Positives as the Astros head into game 4


Doubt is the avid fan’s closest friend and biggest antagonist. We agonize over every pitch; self torture ourselves over every small setback or change in the narrative. This is probably doubly true at playoff time as the Sword of Damocles dangles over our favorite team’s season and legacy.

Today as the Astros head into the 4th game of the ALCS with the Yankees holding a 2-1 lead in the series, there are a number of reasons to face the future with a positive attitude.

There is payback coming

After three games, the Astros’ cumulative numbers are .173 BA/ .274 OBP/ .591 OPS and they have only scored 7 runs in the series. Alex Bregman (.143), George Springer (.083), Yordan Alvarez (.000), Yuli Gurriel (.091), Robinson Chirinos (.000), Aledmys Diaz (.000) and Jake Marisnick (.000) are all below the Mendoza line with 4 of the 7 still back at the starting line. This will change.

Four games in four days

The Yankees are much more dependent on their bullpen for innings than the Astros with Domingo German gone and Luis Severino on a pitch count. Their pen has averaged more than 5 innings per game in the first three games and if that continues with no days off …. this could be problematic for skipper Aaron Boone.

Starting Pitching

Yes Masahiro Tanaka had a great outing against the Astros in Game 1 and comes back tonight. But historically, the Astros have done very well against Tanaka (0-2, 6.62 ERA in 7 regular season starts against Houston). When you look at Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole being available to pitch on regular rest in 3 of the next 4 games (if needed). This should put the Astros in better position going forward against Tanaka, James Paxton, the next two games and Severino in a 7th game or with less rest in a 6th. The 6th game may be a battle of bullpens, but again, the Astros may well have a better rested bullpen.

The Astros are in the Yankees’ heads

If you have a team worried about you stealing signs when  (as blogger daveb so aptly stated) “….we get shut out 7 zip in the opener and only scratch out 3 runs in 11 innings in game two”….. then you are in their brains; you own their brains.

Karma is coming

When you throw things at players and say nasty things about their wives and kids, karma can be a b*&%h. There are choices being made every game by the Yankee fans around these ruffians and by the Yankee front office through their security to not stop this nonsense. I hope Josh Reddick hits a homer every game until they back off.

2017 still lives

The Yanks know we beat them in 2017. Our team knows we beat them in 2017. That can count for a lot in the back of each team’s minds.

The Astros are the better team

The Astros have much better starting pitching, equal offensive power, better fielding and a little less of a bullpen. And frankly they have a better manager. All this and the cameras in the bullpen, the mini-drones we fly in front of the catcher, and the whistlers we keep busy in the dugout give the Astros the edge in a best 2 out of 4 min-series. By the way I was just kidding about the cameras, mini-drones and whistlers….unless the Yanks are reading this, in which case THEY ARE REAL!

113 comments on “Positives as the Astros head into game 4

  1. It is not that we are stealing their signs. It is not that they are tipping their pitches. It is just that A.J. Hinch is a wizard and Alex Bregman is a warlock, both of whom know how to read their minds.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ode to all Yankees, Yankee fans, and ESPN personnel:

    Every sign you flash.
    Every line you slash.
    If you scratch that rash, if you’re talkin’ trash
    . . . we’ll be watchin’ you!

    Every night and day.
    Every game we play.
    Try howe’er you may, we’ve got a dossier
    . . . we’ll be watchin’ you!

    In places you can’t see . . . behind each bush and tree!
    Did Bregman shell out cash? Is this a fake mustache?

    Every pitch you tip;
    Every off-speed grip;
    you’re the mothership of all bad sportsmanship,
    . . . so we’ll be watchin’ you!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Another positive – we know that the team will play again in Houston – they will return and play the Yanks or they will return and host the World Series but they will not return and pack up their lockers for the off season

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Today as the Astros head into the 4th game of the ALCS with the Yankees holding a 2-1 lead in the series, there are a number of reasons to face the future with a positive attitude.”
    You were just checking our attention span, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my head (and no you don’t own my brain) I had a comma or pause after the word Yankees – “Today as the Astros head into the 4th game of the ALCS with the Yankees…, pause pause – light humming – pause pause… holding a 2-1 lead in the series….”
      That’s really how it read to me.
      I’m going to fire that editor if I can find him in my nearest mirror…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My hunch is Greinke is going to the hill tonight to have a second chance to show us AND the yankees, he means business. He’s seen his two mates go out and shut them out, and he wants some of that praise as well. I’m sure he is grateful he doesn’t have to meet with the media scrum this afternoon. Every one of those guys on both sides, are worn out and REALLY tired….but the carrot is right in front of their noses, and with a win tonight it buries the chance that New York can come back. I have my 3 grandsons to pull for our guys tonight⚾
    What could be better!! GO ‘STROS!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. We went from a must win game 2, to putting the Yankees in the same position for game 4. But I have not forgotten that the Yankees did win 106. It’s not over. Again though, as Dan notes, the bats have got to do something soon, and Tanaka might as well be the victim. Always all about getting off to a good start; Greinke and the bats. I want to see the hammer come down tonight.

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  7. Ok, here’s what I said to Correa just now: You want to be BMOC? You want to be the star? Go ahead and do it and I’ll applaud you. (And then I said I should not have said that.) And then he hit it. I applaud you.

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  8. This ALCS has been nervy from end to end. Runs are a premium and hard to come by but boy it’s a blessing to see our guys on top. Keep scoring till it’s over Astros. Our BP has come through for us as well. I’m feeling better each game.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My feeling good about the BP just got dashed with one pitch, lol. And we’re up 2-1, not the Yanks I noticed in the blog. Had me worried for a minute Dan, lol again. Laughing to keep from crying about giving up 2 runs. Like I said, we need to keep scoring.

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  10. Why are the booths apologizing for the Yanks. Yes the Stros caught some breaks but they did what needed to be done and have struggled offensively as have the Yanks. Give the Boyz their props, the pitchers their props, they have neutralized all that power. Call it the way it is. And yes Dan, karma is a %^$, raining down insults on folks wives & kids, being total butts ain’t cool.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The Yankee’s pretty much embarrassed themselves on their home turf tonight. All the drunk guys had to leave and find a bar once they quit selling beer. They well deserved the performance they witnessed.
    Boy, that guy behind the plate was calling the biggest game of his career, and frankly he sucked too. Greinke was not far off. I still think he’s got a post season gem in him. Pressly, wow. Joe Smith solid. James is still young. Harris has become a rock. 4 outs from Osuna who sure has picked a nice time to own his role. We did leave some guys on the bases, but we also hit the ball hard to. The real eruption is still coming. Good night.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Where is ac45? Was he serious about old comments? Can’t remember last time he posted. Also during last couple days, roadthriller, sarge, vewill are scarce. And there’s others too. Can’t think of them all right now, don’t have time. But it bothers me during playoffs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good call Diane – I looked back on AC45 and it has been a week. Sarge and Roadthriller a few days – vewill has always been pretty inconsistent. Billy C has been a few days – Larry Leach – Dr. Bill – videogidget or whatever that name is – I know there are others – y’all chime in so we don’t worry about you. I know some folks will follow along but don’t always want to comment and I’m sure we lose some along the way. Tim are you around?

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      • I don’t have likability (and no comments from peanut gallery please), but glad you’re with us, Billy C. You were also one I was thinking of.

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  13. -Sanchez’s bobble on the throw from Judge in RF on the sac fly that wasn’t, reminded me of the 2017 ALCS. Pettis should have sent Brantley on that one.
    – Sanchez avoided the fifth error on the Yankees when Reddick managed a single on his catcher interference.
    -In the midst of his 1st inning troubles finding the plate, Greinke acted exactly like the waitress who refuses to acknowledge your presence as she walks past you when you need something. A total lack of recognition of anything going on. Nothing affects him outwardly. And he was constantly getting screwed by the home plate ump. Not even a wince from him.
    – The repeat of the rundown of an Astros baserunner between third and home, with both runners advancing behind him was absolutely erie.
    -The entire post game panel was clearly blaming the Yankees failures on Aaron Boone. It was stunning to hear after watching how badly the Yankees played in game 4.
    – How is a 5’6″ batter going to have any chance at all to get a hit, when the first pitch to him is six inches above the zone and is called a strike?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1OP, I’d like to see that pitch down the middle, six inches below the zone to Judge for a ball, lined up with the strike call to Altuve that was six inches above the zone. At some point, the strike zone simply broke down. And that sure makes it tougher on disciplined hitters. I’d love to see all those line drives drop in tonight and help ruin this October Friday evening for the locals, or wherever those cavemen posing as Yankee fans come from.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sometimes people with neurological issues can have intense and unbreakable concentration/focus in a certain area. ZG may have this. Living in your own world has its advantages when you live in a world like this.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Op, I saw it a little differently.

      By the time the ball bounced short of Sanchez, his teammates had already said “No Runner.” He was only trying to get in front of it, instead of trying to make a great catch. I don’t think it was even close, Pettis sending him. Judge has a howitzer, and that’s a huge momentum shift if we get thrown out at the plate.

      Hindsight 20/20, glad it worked out.

      What really surprised me was Pressly coming through. He hasn’t looked the same since knee surgery, but he really cut teeth last night!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The word of the day, resilience!!! There is a difference between bellyaching and doubting. I might bellyache about the lack of offense or bad pitching, but I will never doubt this tm again. In the face of adversity they keep finding ways to get it done and on any given night, anybody—each Astro is a hero. Someone mentioned sweat equity last nite. I have my own in house sauna watching these Astro playoff games. But they have rewarded those frayed nerves with wins & may very well be on the brink of another WS. That sauna remains open until this series is over but it’s been well worth the effort to watch. Go STROS!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I don’t feel like the coverage is talking about just how important those innings pitched by Will Harris this series have been. I hope Hinch doesn’t have to use him in every game as a rested Harris is a truly dangerous weapon in the bullpen.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Speaking of positives . . .

    It is such a positive that Carlos Correa is finally healthy, happy, and hitting!

    It is such a positive that Yordan Alvarez is getting a true baptism of fire against the world’s best pitchers. He is adjusting – and will just be better for all the struggles. Fortunately, he has a lot of more experienced professional hitters around him in the line-up.

    It is such a positive that our bullpen has stepped up big time in the last three games against the Yankees.

    It is such a positive that we have still been able to win with home runs when we haven’t been able to get runs across well at all the conventional way.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. A co-worker just informed me that during the warm-up last night, fans started yelling at Greinke, “What’s wrong with you, man? Did you forget to take your pills?” In this case, the NYPD appeared and escorted three crank Yank fans out.

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  18. Thoughts
    – Yeah I started laughing about how Torres was supposed to be all out of sorts by being moved around the lineup according to Papi and A-Rod. Why not find out how out of sorts he is sitting his butt on the bench.
    – Nothing better than seeing the loyal fans leaving early in the Bronx
    – The way the Yanks fell apart in the field was shocking – what a complete meltdown
    – Keep wondering if Sanchez will end up as a DH because he seems to butcher the catcher position

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  19. Post-Season [thus far] offensive performances of note:

    Top 3 BAs – Altuve [.351], Maldonado [.333], and Bregman [.286]
    Top 3 OBPs – Bregman [.474], Altuve [.385], and Brantley/Maldonado [.333]
    Top 3 RBIs – Altuve/Correa [6], Gurriel [5], and Springer [4]
    Top 3 HRs – Altuve [4], Correa/Springer [2], four players with [1]
    Top 3 in runs – Bregman [9], Altuve [7], Brantley [4]

    On the other hand:

    Most strikeouts – Correa [16], Alvarez [14], and Springer [12]
    Lowest BAs [at least 10 ABs] – Chirinos [.111], Springer [.132], and Correa [.167]
    Lowest OBPs [“] – Correa [.167], Springer [.195], and Reddick [.222]

    We need more production from everybody not named Jose or Alex, but especially from Michael Brantley and Yuli Gurriel. Both are making good contact, and should have a breakout game any time.

    We need Alvarez to make his adjustments and start to contribute like we all know he is capable of doing.

    We need either Reddick, Tucker, or Diaz to bring the do something good for us at the bottom of the order.

    Catchers who contribute with the bat? It’s not a big priority, but we’ll definitely take it if/when it happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Post-season [thus far] pitching performances of note:

    Top 3 ERAs [starters]- Cole [o.40], Verlander 3.12, and Greinke [6.43]
    Top 3 ERAs [relievers] – Harris/Urquidy [o.00], Osuna [1.35], and Smith [2.08]
    Top 3 WHIP [starters] – Cole [0.79], Verlander [1.21], and Greinke [1.43]
    Top 3 Whip [relievers] -Smith [0.46], Harris [o.69], and Osuna [0.75].
    Most Ks [starter] – Cole [32], Verlander [2o], and Greinke [16
    Most Ks [reliever] – James [8], Harris [7], and Osuna [6]

    On the other side of the coin:

    Worst 3 ERAS – Abreu/Rondon [27.oo], Pressley [15.43], and Miley [6.43]
    Worst 3 WHIPs – Abreu [6.00], Pressly [4.29], and Rondon [3.00]
    Most HRs allowed – Greinke [5], Verlander [3], five pitchers with [1]

    We have gotten excellent work from our top two starters. Greinke has struggled comparatively, but has managed to limit the damage and keep it competitive most of the time.

    We have gotten amazing work out of Smith, Harris, and Osuna, and seen flashes of brilliance from Pressley and James. We will need better work from the last two [Pressley’s amazing outing last night bodes well in that regard], and we will need contributions from at least three of Urquidy, Abreu, Rondon, and Peacock.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hey you all I’m here had a bit of a bug, damn awesome 3-1 are you kidding me and we are hitting what .200 amazing. Besides disgusted with Yankee fans,even my wife was like are the Yankees paying the Fox announcers, man they are homers! You all crack me up , love it! So as much it would be fun to win at MM, love to close it out tonight. How come every time i want to trade CC he comes up with teh big bomb LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

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