. More Heat is needed.
    By the way, after what I saw the other day, I stick with my pick for McCullers to pitch a wild card game, because it leaves Keuchel available to pitch at least two playoff games of the following seven game series, and maybe three. Last year, Dallas wasn’t available until game three, if my memory serves me right.
    The Astros need a lefty specialist for down the stretch. It’s gotta be Sipp or we have to find somebody who can get lefties out. We’ve signed Sipp for 3/18. He’s got to get better.
    Of the four players you mention I think Gomez and Gattis are most critical because of our record, so far, against LH pitching. One of these two need to make it a lot more painful for teams to purposely alter their rotations to throw left starters at us.
    It’s worth repeating: our right handed hitters have to make other teams stop beating us with LH starting pitching!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Bill
      July 6, 2016

      OP1, in relation to your thought’s about Singleton’s PA in the 4th inning last night I confess I had very similar thoughts about every at bat by Gomez and Gattis. I have come to absolutely hate seeing them come up to bat – especially with anyone on base. Both have OBPs under .300 and OPS’ of .616 and .700, respectively. They are also in a constant see-saw battle for the worst BA in our starting lineupwith whatever struggling rookie (or defense-only centerfielder named Jake) that Hinch throws out there. But hey, at .215 and .218, they can take pride that they have been better than Singleton in BA [though definitely not in OBP, OPS, HR, or RBI].

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan P
    July 6, 2016

    My proof reading is not too great. Up above I talk about Altuve, Springer and Correa being “BOTH right at the 50 RBI mark”. I know they are close teammates, but three are not too…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      July 6, 2016

      two not too – Sheeeezzzz

      Like

  9. Larry Leach
    July 6, 2016

    Concerning Reed, with his quick progression through the minors, he seemed to always have a slow start at each level and then become a dominant force on his team. If that holds true , the Astros will be in the playoffs.

    Like

  10. 1oldpro
    July 6, 2016

    Last night Jon Singleton came to the plate in the bottom of the 4th inning with runners on second and third and 1 out.. Fresno had scored two runs already and Singleton had a chance to break it open or at least add to the lead. He struck out and the runners were stranded and Sacramento scored two runs in their half of the inning. Kevin Chapman gave up three runs in the eighth and Fresno lost the game.
    Single finished 0 for 4 with 2 Ks. and his BA dropped to .199 for the season in AAA.

    Like

    • Dan P
      July 6, 2016

      Well you have to admit at least we are not sitting here wondering why a guy is pounding it in AAA and clueless in the majors. He is consistent – like his paycheck.

      Like

    • daveb7
      July 6, 2016

      Singleton never wanted it bad enough. I’d release the guy and make room for someone who really wants to play baseball. I know, we might be able to get something, anything for him. That possibly becomes more and more remote everyday.

      Like

      • Steven
        July 6, 2016

        I’ll buy that after his options are expended. Until then, they can stow him away at any level and have him do anything. There is no reason to release him since you are paying him regardless. I don’t care, make him the bat boy at AA, and keep him through his contract or when a decision is forced for being out of options.

        Like

      • Tim
        July 7, 2016

        Yes, Steven, but he is taking up a 40-man spot and those have value. I might consider DFAing him to see if someone wants to take on the remainder of salary. If he goes unclaimed they can then remove him from the 40-man roster. If someone claims him, then so be it, his salary will be off the books.

        Like

  11. Mr. Bill
    July 6, 2016

    There are 8 teams within 5 games of the wildcard lead. The Astros are now 1/2 game off that lead, behind Toronto and Boston. We are a game ahead of Detroit, one and a half games ahead of Kansas City, and 2 games ahead of the ChiSox and the Mariners [who we need to beat again today]. We are three and a half games ahead of the last team who presently appears to be in serious contention, which is the Yankees.

