Thank You 2019 Astros for a Wonderful Season


In the ninth inning of Game 7 as the Nats had just extended the lead to 6-2, my youngest son who is not a sports fan, but who very sweetly watched the game with his ol’ dad last night said the following, “Well at least this is the 2nd best season in Astro’s history.” And he was right. It does not heal the hurt, but it does help to know that we are living in a golden age of Astros’ baseball where we can be “disappointed” that our team participated in and lost the final game of the baseball season.

My dear wife, who is also not a sports fan, but puts up with this mania that absorbs her other half most of the year gave me some good advice. She told me to be positive, that I am someone that others look up to in his writings and to remember that fact in how I react to this disappointing end to the season.

So, if you are looking for post mortems and finger-pointing and a look ahead to off-season moves and the 2020 season ….. there will be plenty of time for that. This instead will be a simple thank you for those gifts the fans received this season.

  • Thank you to the Owner, front office, manager, coaches and players for a season when the team won the most regular season games (107) and the most overall games (117) in team history.
  • Thank you Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole for co-Cy Young worthy seasons. You won 41 games between you and the team was 50-17 when either of you started a game.
  • Thank you Yordan Alvarez for finally filling the DH spot on this team and putting up unworldly numbers (27 HRs and 78 RBIs in only 87 games) on your way to a likely Rookie of the Year award.
  • Thank you Jose Altuve for coming back from a debilitating injury to once again be a great combination of speed, power and contact and for the thrilling walk off ending to the ALCS.
  • Thank you George Springer for continuing to be the heart of this team, for being one of the greatest lead-off weapons in baseball and for always caring deeply about this game.
  • Thank you Michael Brantley for a season of quiet excellence. You are the most under the radar star in the game and are a model of professionalism.
  • Thank you Alex Bregman for being there everyday and carrying the team in the absence of your compadres. It is hard to remember that you only have 3-1/2 seasons under your belt. You led the team in runs/HRs/ RBIs and walked more than you struck out.
  • Thank you Yuli Gurriel for being such a clutch hitter, for bringing your defense at 1B up to an almost elite level and for being one of the best #5/#6 hitters in baseball.
  • Thank you Carlos Correa for turning the ALCS around with your Game 2 extra inning walk-off HR, for producing offensively at a high level (when well) and for how your howitzer arm makes you a defensive weapon for this team.
  • Thank you Robinson Chirinos and Martin Maldonado for becoming a two-headed anchor for one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and for more offense than is normally expected from a non-offensive position.
  • Thank you Josh Reddick for your odd-wad spirit and for every diving, jumping, all out play you made in the field.
  • Thank you Aledmys Diaz for having the humility to produce wherever and however you are being used as the new Marwin Gonzalez-lite.
  • Thank you Jake Marisnick for continued superior defense.
  • Thank you Wade Miley for 5 months of excellence as the #3 starter.
  • Thank you Zack Greinke for solid support in the regular season and for your very best efforts in the 7th game of the World Series. You lead by action.
  • Thank you Brad Peacock, Collin McHugh and Jose Urquidy for your willingness to flip from relieving to starting at the drop of a hat.
  • Thank you Roberto Osuna for saving games 86% of the time.
  • Thank you Ryan Pressly for a totally dominating set-up man season prior to your injury.
  • Thank you Will Harris and Joe Smith for excellent bounce back seasons.
  • Thank you Hector Rondon for solid contributions throughout the year.
  • Thank you Josh James for your triple digit heater and off-putting change-up.
  • Thank you Kyle Tucker, Bryan Abreu, Rogelio Armenteros, Abraham Toro, Myles Straw, Garrett Stubbs, Cy Sneed, Cionel Perez, Jack Mayfield, Joe Biagini and Framber Valdez for your contributions.
  • Thank you Tony Kemp, Tyler White, Max Stassi and Corbin Martin and best of luck with your new teams.
  • Thank you Chris Devenski for being an innings eater out of the bullpen.
  • Thank you Aaron Sanchez for one shining moment.
  • Thank you Jeff Luhnow for putting together a team that came oh so close.
  • Thank you A.J. Hinch for another season of excellent juggling, shifting, cajoling and managing.
  • Thank you pitching coach Brent Strom and your buddies on the coaching staff for getting the most out of your team.
  • Thank you Jim Crane for pulling out your wallet as the team needed it to chase folks like Zack Greinke.
  • And thank you to all my friends who read these ramblings, those who comment, those who pray for each other, those who are hurting right now and those who engage in this blog all year long.

82 comments on “Thank You 2019 Astros for a Wonderful Season

  1. Thanks Dan, as OP said in the previous post, you are the champion.
    I needed this. It brought on the tears I couldn’t shed last night.
    This is what we should remember of this year and not just the last three innings of last nights game.
    I miss my Astros already.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I hope I’m not hijacking this theme, but one of my thoughts going forward has been to trade Carlos Correa. No surprise there. But he remains a valuable commodity that will help us fill multiple voids. Of course we’ve already got a pretty good shortstop. And Anthony Rendon would fill out the best infield in MLB. Is he ready to come home?

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    • My son texted me this morning – one of his co-workers suggested trading Correa and signing Rendon.
      I don’t see it happening – don’t see them investing that much in a hitter when they will need pitching this off-season

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      • Starting pitchers:
        Verlander
        Greinke
        McCullers

        Possibles:
        Urquidy
        Whitley
        Peacock
        Sanchez
        Valdez

        I’d concentrate on the bullpen because it looks a lot more suspect. As to trading Correa, I have no problem if we can get a good return. We have Brantley, Reddick, and Gurriel returning for the last year of their contracts. I hope we have some up and coming guys from the farm system or 2021 could be bad news. Oh, and we better sign Springer to a long term deal or we’ll have a bigger hole to plug in the outfield.
        One final note about Cole. There was a lot of “talking” about his attitude after the game. I know he was disappointed but he should thank the Astros big time for helping to make him the pitcher that he’s become. I personally can’t see him getting $300MM like the pundits have suggested but then again. I think one thing we can say is that for the most part, our starters and bullpen players were out of gas. Maybe an item to think about for next year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That would be on the stupid side right now.
        I was just saying last night what a talent CC is.
        Just a natural born baseball player.
        And even though I want to see him traded I do agree he is a very valuable commodity and at a very reasonable price.

        It’s gonna take a genius to fix this pitching staff in one off season.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ideally, Correa helps get some of that pitching. And I was also going to say at some point soon that I’m okay with Tucker being traded too. I think he’s got more value today than he’ll have in a year. Of course that leaves us pretty thin in the outfield, especially if we move Reddick.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zanuda, Cole had good things to say later in the evening; his clubhouse of great teammates, Strom, Hinch and others. I do not recollect him saying anything about Crane or Luhnow though.

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      • Agree with you uncle K. Makes you wonder about the Owner and front office mgmt. Others may be trying to make more of this than there is. I was wondering if there is an apparent issue with Osuna (either real or conjured up) after the front office incident. I’ve seen some comments on other site there. Do we think they might try to unload him?
        And who would want Reddick with his 15MM salary? We’d have to eat a bunch of it I suspect. I’d like to see a full season of KT to see if he’s the real deal. Of course if he is, then his value increases, if not, well we know that scenario.
        I’m assuming we might resign Chirinos but not Maldonado.

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  3. What an awesome year, played 180 games came up one short of being champions again. Greinke stepped up so big last night, shame we couldn’t bring it home. In my heart, I wonder if working so hard for 107 wins and top spot, didn’t wear us out a bit , Bregman, JV. I still think CC is one of the biggest underachievers in baseball , with his god given genes. I can’t wait to see what the mad professor JL does in the off season.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The crux of my problem with Correa is that he determines when he is going to play. He sure looked 100% physically well just in time for the post season. But at the same time, he had missed so many reps at the plate, even with a couple of big hits, he disappointed offensively. He’s just not my kind of team guy.

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  4. Zanuda -great point about what the Astros have done to help Cole

    In 5 seasons with the Pirates
    Averaged 12-8 / 155 IP/ 8.4K per 9 IP / 3.50 ERA / 1.217 WHIP

    In 2 seasons with the Astros
    Averaged 17-5 / 206 IP / 13.1 K per 9 IP /2.68 ERA/ 0.962 WHIP

    I’d say Pirate Cole would be worth about a 4 year / $80 million contract
    Astro Cole worth …. 7 year / $250 million?
    Whatever – he made a heck of a lot more than his two year salary since he came here

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It was a sad ending for what was a great season of baseball. Better thins will happen.

    Will a triumvirate of championships ever happen to Houston? It would be fantastic!

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    • Well, Larry – the Astros could contend again and as the Nats show – you don’t have to win your division to win it all.
      The Texans have a chance with Deshaun Watson, especially if Coach BOB decides to pull an Andrew Luck and retires unexpectedly
      The Rockets (who won 159-158 – not in over time – last night) miiiiiiight have to firm up that defense just a liiiiiiittle
      So the triumvirate is always in play – but getting just one is a chore

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks Dan and Chip and Brian for an excellent site for the whole year. Not often posting, but always reading.

    My we were so close this year. How can you imagine losing three of the four games started by Verlander and Cole? Incredible.

    If we can’t win one at home then we didn’t really deserve it.

    But it looks like just a hit here, and catch there, very tight margins.

    It’s been a difficult World Series for me, every game starting at midnight or 1AM in the UK. I’ve often woken up at 3or 4 and had to go find the phone, check game day, maybe even watch on mlb.tv. It’s really drained me.

    Even though we lost, I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep for once.

    Man it was so close.

    What’s worse is six innings of one hit ball in game 7. If we were soundly thrashed from inning to inning it would have been easier to take. It was soooo close. So much better than 2005. That was awful.

    And I second the comments about the Fox commentary. It was dreadful. But actually Smoltz was the worst of the lot. He was dreadful, biased, dreary, moaning, absolutely awful. I had to turn it off in the end.

    Anyways, off to sleep, and here’s to 2020. And maybe see you at a game in Houston.

    Thanks to all for such a friendly and welcoming and interesting place.

    Take care all and be safe.

    Simon

    Liked by 2 people

    • Always great to hear from you Simon! Sorry it was not at more convenient times for you – hopefully we will be back next season on the right side of this

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  7. Here is a note from a friend of mine Betsy who I used to work with and is now a retiree
    “Wonderful blog, Dan. Here’s my contribution. Thank you, Dan, for making the loss a little bit less painful, keeping me on top of the Astros all season, and for taking the time to send your entertaining and insightful blogs to me all season!” Betsy

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I absolutely love this team, and since all the position guys are expected to be together again next year…which is why Verlander signed up for 2 more years!
    Luhnow will likely add to the rotation, and I hope it’s a lefty. I wish Garrit Cole all the best….he pitched like a Cy Young winner, ALL. YEAR. LONG. After scoring only 2 runs on Tuesday AND Wednesday…the handwriting was on the wall, that’s all our pitchers were going to get. They left guys on base nearly every inning last night….that has GOT to be corrected. A new hitting coach?
    Like I said in the previous post, no manager is right 100% of the time my opinion only, but I think Hinch is a really good manager. There are probably 29 other teams that would LOVE this manager and our GM.
    I wish the whole Asuna debacle had not happened for a lot of reasons, and I fully expect Crane will get fined because of it. Brandon feels soo badly about it, and knows he really screwed up. I will be VERY angry if Manfred wants Luhnow’s head. He ain’t gonna get that. Sorry but I’m not gonna congratulate the Nationals….I’m selfish! At least we aren’t the Dodgers and had to watch someone else celebrate in my house…*2* years in a row!!
    After getting poked and scanned to death….this year, I got VERY good news today! MRI was clear and I don’t have to see my oncologist until next summer!
    YAY ME!!! I owe all of you who have prayed me through the last 2yrs of my fight with cancer a GREAT BIG HUG AND THANK YOU🙏❤!! I love all of you! Becky⚾

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Well said, Dan. And thanks to you, and to all the Chipalatta game, for all you do to keep the love of the greatest of all games children play alive.

    Take me out to the hot-stove;
    take me out to the phones!
    Let’s talk about hardware and poor Mattress Mack
    who bet all that money that we’d take it back!
    Let’s all root, root, root for Jeff Luhnow,
    to find us a new treasure trove;
    is it one, two, or three deals he’ll pull from the old hot-stove!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi Everyone. It’s disappointing to lose a game 7 at home. But I have to say, if someone had told me at the end of the 2016 season: You’ll go to 2 World Series in the next 3 years. You’ll win 1 of those. You’ll beat the Yankees 2 times, the Dodgers and Red Sox- baseball’s marquis franchises. In the year you don’t go to the Series you’ll still make it to the ALCS. And the Astros will be considered a model franchise. I’d have said “Sign me up!” As a lifelong Astros fan (the first teams I cared about had Cesar Cedeno, Enos Cabell, Bob Watson and Joe Niekro) the last 3 years have made up for so many frustrating years. And our team is so easy to root for. Somehow, I don’t think we’re finished.

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  11. Thank you Dan. I read this site virtually every day during baseball season. I really appreciate the work you do even though I don’t post much or tell you how good you are. And congratulations Becky. I’m really happy for you. Some things are more important than winning a Game 7.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It was a great year. Lots of fun. Even fun when complaining. If you started suffering as a Colt45 fan as a teenager, then spent a dozen years in exile in Arlington (who are yet to win a World Series) you appreciate a team playing .500 and above baseball. And only a baseball fan would understand why you win 107 games to get “home field advantage “ and lose all your home games in the World Series. As Yogi said, it ain’t over til it’s over. Well an enjoyable 2019 season is over.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. There are some things I want to go over before we get into who to trade or sign or keep or let go. These things are hugely important for the Astros as we prepare for 2020.
    1. The Luxury tax payroll limit for MLB for 2020 goes up from $206 million to $208 million. Right now the Astros have 35 players listed on their 40 man plus Lance McCullers Jr, who will be added back. Those 36 players, plus minor leaguers to be added, total up to around $237 million in luxury tax payroll. The Astros will need to do some trimming.
    2. Major league rosters go from 25 players to 26 in 2020. So, one extra player on the everyday roster. 13 pitchers and 13 position players.An extra player means extra payroll.
    3. But, in September you will only be able to expand your roster by 2 players, to 28, instead of 40, as in the past. That means you will have to find rest for your regulars with your backups, not your minor leaguers toward the end of the season. That makes your 13 position players very important because they will need to be flexible and multi-positional.
    4. No 10-day IL. We go to 15-day IL and 15 days before a minor leaguer can be recalled, except for injuries.
    5. Relief pitchers need to be able to face lefties or righties because there is now a 3 batter minimum relievers must face, except for the end of an inning.
    The days of a one-batter lefty are gone.
    Consider all these things when you think about the 2020 Astros. Because that’s what the Astros front office is thinking about.

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    • I remembered some of the new rules, but totally forgot about the 28 instead of 40 guys in September call ups. