Random Thoughts on an Astros’ August

As the 2018 season rolls into its final 2 months, the mind wanders to random baseball thoughts.

  • If Justin Verlander was upset about the Astros trading for accused domestic abuser Roberto Osuna, he did not show it in his Friday night gem against the Dodgers.
  • But….one would think that this could sink any chance the Astros might have had of extending JV past the 2019 season.
  • The Dodgers have to be wondering what to do about George Springer, who tore them up in the World Series and then got the big hit on Friday night.
  • Is there a goofier game than baseball where the Astros can look helpless against the crummy Rangers, but turn it around against the M’s and Dodgers?
  • Martin Maldonado came over in the midst of a Springerian slump that has continued, but…. the pitching and catching seem a lot more solid since he appeared.
  • Is Kyle Tucker a sure thing September call-up? One would think so but will they be hesitant thinking he’s too young?
  • The A’s are playing the best ball right now in the AL West and who would have guessed that?
  • A year ago the 2017 Astros were at 71-40 one game better than their 70-41 record after Friday’s game….and they were about to go on a five-game losing streak against the Chi-Sox and the Rangers.
  • It will feel so much better to have Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa back in the lineup. Even though Correa missed significant time in 2017 there were only a few games where the team had to live without both players at the same time.
  • While the starting rotation has been a major reason for the Astros success to date – the hitting and the bullpen may tell the tale in the playoffs. They can’t afford to have a five-game tailspin by either part of the team.

Any thoughts on your side?

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163 comments on “Random Thoughts on an Astros’ August

  1. * Maybe Verlander and Rondon were making a statement.
    * Tucker will likely come up again in September, but if the Astros are trying to better their playoff position, then how much time will he get on the field with Kemp and Reddick around? Very little.
    * If Maldonado can’t hit at all, then he might not have a post season job. But I still think for now anyway, it’s him and McCann in October.
    * A’s are playing great ball but will settle down at some point. They look like a wild card favorite though. The M’s might be done.
    * I don’t see a five game tailspin at this point. Who knows though. Plenty of dynamics in play. I’m just looking for a win today. One day at a time.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Verlander looks a lot more comfortable with Maldonado catching.
    Springer excels in California air.
    NL baseball is boring.
    Thinking about McCullers tonight makes me nervous already.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. So….we are up in the Hill Country on vacation and visiting two sons, one daughter-in-law and a grand daughter. My oldest son, Thomas and his wife, Paige say they have something for me and hand me a box. Inside was one of the Astros commemorative WS rings.
    They were down at Corpus and went to the Hooks game where they were giving them away and they got three of them. This is the bee’s knees as they say!!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Maldonado catching again so expect another 0-4 from him. I think all of you are right that he’s going to be taking Stassi’s spot if/when McCann comes back 😢

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  5. If I am doing the math right, ERA for starters is almost 2 full runs lower when Maldanado is catching than when Stassi is catching. I’m not sure why and it could be a fluke (or just a limited sample size) but JV sure looked more comfortable last night than he has in any start since McCann hit the DL. I’ll pick defense and game calling from the C position over average offense every time, especially in the playoffs. After a hot start, Stassi only hit .163 in June and .217 in July, so its not like you are losing a huge part of your offense. I look for Maldonado to get the bulk of the starts until McCann returns and be on the playoff roster.

    If Marwin keeps hitting I don’t think we will see Tucker back up this year, other than matbe for a quick cup of coffee, photo op and a week or two on the town. If Marwin hits he plays LF and Kemp become your pinch hitter/ runner. I’m scared of Kemp’s arm in the OF in crucial playoff games. Marwin has a cannon and had 3 outfield assists in last year’s playoffs. Each made a difference in the outcome of the game. I don’t think Kemp makes those plays.

    JV is going to get at least a 4-5 year deal at 25-30 per year. I don’t think the Osuna deal will have anything to do with the ability to resign him. I look for him to end up in LA or NY, or wherever else Kate wants to live.

    This team has far better and deeper talent than last year. They will end the season with a better record than they did in 2017. Last year’s team would not have been competitive with Altuve, Correa and McCann out of the lineup at the same time.

    The A’s have neither pitching quality nor pitching depth to be factors at the end of the season. Same for the Mariners. At least the A’s can produce consistent offense, as opposed to the M’s so they may get a 1 and out in the WC playoff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Look what Maldonado is doing during the same time frame. Here’s something..he’s hitting worse than Marisnick has hit during any part of the season. Right now we can’t afford that. As far as the ERA goes… it’s a small sample size with us.

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      • If Marisnick were as good defensively behind the dish as he is in the OF he would be a perennial all- star, regardless of his batting average. McCann’s career playoff BA is .183 in 30 games. Apart from 1 or 2 special players, you just aren’t going to get much production from a catcher in the playoffs. I like Maldonado defensively and handling the staff. I like Stassi very much as well, but I would rather go with experience and defense in the playoffs.

        That’s just me. Let’s wait and see with Maldonada. He only has 9 AB as an Astro. If he continues to hit .000 then I can always change my mind.

