CHIPALATTA

All Things Astros and a whole lot more

This may be it: High noon comes to Minute Maid Park


In that 1952 Western classic with McCarthy era overtones “High Noon”, Marshall Will Kane, played by Oscar Winner Gary Cooper, is up against it. There would be a spoiler alert at this point, but if you have not seen this movie yet in your life, you are probably never going to see it. Let’s see, every single friend he has in town has turned their backs on him, goaded on by the greatest turncoat speech in the history of film by the underrated character actor Thomas Mitchell. The ones who are not his friends are openly in support of his getting his come-uppance for upholding the law. The only people willing to join him in a hopeless endeavor are foolish kids or the infirm. His wife of one day, Grace Kelly, who is only about 40 years younger than Kane is not totally behind him due to being an anti-violent Quaker, plus she is jealous of his previous girlfriend (Katy Jurado, who is a fiery counterpoint to the ice princess Kelly). His former deputy (Lloyd Bridges) in a jealous rage beats Kane up while also getting beat up and then heads out of town. Oh and four really, really bad guys including the one he put in prison are coming to town with one thing in mind, Kane’s death.

Flash forward 64 years and from the unreality of celluloid to the unreality of professional sports. The Houston Astros are limping back into Minute Maid Park from a 3-4 game road trip that could have been better. They are on the teetering brink of falling out of the race with a 2-1/2 game gap to the 2nd wild card spot. Their starting rotation is a shambles with Lance McCullers Jr. and Dallas Keuchel out, Collin McHugh up and down, Doug Fister pitching like Doug’s little sister, Brad Peacock and Joe Musgrove and David Paulino pitching like three or four innings will be good enough. The bullpen has been expanded by a bunch more folks, which is not always a good thing. The best short stop the Astros have ever had, Carlos Correa missed the end of the road trip with an injury. Many of their fans have turned their backs on them and towards the Texans or have turned on the up and down performance of the front office. It seems the only players who can help are the kids and the infirm. Oh and two really great teams with the best records in the majors, the Chicago Cubs and Darth Bannister and his Imperial North Texas Troopers are coming to town for three games each.

Will the Astros pull things together like Gary Cooper did so many years ago and slay the dragons and ride away with Grace friggin’ Kelly? Even back then Marshall Kane needed all his cunning, an unexpected assist from Princess Grace and some luck.

A week from now the Astros could be still in the race with a favorable schedule facing them the last couple weeks of the season or they could collapse from the weight of expectations and misfortunes and be 6+ games out of the race. Which would basically be the same as being out of the race.

  1. What do the Astros need to do in the next week to keep themselves relevant?
  2. What kind of breaks do they need?
  3. Who will give them the unexpected performance(s) needed to hold things together?
  4. Where will they be a week from now?
Advertisements

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.

156 comments on “This may be it: High noon comes to Minute Maid Park

  1. Becky⚾
    September 11, 2016

    Correction…….3 have gone 5- 6 innings…..sorry, my mistake.

    Like

    • Devin
      September 11, 2016

      I’m pretty sure at least one of those was a mistake on Hinch’s part.

      Like

  2. 1oldpro
    September 11, 2016

    Rodgers, Peacock, Gustave, Devenski, Paulino, Musgrove and Hoyt are all going to be better pitchers next season for what they have learned these last two months.
    Just look at the difference in Rodgers tonight, getting his stuff down in the zone. His pitches were moving all over the place. Gustave looked better and Hoyt looks so relaxed. I’m not saying we don’t need help, but we have some guys that are learning to pitch and they aren’t throwing 87 mph fastballs either.
    Fiers and Fister look ready to move.
    If Gustave can learn to command that slider he is going to be good. His fastball got to 99 tonight and it was around the knees and over the plate. The pitch that got hit was a bad slider.
    I wanted to comment about Singleton. He’s making major league money, has a 40-man spot and isn’t in Houston. Singleton has burned all the bridges.
    The Astros still have too many bad hitters.
    Marisnick got a real bad jump on the ball he dove for and missed. A rarity for him.
    Good move getting Correa out of the game.
    Altuve looks like he’s breaking out of his slump.
    Gurriel finished the night at .339. He has a very unique swing. He has really impressed me with his all-around ability.
    Rasmus looks so bad, it hurts to watch him.
    Five Lancaster pitchers got stomped tonight. Their series is now 1-1.

