10 throw-down, Astros-related questions

This is what we technically call a quickie throwdown post in the unpaid business of fan blogging…

  1. Is starting pitching the biggest question mark for the Astros’ going forward? You have 35 y.o. Justin Verlander, who threw 242.2 IP in 2018 between playoffs and regular season and has not missed a start this year, who is at 169.2 IP. Charlie Morton (34 y.o.) threw a career-high 167 total IP last season and is at 142.1 IP. Dallas Keuchel (30 years old). Gerrit Cole though only at 27 years old is already at 164.2 IP and Lance McCullers is in the garage with an arm strain. Can this group hold it together or do they need rest that does not seem to be coming with this tight race?
  2. Where does Framber Valdez fall in your universe of unusual Astros’ names over the years? Somewhere between Mark Lemongello and Bob Aspromonte?
  3. Can the Astros overcome the double play flu? They are leading the league in grounding into DPs and seem to be doing nothing to avoid these rally killers.
  4. What is more important to the Astros….having a healthy Jose Altuve or a healthy Carlos Correa or a healthy George Springer?
  5. Who are you more afraid of: The Seattle Mariners or the Oakland A’s?
  6. Who is the most important off-season free agent for the Astros to re-sign? Dallas Keuchel? Charlie Morton? Marwin Gonzalez? Brian McCann? Someone else?
  7. Through Tuesday Alex Bregman is leading the team in runs scored (81) and RBIs (77) and tied for the lead in HRs (24). Will he end up leading the team in any of those categories?
  8. Would you rather the Astros be playing well at the end of the season but earn a Wild Card, or back into the playoffs as the AL West division winner?
  9. The Astros have gone to the playoffs in back to back years four times in their past. The last time was when they went to the WS in 2005. Does 2017 give them an edge headed into 2018 playoffs should they make it?
  10. Where do you see this team on November 1?

141 comments on “10 throw-down, Astros-related questions

  1. My late Mother taught 1st grade for years. One of her favorite stories was about two boys getting into a fight on the playground. She grabbed both by one arm each and marched them inside. Then asked who started this fight. After a bit, one was crying and said, “He started it when he hit me back.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s about time we fought back against teams that hit us. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with today’s game. Got to keep winning. The A’s and M’s aren’t going away. Need to make sure we have our P’s and Q’s in order and are applying our A, B, C’s out there on the field. We seem to be having less K’s while our pitchers are getting timely K’s. No more of these GIDP’s, and hopeful we won’t have any HBP’s. Good to get another W and we need these other guys to chalk up a L.


  3. Oddwad game today as MLB.com shows we have 1 total at bat against Angels starter Felix Pena and the Angels have 0 ABs of course against Framber Valdez.
    I have to wonder if the 1 AB shown by Martin Maldonado is a boo boo since he played with Pena up to the trade or did Pena come in and face one batter, Maldonado somewhere along the line?


    • I was looking at 2016 when Pena was with the Cubs and Machete with Milwaukee. They played each other several times, but from the game logs there is nothing that appears to match. Maybe a pinch hitter. But it sure looks like a boo boo (if that is even a phrase).


  4. Kyle Tucker hit a walk off 3 run homer to put the Grizzlies in the playoffs. His 7th homer in 5 games and his 20th steal gave him a 20/20 season


  5. September 1 is right at the doorstep so I brushed up on the MLB expanded roster rules. Here are a few of the highlights:

    • Every player on the 40 man roster prior to Sept. 1st is eligible for call- up and use at the MLB level without having to add them to the active roster.

    • ABs and IPs accrued after Sept 1 count in determining rookie status (130 AB/50IP), however no days after Sept 1 count against the 45 day limit for rookie eligibility, even if the rookie was on the active roster prior to Sept 1..

    • If a rookie is called up using the expanded roster rules service time does not accrue.

    • If a player is called up and sent back down under expanded roster rules an option is not used.

    • Usually, if a player is optioned to a Minor League affiliate, he cannot be recalled for 10 days unless he is replacing a player who goes on the DL, the bereavement/family list, the paternity leave list or the restricted list. But in September, if a player is optioned to a Minor League club whose season — including any playoffs — ends prior to the conclusion of that 10-day period, the player can be recalled at that point, with approval from the Commissioner’s Office.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Fresno manager Rodney Linares said of Tucker:

    “He’s one of those guys, and I’ve said before, you’re going to talk about him for a long time. He reminds me of [Alex] Bregman. Pressure doesn’t get to him.”