    For Altuve to be MVP, the Astros probably have to finish ahead of both Boston and Toronto, because the BoSox have two candidates [Ortiz and Bogaerts], and the Blue Jays have Donaldson. By the way, if Ian Desmond stays hot, and if the Rangers do not explode in the South Oklahoma dustbowl heat, he could become a dark horse candidate for our unfriendly neighbors to the North.

    Like

  12. 1oldpro
    July 6, 2016

    The box score said he’d left the game. Now, we know why. http://cbs6albany.com/sports/content/top-prospect-brett-adcock-lost-for-season

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      July 6, 2016

      We need all the lefties we can get. Get well soon – and come back strong – Brett!

      Like

    • daveb7
      July 6, 2016

      It’s a shame for a 20 year old kid to go down like that, but it’s also disappointing to see a twenty year old kid so darn chunky. He was probably carrying 20 pounds he did not need. Must be a pretty good talent to go in the 4th round and be so out of shape at the same time.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        July 6, 2016

        Point taken, Dave. Okay, I’ll amend my good wishes for Brett to say: Get well soon – and come back strong, LEAN and MEAN – Brett!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Diane
      July 6, 2016

      I’m sure I’m seeing it wrong but looks like his jersey number is 34. That can’t be right, can it? Considering whose that number was.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        July 6, 2016

        Yes, he’s probably a huge Earl Campbell fan.

        Like

      • Diane
        July 6, 2016

        OP, I know you’re probably having a giggle at me, but I did mean Nolan Ryan, and thought it was retired. 🙂

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        July 6, 2016

        I’m not giggling at you. I’m actually giggling at me because that is how much I love Earl Campbell. He is #34 to me.
        I respect Earl Campbell as much as any sports figure who ever lived.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dan P
        July 6, 2016

        Houston has had #34 Earl Campbell, Nolan Ryan and Hakeem Olajuwon – three Hall of Famers – pretty impressive

        Like

      • Tim
        July 7, 2016

        How can you not love Earl Campbell? Not only was he one of the most dominating RBs to ever play the game, but he is such a humble and kind person.

        Like

      • Diane
        July 7, 2016

        Well, OP and Dan, I definitely learned something that I can understand — jersey numbers. I did not know 34 was Earl Campbell and Hakeem as well. Maybe we should bestow “34” on our next President, whoever that may be, and hope for the best.

        Like

      • Dan P
        July 7, 2016

        One of the presidential candidates is hoping not to be wearing a striped uniform with a longer number across her chest.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Diane
        July 7, 2016

        Took me awhile to get back, Dan, so cheers. You work in the oil patch; I work in the advertising patch. Can be boom or bust there too. I’ll await further instructions on this here upcoming fist fight. 🙂

        Like

  13. daveb7
    July 6, 2016

    This has been a good exercise. I’m more optimistic than I was a day ago. We can still catch the Rangers. It comes down to injuries and we’ve been fortunate. Not so much the Rangers. How much each team tweaks a roster will probably play a role too. Will the Rangers spend a bunch of money again? Will we get any help from outside? We need another lefty in the bullpen even if Sipp regains his effectiveness.

    I really don’t care about the record, whatever it takes to win the division, is enough for me.

    I don’t think Altuve can win the MVP this season unless Big Papi goes on the DL or fails a drug test. Ortiz is also the sentimental favorite. Has anyone ever won the thing at 40, in their last season?

    I’d be very happy, and I think we’d be in a pretty good position if Altuve, Springer and Correa all ended up with 90 plus RBI’s. That’s doable. And Rasmus should end up in the 80 plus range too.

    I’m with a couple of others who have mentioned McCullers as the Wild Card starter. He’s got the best stuff and can be the most dominating. Let him throw 97 until he’s tired.

    The good news is that if, and probably when, a starter goes down, we’ve got real options on standby. If it gets to be late July or early August, I go with Feliz. He could then pitch into the playoffs without getting too far past his career high of 112 innings pitched in a season. Right now, I’d probably put Devenski in there simply because Feldman has done so well in his pen role.

