The week in review and the week ahead


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

Let’s see….

  • 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?

Advertisements

86 comments on “The week in review and the week ahead

  1. The Astros look like a team with a split personality.
    You either get a reincarnation of the 2013 team or a small glimpse of the World Champions of 2017.
    Some consistency would be good for team morale going forward.
    *How can a team walk all over a pitcher one week and then get shut down the next week by the same guy?
    * What’s up with the high pitch counts?
    *Why on earth is Hinch leaving Correa twisting in the wind at cleanup?
    Tune in again this afternoon for the next chapter. At least it’s usually a surprise every day.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The ESPN broadcast last night was a breath of fresh air. I know Blum and Kalas have their marching orders. I’m sure the batters eye is not to be discussed. But ESPN got a quote out of Bregman and he says it’s not been well received. Who has more credibility right now than Bregman? One might say that both teams get the same background, but the home team should have a bit of an edge seeing that same background for 80 plus games a year. ARod also noted that the background should be bigger. And he’s got a pretty good pedigree too. I wonder if the architects of the redesign or any club officials talked with the players about what was going to be done out in center?

    Liked by 3 people

    • They architects made a mistake and the front office missed it. It’s gotta be fixed and it’s gonna be fixed. You can bet that the powers to be are not going to put up with 23 points difference in BA between the road and home. The Astros have the highest BA in baseball on the road and the 23rd highest at home.
      This is something that HAS to get fixed!

      Liked by 3 people

    • I said the same thing last night. At least we get an honest opinion from those guys and gal.
      Maybe they hit on something with the background discussion. It is quite busy and distracting. I hope the FO takes notice and does something.

      Liked by 3 people

    • I saw and heard that discussion that ARod was having about the batters’ eye. Mrs. Sarge and I have been on that band wagon for two years now. I hope the club management is listening to this stuff and will do something about it. I know they cannot make changes during the season but in the off-season…

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s clear the architects involved in the construction of that entire ballpark never consulted anyone with any baseball knowledge. The fact they would mess up CF following the removal of the hill is no surprise.

      Like

  3. Well, we’re packing today and leaving in the morning. The forecast for our home is a 60% chance of rain for the next six days and the forecast for Red River is rain for the next six days.
    I don’t care, I’m going. Mrs. 1op is so excited and she will not know that the left side(stroke side) has been killing me for two days. This is for her. I’m there to drive and take care of her.
    It’s so great to hear from all of you. I don’t know how to comment on my phone but I do know how to get the internet with it. So, be good, because the old man is watching.
    Go Astros!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I also saw more glimpses of a loose team than we’d get from an Astro Broadcast. Is it ESPN using more cameras, or are they working harder to document the vibe of the club? From Springer in the dugout dissing McCuller’s music selection, to seeing Osuna actually smiling when interacting out in the pen, to watching Verlander tip toeing behind Hinch as he was getting interviewed, I feel better about our guys.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So I just found out The Stare has overtaken the Net, from little kids to peace officers. So if it ain’t my thang, still you just never know, specially in this day and age, which is beyond my day, if not my age.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hey OP, have a great time on vac and be safe. Bregman continues to cement his case for tm MVP, inching up the ladder in league MVP. CC could take a lesson onrtwo from Breg with his immense talent & capabilities. GS too while they are at it

    Liked by 2 people

    • At the beginning of the season, who would have possibly thought that Bregman would be a better player than Correa? Who would have thought that Bregman would be the team MVP over Altuve?

      Like

  7. Op – have a great time!

    I’ve been with the family at the movies and just saw some of the kind words on the previous post. That warms my heart to know what I do is appreciated. Thank you all for tuning in!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. And happy Labor Day to everyone – those who get paid for their labor and those who performs labors of love.

    Anyone doing anything special today? We know old pro is loading up the Family Truckster and heading to Red River. Dan P went to the movies with my wife and youngest son before noon when it was $5 per ticket and we resisted the Minute Maid priced concessions and watched a pleasant RomCom called Rich Crazy Asians which I guess is politically correct since it Stars all Asians who may or may not be rich and/or crazy.

    Like

  9. Yard work and the Astros game for me. Glad Mauer swings at pitches out of the zone or Harris would have walked the bases loaded (2 batters).

    Like

    • Well that was more exciting than I was looking for – hope Rondon who took a line drive off his arm and Marwin who got pulled early are OK

      Like

  10. I enjoyed the Astros “curling” stare – is this going to be like the opening to the Simpsons where it changes every time? Will they need a team of writers to script these things.
    So the Astros 4 hits yielded 4 runs while the Twins 8 hits yielded 1 run. I’ll take that.