    Tucker has homered in four straight games, totaling seven during that stretch, and has a long ball in eight of his past nine games with Grizzlies around a two-week stint with the big club. In that span, he’s 20-for-36 to raise his batting average 24 points to .327.

    “it’s to the point that when he doesn’t hit a homer, people say ‘What’s wrong?’ To see him blossom … those are big time at-bats, against closers and lefties,” Linares said.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good news – Jose Altuve’s elbow must be OK after the HBP as he is in the lineup today.
    Not too happy that Tyler White is getting a day off – hope Evan Gattis has one of his positive games today.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The news on McCullers is not real good. He won’t be in the rotation for the rest of the year. If he pitches at ALL it will be out of the bullpen. Sooo it’s a decision who fills his spot? ESPECIALLY if we are in the playoffs. Hinch expects Springer to be in the lineup tomorrow…..I ain’t buying it. Meanwhile Jake will play in another rehab game today, and will be back with the Astros tomorrow.
    Dan…whew, sorry if Manaea is hurt, but as long as we don’t have to see him this week, it’s ok with me!!


    • Well Becky I stay away from taking any joy in opponents injury (well maybe a couple of the Rangers and their manager). That would be inviting some bad karma.
      I’m just reporting an injury to an important opponent and if someone wants to do a “Happy” dance I can’t stop that.

      I do take joy in seeing a healthy Correa and Altuve in the field. They make a 5 star play on defense almost every day.


  9. Alright Correa picks up Altuve with a 2 out 2 run bases loaded single after Jose’s popup
    And then another hit by Marwin – 3-0 good guys


  10. I don’t wish any player on 29 of the 30 teams any bad injuries but if Mr. Manaea has a slight discomfort or is experiencing soreness while he’s visiting Houston I wish him a speedy recovery in about 4 days.


  11. Some Astros thoughts:
    -Max Stassi made up for his non-bat with a double play on EYJ’s total brain fart topped grounder which was called fair. You had a young catcher make a terrific hustle play and a young batter just stand there and hand the Astros the second out.
    -Astros with seven hits, 1 each by the 1-7 batters in the order, and 10 strikeouts.
    -Springer’s at bat was totally a ploy by Hinch to get the Astros fired up for tomorrow.
    – Hinch wanted Trout to face a different reliever there in the 8th inning, so he sent out Rondon. Trout saw Osuna last night.
    -Mike Trout had no RBIs in this series.
    -Framber Valdez has done well for the Astros.
    -Luhnow say LMJ will be a reliever if he comes back this season. I guess that answers one of out rotation questions for the playoffs.
    -It’s adjustment time for Tony Kemp. They are getting him out with high heat.
    -Does Jake’s imminent return allow the Astros to let Tucker play in the PCL playoffs?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Although it didn’t hurt us I thought Kemp should have bunted in the 3rd. That way we had 2nd and 3rd with 1 out with the top of the order. We got away with no GIDP that time. Kemp hit the ball well a couple of times but he might be pressing a little. What a difference maker just having Altuve in the line up is. Let’s keep it going guys. The next 3 games are crucial.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is always good to hear about one of your prospects:

    “He’s got a good arm,” manager Mike Scioscia said of Valdez after the Players’ Weekend finale. “He’s got a lot of movement. He’s sneaky. He’s got a plus fastball when he wants it. He was cutting the ball, sinking it. He has a good curveball, too. I think as the game went on, we got better looks at him, but we obviously didn’t pressure him as much as we needed to.”


  13. Hinch has announced that Springer will be in the lineup tomorrow.

    Meanwhile I’m watching some of my birthday gift – Game 5 – hmmm the Astros are losing 7-4 with two guys on and two out and Altuve hits one out!!
    It is still a thrill.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Kyle Tucker with another walk-off hit tonight for Fresno. The guy is on fire. Fresno comes back from a Kent Emanuel disastrous outing to win in extras.


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