    Tough call on the most critical guy in the second half. Someone else mentioned Reed. After he hit his second homer last night, I told my brother that I’d love to see him hit .241 and 16 more homers the rest of the way. But really, if this team stays healthy, and most everyone keeps hitting they as are now, we’ll be okay as long as the pitching staff holds up. I could see a short spurt out of Jake. Gattis should have a streak in him. And MarkW., I might be wrong about Rasmus. He’s had an unremarkable year to date. I can see him having a stronger second half. That .740 OPS can go up. On the flip side, I’m tired of waiting for Gomez to become Gomez again. But if he does, that’s a remarkable boost.

    And this was not part of the assignment, but I think there are better days ahead for both Giles and Gregerson. They will figure it out. And quietly, the Astros have won Keuchels last four starts after going 4 and 10 with him on the mound early. I don’t know if we’ll ever see Cy Young again, but he’s going to help and certainly have a better second half.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1oldpro
      July 6, 2016

      Dave, a spurt for Jake would be a double.
      Gregerson has been as dominant as any pitcher in the league since he was made the setup man. I think he has figured it out and, more importantly, Hinch has figured that out.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Becky⚾
      July 6, 2016

      Daveb…..what a GREAT post! I agree with you 100%!! My hope is Keuchel will be able to finish the season with a winning record. He’s had some tough games when the guys behind him screw up.

      Like

  14. Tim
    July 6, 2016

    The Orioles are offering Mark Trumbo in search of starting pitching. I think a Feldman for Trumbo swap seems fair. Thoughts?

    Like

    • Dan P
      July 6, 2016

      My guess is that you won’t get the guy who is leading the league in HRs and 4th in RBIs for a guy who is either a good reliever or a mediocre starter.
      But yes that would be a good bat to have in behind the top 4 in the lineup.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 6, 2016

      We’re stat guys right? Trumbo’s BABIP is way higher than his career BABIP. His career K rate is 25.2 but he is at 27% this year. His walk rate is low for his career , but it’s lower this year. His defense is so bad that even with 24 HRs and 49 RBIs his WAR is 1.5 at fangraphs. His salary is the same as Feldman, so we would not be saving anything.
      I think he is going to regress, especially with us. With the rise we see in Gomez, I actually trust his second half more than Trumbo.
      I would rather try to trade Feldman and a low level prospect for somebody’s lefty reliever.
      Finally, if we traded for Trumbo, he’s gone at year’s end. I’d rather have the lefty reliever, especially if he has some team control.
      Before I’d trade for another RH bat, especially a guy who is bound for a down, I think I would try a huge upside Bregman for the rest of the year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        July 6, 2016

        Yes!! Bring him home

        Like

      • Billy Castillo
        July 6, 2016

        Wouldn’t trade for anybody whose name rhymes with a Disney elephant’s name.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tim
        July 7, 2016

        Feldman is gone at year’s end also. Heck, I may even consider trading Fister for Trumbo as I think most of us can agree Fister is due for some serious regression also. Trumbo’s BABIP is .327 so it’s not outrageously high. I agree he won’t maintain his current rate, but neither will Fister and both are rentals. It might be worth a consideration.

        Like

  15. Becky⚾
    July 6, 2016

    Springer is in 2nd place on the final voting! Hinch is wearing a “Super Springer” T shirt today! Keep voting gus and girls…..let’s send him to the Show!!

    Like

  16. Becky⚾
    July 6, 2016

    Guys…not gus.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mr. Bill
    July 6, 2016

    Theoretically interesting candidates for Astros DH:
    – Yangervis Solarte [Padres – .293/.384/.874 – also plays 3B; is a switch hitter]
    – Will Myers [Padres – .290/.357/.896 – plays 1B; bats righty]
    – Odubel Herrera [Phils – .305/.390/.834 – plays CF; bats lefty]

    Any others?

    Like

  18. Becky⚾
    July 6, 2016

    Astros 3 M’s0
    The arlington team is getting hammered 9-1 bottom of the 4th.