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      • S…..t, if the guys on the mound are happier throwing to Maldonado, we can indeed afford that. I’ll take an 0 for 4 every night from my catcher if my starter goes 7.2 in the manner Verlander did last night and my closer gets 4 solid outs.

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  6. 10 teams in all of baseball have 60 or more wins. 3 of them are in the AL West. This division has really turned things around since last year.

    Red Sox now have an 8.5 game lead on the Yankees. They may put that division away in the very near future. I’m happy for Cora. He has done a very good job.

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  7. Maldonado puts the game away with his first Astros hit a bases loaded ground rule double and has 3 RBIs tonight. Astros up 8-0 in the 8th.

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  8. Tony Kemp gets taken out after a hit by pitch. Injury bug biting bad.
    Reddick hits a 3 run homer to stretch it to 12-0 – it’s a 7 run inning and counting.

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  9. The Astros are suddenly getting the bounces absent for much of the season.

    Did Lance reach his limit? Regardless, we’ve still had a remarkably healthy pitching staff season to date.

    We’ve totally put 110,000 fans to sleep over two nights..

    Liked by 1 person

    • They FINALLY played a little small ball! Just think….they have to face Garrett Cole tomorrow!!! Hopefully shutting McCullers down for a week or two might be just what the doctor ordered!
      Now, aren’t we glad they kept Peacock and McHugh!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Marisnick

    Last 30 games – 51 AB -.294/.379/.569 – .948 OPS
    Last 15 games – 30 AB – .333/.429/.667 – 1.096 OPS
    Last 7 games – 14 AB – .357/.400/.571 – .971 OPS

    I guess JFSF has earned the right to be on the big league roster.

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  11. Perez slams the door on a beat down of the Dodgers. Everyone is leaving the field and Maldanado is still talking to the young pitcher. I think he may have been telling him that 9 out of 10 rednecks approve of the impressive mullet he is sporting.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Billy, I know we banter back and forth and often disagree but I like you and value your opinions. As to your comment, you may be right. I’m not sure that McCann will be recovered and healthy enough to make a difference in the playoffs.

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  12. McCullers set a career high for IP before leaving with right elbow discomfort. Based on the fact that he was on pace to exceed IP by about 50% it is probably not a bad thing to dial him back for a bit and get him fresh and healthy for the playoffs.

    Twitter is abuzz that he will miss at a minimum 1-2 starts. Who backs fills him? McHugh, Peacock or a minor league call- up?

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  13. I think I heard on the telecast last night that the Astros were the only team to have the same 5 starters all year. Must be something in the Houston water. They need to carry some it to the Away Games.

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  14. – McCullers is being sent back to Houston to be examined by team doctors. I know it would seem to be a good thing for LMJ to get some rest – but this could be something more serious.
    – Luhnow and Crane met with the team before yesterday’s game about Osuna joining the team today. And they said Osuna will address the team before today’s game. To be a fly on the wall….

    Liked by 2 people

    • He dealt with the same issue 2 seasons ago and it put him on the shelf for quite a while. I hope its not as serious but I don’t see how it gets any better without rest. He’s already at a career high in IP and still has a third of the season left. I sure don’t want to see workload increase year over year to the point where it affects him next season as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The Dodgers starter from Friday night goes on the DL with adductor tendinitis (I don’t know what my adductor(s) is (are) and did not know it (they) could get tendinitis). The Astros starter from Saturday night is likely headed to the DL. It’s the dog days of August I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oddly worded post on MLB trade rumors that “in a surprise move” Luis Valbuena was designated for assignment by the Angels. Considering he is hitting .199 for the second year plus he has a .588 OPS this year… not a surprise

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Going to go ahead and say this. The Father God has forgiven me through Jesus’ death. Don’t know what Osuna has done. In a sense, it does not matter. Suppose he has been transferred to the Astros for a kind of earthly redemption? Notice I’m not saying Ultimate Redemption. If I had not been given second, third, fourth and seventy times seven forgiveness, I have no chance of Heaven. Not being falsely humble, just telling it. I am a bad sinner. Not only do I know my heart, I don’t know my heart. And that’s what scares me. I am no better than Roberto Osuna — I don’t care what he’s done — I’m no better. Can we at least hope that God is at work here? Can we at least pray that Romans 8:28 will apply here? Any here who would do that, do that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The last couple of outings Peacock’s slider has looked much tighter with later movement. Last night it was devastating. That’s a good sign moving toward the stretch run.

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  18. Well that wasnt good on Springer’s thumb , that could be costly )-: Those head first slides that really don’t mean a thing in August and he was out.

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  19. Will somebody plssssss hit the darn ball instead of SO or GIDP’s, killing rallies like that drives me crazy, my goodness

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  20. They can’t beat us in the gms with their bats so they knock us out the gms wtth their balls. Way too many HBP in this series

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  21. So along with LMJ going to see team doctors, Altuve has had a setback and is going to Houston along with Devo. Man I hope Springer is OK.

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    • Man, I hate to see these injuries stack up! But, if you have to deal with it now is the time. Expanded rosters come soon for more reinforcements and there is still time to get everyone back fresh and at full health for the playoff push.

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