The week of 8-27 through 9-2 in review
The Astros began the week at 80-50 with a one and a half game lead in the AL West over the Oakland A’s. They beat those same A’s in a 3 game series to begin the week. Monday they roared back from a 4-0 early deficit to tie the game and then pulled away to an 11-4 win. They followed that with a disappointing 4-3 loss and then a huge walk-off 5-4 win in the rubber game.
The Astros looked like a pretender not a contender in two lackluster losses to the Angels of Anaheim, but then turned things around with a comeback 7-3 win and a tightly played 4-2 win to give them a series split on Sunday.
The Astros ended the week with the same 2.5 game lead they had when the A’s left town on Wednesday.
The week of 9-3 through 9-9 in a preview
The Astros will play six games in the next week, three at home against the struggling Minnesota Twins and then three in Boston against the Red Sox, the best team in the majors.
The Twins have been playing poorly lately having lost 10 of their last 14 games.
The Red Sox have been struggling (for them) the last couple weeks as they have been gone 6-8 in their last 14 games, being swept by the Rays and splitting a four-game series with the White Sox. But it is a good bet they will be fired up to play the team that ended their 2017 dreams.
Player of the Week: Tyler White
- In Monday’s 11-4 win over the Oakland A’s, Tyler helped top off a third-inning, four-run rally with the single that tied the game 4-4 and then topped off the scoring with a 3 run homer in the 8th inning. He also drew a walk along the way.
- Tuesday in a 4-3 loss, he knocked in the Astros first run with a fielder’s choice in the 2nd inning and then singled and scored their second run during a two rally in the 5th inning.
- Wednesday after a single and a walk led to nothing earlier in the game, Tyler wins it 5-4 against the A’s with his first walk-off HR at any level in the 9th inning.
- Thursday in a lackluster 5-2 loss to the Angels, White was the only bright spot with two hits including a 2 run HR in the 9th.
- Saturday night Tyler had only one hit, but it was one of the biggest as the Astros rallied from a 3-0 deficit and White’s two-run double gave them the first lead of the series on the way to a 7-3 victory.
Oh, and Alex Bregman, who had three doubles, three homers and nine RBIs for the week was pretty darned good too.
Stat focus: Wrong Impressions?
It always feels like the Astros wait forever to start scoring in their games. In the seven games this week, they scored in the first three innings in five of the seven games (and remember they did not score at all in their 3-0 shutout by the Angels). The way things broke down this week they scored 11 runs in innings 1-3, 6 runs in innings 4-6 and 15 runs in innings 7-9. This surprised this writer, who thought that he would find they scored a couple runs early in the game the whole week.
Classic Rock Song That Should Have Been a Hit – “Cheat the Hangman” by the Doobie Brothers
Patrick Simmons has been what sports would call a glue guy for the Doobies. Tom Johnston and his roaring guitar and matching vocals led most of their early rock heavy hits. His substitute, Michael McDonald led a jazzier light rock era. But through it all, Patrick Simmons was the glue guy bridging both eras. He was not the lead singer, but did write and sing some of their hits like #1 hit “Black Water” and “Dependin’ on You”.
“Cheat the Hangman” is a hauntingly beautiful ballad based on “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. Perhaps it is a bit depressing lyrically or too long musically for it only made it to #60 when it was released as a single. Either way, it is a lovely song in the southern inspired sound scape that the lads from California pushed forward. Of course, these lads are pushing 70 y.o. now.
What did you think about the week that was or the week that will be?