    Like

  19. Kevin
    July 6, 2016

    Wahoo Fiers got an out after 3 dingers. However the man can grow a beard in about a day!

    Like

  20. 1oldpro
    July 6, 2016

    Sacramento is starting a RH pitcher tonight. but Tyler White is playing 1b for Fresno and no Singleton in the lineup.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. mark
    July 6, 2016

    the texas rangers Baseball club has morse’d in.

    we have lost. stop. that is all.

    Like

  22. mark
    July 6, 2016

    luis ….. valbuena.

    when? when were you the doubter? eat …. that sweet crow pie.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. sandy
    July 6, 2016

    Why do we have to have drama almost every night? Geeeeeeeze

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 6, 2016

      I’m not even listening to the game anymore……can’t count on our bullpen anymore.

      Like

  24. Dan P
    July 6, 2016

    Somehow they won Becky. yaaaayyy!!!

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 6, 2016

      My husband had to tell me we won. I just couldn’t hear another Gregerson melt down. Glad they pulled it out, we gain a little on the the other team who plays in Texas….but yeah, I’m glad we won and swept the M’s!!

      Like

  25. sandy
    July 6, 2016

    Whoever said baseball is a boring game has never been an Astros fan!

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 6, 2016

      They will drive you to drink, and lose your religion!!

      Like

  26. Becky⚾
    July 6, 2016

    Musgrove line tonight:
    5 innings
    5 hits
    2 runs( 2er)
    0 walks

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 6, 2016

      They are definitely protecting Musgrove’s innings, because they pulled him after five and he had only thrown 67 pitches, 45 strikes and 22 balls. He struck out 6 batters.
      McCurry with two perfect innings, Fields gave up one hit in one inning and Hoyt saved his 22nd game with a perfect ninth.
      Colin Moran and Max Stassi were the big heroes at the plate as Fresno comes up with four runs late and wins 5-2.

      Like

  27. 1oldpro
    July 6, 2016

    Feliz gave up a hit on a fisted fastball in, a seeing eye five hop ground ball single that I thought was going to be a double play ball and a homer to the oppo field on a high outside corner fastball. That’s baseball!
    Gregerson was nervous, but fabulous to Cruz and Lee
    Valbuena broke my heart all night, and then broke the Mariners.
    Forget giving Altuve a day off. Give Rasmus the week off. Good Lord!
    Fiers, what the hell happened?
    Devo sure helped the mother ship weather the storm tonight.
    Astros 6.5 behind Arlington, 3 ahead of Seattle, 10 ahead of Oakland and 11 ahead of the Angels. Astros 1 game out of 1st Wild Card and a half game behind Boston for #2 WC.
    Houston would not have won that game the first six weeks of the season. Now, seven games over .500.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky⚾
      July 7, 2016

      You’re absolutely right…..these guys would have rolled over in April in a game like tonight.

      Like

  28. Billy Castillo
    July 6, 2016

    Anybody else down for swapping Devenski for Fiers in the rotation?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim
      July 6, 2016

      I’d rather put Feldman back in the rotation. I like Devo in the bullpen.

      Like

      • Billy Castillo
        July 7, 2016

        That’d work too. I like them both in the bullpen though!

        Like

  29. Mr. Bill
    July 7, 2016

    A win is a win. But that one . . . .

    Like

  30. Dan P
    July 7, 2016

    In his last 4 starts Fiers has had two starts where he threw shutout ball for 5.2 and 6 innings and two starts where he was working real hard to cough up leads and was pulled after 4.1 and 3.1 innings.
    Consistency thy name is not Fiers.

    Like

  31. Diane
    July 7, 2016

    Great picture of Valbuena, Altuve, Correa and Gonzalez lined up playfully urging on the vote for Springer — FIRST section, today’s Chronicle.

    Like

  32. 1oldpro
    July 7, 2016

    If there was any doubt about Hinch’s confidence in Gattis behind the plate, it was laid to rest last night. He vacated the DH for a pinch runner, and put Gattis behind the plate to catch Gregerson in the ninth. Gregerson is constantly pounding that slider into the dirt and yet there is Gattis smothering it and catching with the game on the line and hanging by a thread.
    Lost in the midst of the thrill of a tough win was a quiet solo home run by Gattis, which seemed insignificant when the Astros were mauling LeBlanc, but huge at the end of a 9-8 game. Gattis is suddenly earning every penny and his value is there.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mr. Bill
      July 7, 2016

      His value is there, and I am glad he is the back-up catcher on this team. I still think using your back-up catcher as your DH is asking for trouble in the long run. We were pretty darn close to going into extra innings with no DH last night. Luck was on our side on July 6 – but luck is one fickle mistress.

      Liked by 1 person

      • daveb7
        July 7, 2016

        Yes, I think Gattis makes for an excellent back up catcher overall, and yes, find me a real DH. Worth is expendable.

        Like

  33. TNT
    July 7, 2016

    Tough game and a good win. It would be boring if they were all easy ..right ?
    I think Rasmus has earned a spot on the pine for awhile after 5 Ks. Give ol JM a chance. I think he is a significantly better defender anyway.
    Devenski is rapidly earning fans ! The guy has been nails.

    Like

    • Tim
      July 7, 2016

      JM may very well get the start tonight with Rich Hill on the mound for the A’s. He is a better defender than Rasmus, but I’m not sure I would say he is significantly better. Rasmus is a fairly good defensive LFer.

      Like

    • daveb7
      July 7, 2016

      But we already know how Jake won’t hit. And Rasmus, for all his flaws, is also an excellent defender, with I think a more accurate arm than Jake. When a guy K’s five times and we get a win, I still feel pretty good. I want Rasmus in the lineup against righty pitching. Even after an ugly night.

      Like

  34. 1oldpro
    July 7, 2016

    I didn’t realize it until I read the box score. With his perfect eighth inning last night, Ken Giles earned his first win as a Houston Astro.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Bill
      July 7, 2016

      Congratulations, Kenny G. Play us another tune soon.

      Like

  35. Mr. Bill
    July 7, 2016

    For those who are not yet familiar with the name Stephen Wrenn: http://www.astrosfuture.com/2016/07/tri-city-valleycats-player-profile-stephen-wrenn-of/

    Like

    • Kevin
      July 7, 2016

      I ‘ve been watching that guy looking good early.

      Like

  36. TNT
    July 7, 2016

    The thing that bothers me about Rasmus, besides his K rate, is that sometimes he looks out of control or that he has given up to quick on tough fly balls. Springer and JM give valiant controlled efforts..with success. Rasmus does have a good arm as OFers should.
    Don’t get me wrong, he has helped the team immensely on occasion, as in last years playoffs. Just wish we could get a .300 BA OFer like many (most ?) teams have. At this point, Rasmus is not someone you want in the box with the game on the line.

    Like

    • daveb7
      July 7, 2016

      Sure, Rasmus has had a bad week, but he’s still hitting .314/,360/.817 over the past month. He’s played a pretty big role in this clubs surge. I’m sure not going to pull the plug on him yet. He’ll get a break next week regardless.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Kevin
    July 7, 2016

    I always like a bowl of Crow. Honesty is a good thing and I have to be honest . I never ever saw this team this year, turning it around like this, it is quite amazing.

    Valbuena and Gomez unreal. Hinch has even done a much better job or winning just makes you look that way. I have been bleeding Astro colors for 36 years and vent and get carried away, but to me that’s what a fan is. We hate to loose.
    Emotion and hope are powerful things. That’s why I love this blog, reading all the crazy passion and frustrations. You all make me laugh every day TY

    PS No matter what however I will never be a Uncle Jeff Fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      July 7, 2016

      Not a Luhnow fan nor will I ever be.

      Like

      • Kevin
        July 7, 2016

        Wahoo

        Like

    • Tim
      July 7, 2016

      I am and will probably always be a Luhnow fan. Considering where we were 5 years ago and where we are now is night and day. He has completely changed the culture of this organization and in a good way.

      Like

      • Kevin
        July 7, 2016

        I have said this before considering where we were,I’m not sure Bob Ucher (SP) couldn’t haven’t improved the mess Drayton left. Love my stros Jeff nada.

        However players Play, fans cheer, and Jeff sits is his box with all his professional friends and asscoaites NONE.

        Some day hopefully we will have a Real Astro type guy as a GM, I can wish.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        July 7, 2016

        Let’s not forget the painful years in between.

        Like

      • Tim
        July 7, 2016

        Kevin, I think that is just a copout for not liking the guy. What he accomplished in rebuilding this organization is not easily duplicated, especially considering the lack of major league talent and farm system in 2011 coupled with the low budget afforded him. We already have a great GM and I couldn’t care less if he’s an ‘Astro type guy’ as long as the organization is successful, which it has been (and this includes the minor leagues as a part of this organization).

        No one says you have to like Jeff Luhnow, but his success in rebuilding this organization cannot be denied, despite your feelings for him. Drayton left this organization in shambles and that doesn’t normally get turned around in less than 5 years unless you have the right people in place in upper management.

        Like

      • Kevin
        July 7, 2016

        Tim we just will always disagree on about 99% of what I see Lunhow has accomplished and screwed up and what you do. However, I don’t call it a cop out. just a difference of opinion. We just have different ways of looking at the team, the FO, and I’m sure life.

        Good thing that means squat . I just hope they keep winning and If Uncle Jeff gets Kudos for that I could really care less.

        Like

      • Tim
        July 7, 2016

        The copout part was suggesting that Bob Uecker, or anyone else who has a baseball background, could have turned this team around so quickly. That’s simply not true. Ed Wade couldn’t do it and he had more to work with than Luhnow. Gerry Hunsicker took over a decent team starting in 1996 and they were in the playoffs a year later, but were never really considered a serious contender until the Randy Johnson trade of 1998. Just because the team was bad for 3 years doesn’t guarantee future success.

        Like

  38. Mr. Bill
    July 7, 2016

    Bregman’s slash line today: .400/.438/1.338 – 4 HRs and 11 RBI in 7 games at AAA

    Hernandez’s slash line: .360/.385/1.225 – 2HRs and 5 RBI in 6 games at AAA

    Kemp’s slash line: .304/.415/.813, with 26 BBs to only 23 Ks

    PTuck’s slash line: .293/.346/.864 with less than a 25% K rate

    And TWhite is coming back as well.

    When Valbuena, Gomez, and Rasmus turn up their noses and walk away, the cavalry is ready to step right up.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 7, 2016

      Head ’em up……move ’em out Rawhide!!

      Like

  39. Becky⚾
    July 7, 2016

    Anyone going to the game Sat afternoon? I’m going since I have to start chemo on July 12th, and I will be down for a couple of months..If you’re going I’ll let you know where I’ll be sitting, and maybe we can meet and shake hands! I hope I’m going to see Mr. McCullers pitch like he did Monday!
    As for Rasmus…..I embrace his weird!! How boring would this team be without Rasmus, Springer, Gattis, Keuchel and Valbuena!! They bring the energy, and I LOVE IT!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim
      July 7, 2016

      I’m going, but I’m guessing that’s not what you wanted to see. 🙂

      I’m also going tomorrow.

      Like

      • sandy
        July 7, 2016

        I don’t think anyone holds a grudge here. We all have opinions and you certainly are entitled to yours. I would love to meet anyone on here and that includes you, Tim.

        Like

      • Tim
        July 7, 2016

        I think some hold a grudge, but I know you don’t.

        If you’re at the game tomorrow or Saturday I will be in sections 152 and 154 respectively (RF HR lower section area). I’ll be with my 2 boys (14 and 10) along with my friend and his 12-year old son. My boys and I will be adorned in our Astros gear (hat and shirt). I’m 6’3″ and a stealthy 250 and a young looking 49 years old (well, at least that is what I keep telling myself) so I stand out fairly easy. I’m sitting in the front row of 152 tomorrow. If anyone is at either game please come by and say hello. I will greet you warmly and treat you to a cold cerveza or the drink of your choice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        July 7, 2016

        Wish I could be there. Unfortunately I already had plans. 😟

        Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        July 7, 2016

        Tim, don’t know if you’re familiar with my buddy Bo. If you think you irritate these folks, well, Bo could send them into a murderous rage. 😉

        Like

      • Tim
        July 7, 2016

        I remember Bopert well. He still comes and posts here on occasion. He definitely knew how to strike a nerve, and he struck mine a few times, but I found his posts articulate and consistent, even though I may have disagreed with him most of the time. Of course, it is strange we haven’t heard from him once during this 29-11 streak. 🙂

        Like

    • Mr. Bill
      July 7, 2016

      Wish I was going to be there, Tim. I would love to meet you in person and wish you and your boys well!

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Mr. Bill
    July 7, 2016

    Sorry to hear that Daz Cameron will miss the rest of the season with a broken pointing finger on his left hand. He got hit by a pitch in the first inning last night in Tri-City’s game.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 7, 2016

      He’s had a tough time in his first season in MLB. They had to send him back to extended spring training…..for SURE he hasn’t earned the money Crane gave him to sign last year.

      Like

  41. 1oldpro
    July 7, 2016

    The last time the Astros faced Rich Hill was on May 1st and they scored two runs on two hits in the entire game and won 2-1. Altuve led off the game with a homer and Castro singled in the third and scored on a sac fly by Rasmus.
    Hopefully, the home team can do better tonight. Of course, Oakland starts off the series throwing a lefty at us.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 7, 2016

      They grew up since May 1st!! They need to start out strong on this 4 game series.
      Jake is in left tonight…….no bat, but good defense. Hinch might put Rasmus in, if the A’S go to a right handed reliever. Maybe he needs a day off to clear his head!

      Like

      • Mark
        July 7, 2016

        I think Rasmus is a very wily hitter, and never put it past him to swing at poorly located balls, in order to set up the pitch he can look for. Keep in mind, he’s been adjusting back and building a healthy sample size for many yrs. We can afford to give up the SO’s with him in exchange for game-changing AB’s, just as we rode the timely home runs last season. He’s not worth the money, but I like that he’s doing damage for and not against.

        I’m still astonished to read the surprise in these chippy comments that the Stros are winning. I havent had a single doubt through the last month when they have pulled it out. (With the exception of bad outings in Sipp, and a few other spot reliefs, like Feliz’ last night,..Or when facing really good hitting outfits.)

        I saw the turnaround with my own eyes over a month ago in Giles, and Will Harris is unshakeable. That kind of confidence propels the whole team. Overall, the vibe has been unbelieveable.

        Rich Hill will definitely give us a run for the money tho. This ought to be a good barometer along the lines of Shoemaker and Sale. I still think we’ll get all over him & was very impressed how we dismantled Tijuan Walker. It’s the A’s, c’mon! We’re having our way with the division opponents. We are favored tonight, and 82% of the bets are in for us on the “Money Line”.

        Cant wait to exact revenge on Arlington! I think it’s an interesting dynamic to get comfortable (as we did last year), and be watching the scoreboard when the Rangers caught us. Last night couldnt help thinking the Rangers watching us Coming to Get Them, and Turning the Tide!

        In a one game Wild Card, LMJ. But our relief is so strong that honestly I dont think it matters who starts. On any given day, you will see McHugh or Keuchel be their old selves. We’re winning in all phases of the game including clubhouse chemistry. I dont want to mess with that too much for now..

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2016 by in Astros.
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