The week of 9-17 through 9-23 in review
The Astros began the week with a solid 4.5 game lead over the unbelievably hot A’s. The Astros started the week in a wobbly fashion losing 2 out of 3 to the Mariners at home. But they cranked things up with a 3 game sweep of the Angels. If they do clinch this division – the 9 run rally that turned a 5-1 loss to a 10-5 win on Saturday against the Halos may be the game that kicked them over the top. The A’s came so close to cutting the lead to 2 1/2 games, but by the end of the week, the lead was jacked back up to 4.5 games and the magic number to clinch the division was down to three.
The week of 9-24 through 9-30 in a preview
The Astros finish the regular season in their most comfortable place – on the road. And if they can’t manage to clinch while playing the lowly Blue Jays and the miserable Orioles – there was never going to much hope for them anyway. The Blue Jays after getting swept in a four-game series by Boston have played well lately against two good teams, the Yanks and the Rays and one abysmal team, the Orioles.
The Astros will play “abysmal” four games in Baltimore. The O’s are bringing back memories of the bottoming out Astros. After Sunday’s games, they were 45-110 – enough said.
Player of the Week:
We will give it to the oldest second-year player around, Yuli Gurriel (yes – the third season played, but he was an eligible rookie last year so Nah-nah-nah-nah). As best I can tell working off my phone, he scored 8 runs and knocked in 10 and had 2 doubles and 3 home runs for the week. He was a critical cog now that Bregman has returned to earth.
Stat focus: K!!!!!!
Saturday night was a K affair for the Astros as Justin Verlander set a career high for himself with 280 Ks in a season, the Astros starters set a mark with 1069 Ks on the season and the staff set a record with 1615 Ks on the season. And more to come…..
Pop Song That Should Have Been a Hit – “Someone to Lay Down Beside Me” by Linda Ronstadt
Ronstadt’s 1976 album “Hasten Down the Wind” topped out in the top 3 albums on the Billboard and was a mix of covers from oldies “That’ll be the Day” by the late Buddy Holly and “Crazy” by Willie Nelson and newbies by Warren Zevon, John Hall (of Orleans) and three songs by Karla Bonoff, including “Someone to Lay Down Beside Me”.
The final song on the album, it is a perfect blend of Andrew Gold’s frenetic piano and Rondstadt’s most haunting and mournful vocals. It is a beautiful piece that is song crafting at its best.
So what do you think about last week?
Will the Astros clinch and when?
Will they have to go forward without Charlie Morton and if they do is Framber the Manber?