    Like

  11. Astros win. Kyle Gibson pitched the same game he has pitched all season. Two earned runs in 7 innings and no run support. I am so glad we won this game.
    Ernesto Jaquez’s bubble burst today. Nine runs in one-third of an inning.
    Fresno won, QC won, Buies Creek won and Corpus Christi is winning.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Like what I saw in Valdez and James, there will be some comp come next season. Hope they ready for the big stage by then. Can never have enough pitching and likely DK may be gone

    Liked by 2 people

  13. We are still visiting our Houma family, and trying to be some comfort to one of our cousins who lost his wife of 51 years. She (Nancy) was my best friend and staying in their home has not been easy. Everything has been a first for Gordon.
    I told him once the first year is gone, it becomes a little easier. This family is watching the weather channel waiting to see if they are gonna get hammered by this storm.
    The guys are starting to get together like they were before 3 of their core went on DL. Playing lose can be a double edge sword….I’m sure A.J. can see the difference between lose, and screwing around…at least I HOPE can

    Like

      • It’s tough to lose your spouse in our golden years. I’ve walked in those shoes, I lost my first husband when our children were 5yrs and 10yrs old. As time marches on for us…..it has stopped for Gordon. Even though almost all of our family is right here, he’s lost without Nancy. Cherish each other everyday❤

        Liked by 3 people

  14. Apparently Hinch is convinced, given time, they will get back in form. I guess the fact that it might be too late at that point is not important.

    Like

    • This is one thing that’s frustrates me about Hinch. We’re going on 4 weeks and we haven’t seen a lot of improvement but Hinch keeps putting him in the #4 slot come Hell or High water. Same with Altuve. I think it’s obvious they aren’t seeing the ball well and that they are pressing too much. Move them in the order and tell them to relax and have fun. Just make contact with the ball and the hits will come. Strike outs do nothing to help the team.
      The book on opposing pitches with the Astros.
      1st pitch – Off speed or fastball for a strike.
      2 – 4 if necessary – off speed; slider, curve, cut fastball
      last pitch – if you’ve got them guessing off speed, throw a fastball down the middle.
      How many times have we struck out on pitches out of the zone? What gets me is taking close pitches to get to a 2-2, 3-2 count and then flailing at a pitch 12 inches off the plate.
      As of lately who has best plate discipline (IMHO):
      Bregman, White
      Springer is getting better
      Kemp is good unless he tries to hit a home run
      Jake has improved
      Marwin is up and down
      Altuve and Correa are having no fun at the plate
      Yuli, Reddick are 50/50
      Maldonado, Stassi, Gattis are so-so
      To finish up on a high note, In the last games, only 1 GIDP. Oakland is not going away and I think the schedule favors them more than us. So let’s keep winning. Put the pressure on them. Especially since our games should be well underway before they start.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I keep hoping he will do exactly as you say. But you can bet on the same lineup especially after a win. When he does change things up he usually rests the hottest hitters at the time which gets their rhythm off.
        Hinch did an awesome job managing the playoffs last year though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sandy, I agree about sitting hitters when they are hot. It seems to me that this began under Porter. It was like, how DARE you do well! You will sit the next game to cool off. Sometimes, it appears Hinch has the same method.

        Like

  15. Of course this may tie back to the old Burl Ives’ song…
    Lavender blue, dilly dilly
    Lavender green
    Then, I’ll be king dilly, dilly
    And you’ll be my queen

    Now, since lavender is a type of purple – I have no idea what lavender blue or lavender green mean…..or dilly dilly for that matter

    Liked by 3 people

  16. “Oh the baseball season’s on
    Get your season tickets now
    Those athletes work so hard
    There the pitch and the bat goes pow
    It’s trying to say to you
    “Everything will be alright”
    That’s what we’re trying to say to you

    Batter swings and the ball goes sailin’ out in the crowd
    Roundin’ third safe at home and the fans start screamin’ loud
    Baseball’s on”

    (words and music by Brian Wilson , copyright 1976)

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Blasts from the past…
    – Brandon Barnes, 32 brought up by the Indians
    – Nolan Fontana, 27 released by the Angels
    Fontana was not hitting for much average .232, but as usual had a great .397 OBP at AAA

    Like

  18. The Astros need to go 14 and 9 to reach 100 wins. Meanwhile, the A’s require a 17 and 5 record to get there. They’ve got an excellent if increasingly overworked pen, but a patchwork rotation led by Mike Fiers. I like our chances.

    Like

    • The A’s did one of these “openers” last night where they had a reliever start for one inning and then brought in Daniel Mengden, who pitched excellently. They had a no hitter going into the 6th, but…. ended up using 8 pitchers and giving up 5 runs late.
      Yes, I think we have an advantage over them.

      Like

  19. I had no idea Bregman would turn out to be the stud he has developed into. Actually I expected this stardom out of CC (not implying he won’t get there) but AB just jumped ahead of the class with old fashion hard work, a baseball rat with unbelievable skills, hint, hint….

    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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

Connecting to %s