    Like

    • Tim
      September 12, 2016

      I think we have enough depth in our bullpen that we can look at moving Devo to the rotation next season. I still have doubts McCullers will last without a season ending injury in 2017 so moving Devo to the rotation might be a necessity. I’m sure they’re going to look to add a SP via trade as the only 2 free agents worth a look are Rich Hill and Jeremy Hellickson. They will both get well over paid. I keep mentioning it, but add Aroldis Chapman and a real strong OF bat along with a decent backup catcher, roll with Gattis for around 100 games as the primary catcher, and I think this team is set up well to compete for a championship next year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin
        September 12, 2016

        We have a solid BP, a year to fix our SP (trade or sign) or develop all the prospects OP mentioned
        Gattis and a solid backup would work. Chapman wow that would make a huge difference, just don’t see him wanting to come to Houston sadly,.

        I’m thinking they transition Gurriel to 1B, hell of an infield. Now we have to find someone that can catch and hit in LF and CF and we may actually have a chance at the playoffs,

        So where do we find a LF and CF gang and gangettes????

        Like

      • sandy
        September 12, 2016

        Sounds OK. But what do we have to give up to get these guys. Losing Springer, Altuve, Bregman, Correa, ect hurts our offense so that leaves minor league pitching and we’ve all agreed that would be a mistake.
        So how do we acquire these players?

        Like

      • Devin_
        September 12, 2016

        Aroldis Chapman will be a free agent, but we know that we have the best Chapman on our 40 man roster already. We keep talking about adding a front of the rotation starter, but who is going to be available for that? There is no one in free agency.

        So here’s the scary thing – Bregman keeps increasing his value and is blocked at SS by Correa. Gurriel is looking very capable at 3B. As long as we can keep Bregman at another position, Luhnow could show him as a SS with obvious 20 HR power and bat skills. With how poorly our other rookies have fared, I imagine he will be the trade chip that’s dangled.

        Like

      • daveb7
        September 12, 2016

        Bregman is certainly not blocked from playing third base. He’ll be an All Star there if he keeps doing what he’s doing. Devin, I’d be shocked if he became trade bait. And Gurriel, in his short time playing MLB has shown that he is in no way intimidated. He’s also an excellent athlete who can play first or left for us. Both of these guys will provide great value over the next five years. We’ll have to solve our rotation woes without Bregman being part of the conversation.

        Like

      • rj
        September 12, 2016

        i like the infield we have just fine for the next 3 – 5 years. bregman 3b, gurriel 1b. if one of our 1b prospects finally learns to consistently hit major league pitching, gurriel can always play lf, throw dh in the mix and i like the flexibility available. i dont mind gattis as our starting catcher, he seems to be improving over time, has a pretty good arm and provides offensive production. rf is manned just fine. so here we come to the problem lf and cf. i would argue that if our lf was a good hitter say gurriel and whoever pushed gurriel from 1b was also a good hitter (say reed figures it out) then we could definitely afford to have cf manned by a lighter hitting but outstanding defensive player, such as marisnick.
        i agree with those above who say devo should be given a shot at the rotation and i would like to see as much other help as practically possible coming from within. another nice signing today. maybe crane aint so cheap afterall? and dave, i agree that luhnow has set up a pretty nice atmosphere for latin ballplayers to come here and be comfortable. i saw where gurriel and luhnow spoke spanish for an hour when they first met. it impressed and relaxed gurriel. they got along well. i think we are ahead of most of baseball now in our international efforts and signings.http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/200905922/astros-agree-with-cuban-prospect-cionel-perez/

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Becky⚾
    September 12, 2016

    Hinch is going to pitch Hoyt’s, arm off. He’s been in nearly every game in the last week. OP….what do you see happening to Singelton, since you said it appears he has “burned ” his bridges?

    Like

  4. Mr. Bill
    September 12, 2016

    Is that Jose’ Feliciano I hear singing in the Astro’s clubhouse today? No, the name on the back of this muchacho’s jersey is Perez. But he’s singing, to the tune of Feliciano’s anthem:

    Yo soy un lefty magnifico.
    Quiero ser un hombre muy rico!

    I play real good beisbol por Cuba.
    I once beat the pants off Aruba.

    I come and pitch muy bueno
    We sign a contract today, no?

    Guantanamero, guajiro Guantanamero.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Devin_
      September 12, 2016

      Wow, a signing for $5.15M that will end up costing Crane $10.30M thanks to luxary tax implications. Which one of you guys lent him the money for that signing?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kevin
    September 12, 2016

    Interesting from Buster Olney today
    “that even with the postseason eligibility deadline having passed, the Astros should pursue trades for rotation upgrades to help ensure that they’re even able to reach the playoffs. With the Pirates recently suffering a sweep and falling six back in the NL Wild Card race and the Marlins presently five back in that same hunt, Olney suggests right-handers Ivan Nova and Andrew Cashner as possible targets for Houston. Of course, neither would be likely to make more than three starts for Houston anyhow, and the Astros themselves aren’t in much better shape than Pittsburgh or Miami. Houston currently sits 3.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race”

    Like

  6. daveb7
    September 12, 2016

    It’s only a matter of time before we’ll be seeing non stop flights between IAH and HAV. Houston is a great multi cultural city. Our Cuban ball players should feel very comfortable here. And it seems apparent by now that Luhnow is all in on bringing Cuban talent to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim
      September 12, 2016

      Thus, my mentioning of signing Chapman in the off-season. With Gurriel here and our strong base of Latin players he may be comfortable coming to Houston.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Bill
      September 12, 2016

      Hopefully, Lourdes Gurriel will come here as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rj
        September 12, 2016

        mr. b, i would wager that lourdes waits till past his b-day (oct 23) and then is able to sign as a true free agent, without the international signing rules. with his brother already here and our comfortable atmosphere for latin players, i think we are front runners to sign him. and with no tax involved, his signing shouldnt be too horribly expensive over 4-6 years.

        Like

  7. Diane
    September 12, 2016

    Go Astros.

    Like

  8. 1oldpro
    September 12, 2016

    OK, two days ago I mentioned that I thought Luhnow would go after one or both of the young Cuban pitchers that MLB had just declared as free agents. Cionel Perez is one of those two.
    I said this because it is only money and not draft picks or prospects in trade. Getting a 24 year old lefty who can throw 92-94 for only money and not having to give up anything else is exactly what Luhnow is looking for. I said it when Yuli was signed that Luhnow was going to go for Lourdes and might even have worked out a deal and will wait for October 23rd to do the deal. The showcase that Lourdes will have later this month is to help him get a feel for what he is worth from the feedback. But Lourdes wants to play on a team with his brother. That was the reason Yuli gave for defecting in the first place.
    Chapman could be a target. Cespedes could be a target. I think the door to Cuban players has been opened and Luhnow may have a copy of the key. The original may have been handed to Crane when he visited Cuba at Mr. Obama’s side.
    Devin mentioned Crane and wondered where the money would come from. The answer to that is that the money will come from Crane. Where will he get it? My answer is, he already has it. When he acquired the Astros in late 2011 he paid $600 million. When the TV deal failed the value of the Astros went down. When he signed the new deal, rebuilt the farm and made the playoffs last year the value of the team shot up over $1 billion dollars. With the signings of all these foreign players, the added attendance and the possibility of going into next season with a payroll in the $90 million range, the new spring training facility, reupping all the farm affiliates and the MMP renovations and trying to by a high A franchise and move it to Carolina, that value will go up some more.
    Crane is making money, which is why he bought the team in the first place.
    Teams can’t just go get players without giving away the farm or the draft, unless they go after every good foreign player they can find for money only. And Crane has given the okay to Luhnow to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      September 12, 2016

      Perez is 20, not 24 years old.

      Like

  9. 1oldpro
    September 12, 2016

    Becky, as long as Singleton’s 40-man spot doesn’t end up costing the Astros a player they absolutely can’t afford to lose in the rule 5 draft they will keep him on it, rather than let another team have him while they pay his salary bill. They have given up on him and he is doing everything he can to embarrass them by his play. They want him out but they are not going to give him the out and the money, too as long as they can afford not to.
    The Astros have raided their farm system of it’s gold. They just want to make sure they don’t let any young players who could turn into gold get away on account of this man.
    I think they will let Singleton waller in his own mire as long as they can.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      September 12, 2016

      I am guessing our newly-signed 20 year old lefty from Cuba will play in Winter Ball and start at Quad Cities next year. Has anybody heard anything different?

      Like

  10. Becky⚾
    September 12, 2016

    You know what, I hope the fans in Houston don’t start booing Gomez. He was let go because he wasn’t performing, not his fault the rangers took a chance on him. He’s happy, and they are happy. Let it go. I will say this tho….he said the hitting coach in arlington reworked his swing, and if you been paying attention he’s getting hits, and some have left the park. Watch his plate appearance tonight, he no longer screws himself in the ground at the plate anymore. Hmmmm……..makes the hitting coach we have look pretty bad.
    Yes Diane!!! GO ASTROS!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Diane
      September 12, 2016

      That’s what I’m down to, Becky. That’s all I got to say.

      Like

    • Mr. Bill
      September 12, 2016

      The whole ‘launch angle’, ‘swing for the fences’ approach instituted by Mr. Hudgins presents a major problem for BABIP, BA, OBP, and BARISP. I suspect that shift away from solid baseball hitting skills to the ‘chicks just dig the long ball’ approach is exactly what ruined Gomez time in Houston, as well as what has caused really good hitters like White, Kemp, and more recently Teoscar Hernandez, to regress immediately as soon as Hudgins got his hooks in them. I also suspect that approach is what is keeping Springer and Correa’s BA significantly below their minor league numbers. The only guys who can pull off the Hudgins approach successfully seem to be guys with superhuman eyes and very powerful, compact swings like Altuve and Bregman. It took Valbuena 2 years to figure it out. Rasmus has the approach down, but his BA and OBP are horrible as a result.

      Like

    • Mr. Bill
      September 12, 2016

      Since leaving Houston Carlos’ BA is up .26 points, his OBP is up .72 points [to .344], and his OPS is up .241 points [to .835]. I know it’s a small sample size, but he NEVER had a 17 game sample like that in an Astro uniform. There will be no boo-ing of Carlos Gomez from me. Hudgins? That might be another story.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        September 12, 2016

        He absolutely should not be booed. I hope our fans have enough class to realize that he was mishandled by the coaching staff here.

        Amen, Diane, I’m about where you are. Nothing left for me to say without repeating myself.

        Like

      • Mr. Bill
        September 12, 2016

        This is one reason I do not get excited about any talk of trading for or signing a FA outfielder or catcher with any intention of bolstering the offense. Bring a guy like Cespedes or Adam Eaton here for offense and it is very predictable what will happen to his BA, his BABIP, his OBP, and his BARISP. It will fall into a Hudgins hole. If we’re going to spend money or prospects on offense, we need to hire a guy like the Rangers’ Anthony Lapose or the Red Sox’ assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez, or maybe the Pirates’ hitting coach Jeff Branson.

        Like

      • Kevin
        September 12, 2016

        So Mr Bill why is Hudgins still here?? For that matter Pettis also??

        Like

      • Mr. Bill
        September 12, 2016

        I suspect because once the first domino falls, several will follow suit rapidly – and Mr. Crane and Mr. Luhnow will have to admit that the entire offensive part of their plan was badly flawed – indeed so badly flawed that it should have been obvious to their superiors.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Dan P
    September 12, 2016

    How many seeing eye grounder and broken bat bloops do we have to endure? The walk and the one solid hit don’t feel good either.
    Fister is headed for another one of those nights.

    Like

  12. Mr. Bill
    September 12, 2016

    Compare the Rangers’ approach at the plate to that of the Astros. They do not try to do too much – and they patiently dismantle any mediocre pitchers, base on ball by base on ball, and single by single. We try to get a ‘launch angle’ on every pitch, which leaves us guessing fastball all the time and swinging out of our shoes.

    Like

    • sandy
      September 12, 2016

      We can see that so why can’t our baseball experts see it? I see a group of people who refuse to admit they made a mistake.

      Like

    • Mr. Bill
      September 12, 2016

      Springer’s lifetime slash lines: minors: .301/.398/.955; MLB: .257/.358/.818.

      Correa’s lifetime slash lines: minors: .313/.392/.883; MLB: .277.355/.838.

      Tucker’s lifetime slash lines: minors: .292/.359/.858; MLB: .219/.274/.677

      White’s lifetime slash lines: minors: .301/.407/.897/ MLB: .210/.283/.648

      Kemp’s lifetime slash lines: minors: .304/.392/.794/ MLB: .216/.300/.573

      It is to be expected to see possibly as much as a .20 point drop in BA, a.30 point drop in OBP, and a .40 point drop in OPS with the move to the faster game of the MLB. But under Hudgins, every one of these guys show regressions well over the norm. It can’t all be that we just select guys that top out at AAAA.

      Like

      • sandy
        September 12, 2016

        And then there’s the other side of the coin. Players come here regress, move to another teams and find new life.

        Like

  13. Kevin
    September 12, 2016

    I don’t know about any once else , but if I see either Fister or Friers in an Astro uniform next year, the FO need their asses kicked by everyone one of us here.
    Fister ERA in September 15 +. good lord. Root on Gang like watching a bad movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bopert
    September 12, 2016

    Playoff fever is alive and well in MMP with the 11k fans showing up for the key”rivalry” against the Rangers.

    Crane destroyed the fanbase. Mediocrity rules!!

    Like

  15. Billy Castillo
    September 12, 2016

    Fister sucks.

    Like

  16. Kevin
    September 12, 2016

    Is it to late to trade Fister for a bucket of Golf balls

    Like

  17. Kevin
    September 12, 2016

    Man every time JFSM comes to the plate I take a quick nap, great guy brutal bat.

    Like

    • Kevin
      September 12, 2016

      JFSF

      Like

  18. Becky⚾
    September 12, 2016

    It’s mental……they have let the other team live in their head rent free.
    One thing I thought was interesting, Fister hasn’t pitched this many innings since
    2013. AND the radio guys said he might be “tired”…..tough sh*t. If Fister can’t keep pitching for the next three weeks…..get someone out of the bull pen, and put them in the rotation. I’m sooo dang angry about the poor pitching performances of these guys in the last month, I could (and do) scream! We don’t have a lefty now that Keuchel is out, and SOÒO much video on the guys on this team, the other teams know what weaknesses are in this lineup. Any of you guys know how to pitch????
    If so, by all means pick up a glove and offer your services to Hinch, you couldn’t be any worse than what we are seeing everyday. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    Like

  19. Devin
    September 12, 2016

    Maybe that Tony Kemp guy should play more often.

    Like

  20. Kevin
    September 12, 2016

    Turned it back on see Springer K with 2 on in a clutch situation , again.

    Like

  21. Dan P
    September 12, 2016

    Gattis drills the tying dinger – what a blast!

    Like

  22. Billy Castillo
    September 12, 2016

    Gattis! 🙂

    Like

  23. Dan P
    September 12, 2016

    Why would you try to steal with Rasmus swinging – you know he is likely to strike out.

    Like

  24. Becky⚾
    September 12, 2016

    What did I say this afternoon??? Hinch is going to pitch James Hoyt’S arm off.
    And….what did he do???? Put Hoyt ack in to pitch…..and we lose the game.
    This one is on every guy in that lineup who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn tonight……and A.J. Hinch.

    Like

    • Devin
      September 12, 2016

      …and everyone who was trying to hit every pitch onto the train tracks. We need to send Correa and White to a secluded, desert shack this off season where they can contemplate the wisdom of swinging under control.

      Like

  25. Becky⚾
    September 12, 2016

    You know what else makes me hopping mad…….when the media wants to interview Hoyt after the game winning run was scored. He has to stand there and answer stupid questions, from stupid reporters. Why don’t you go ask Hinch why he pitches the same guy everyday??? And guess who’s going to be unavailable tomorrow, Giles.
    I’m done.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on September 8, 2016 by in Astros.
Follow CHIPALATTA on WordPress.com

Our Team

%d bloggers like this: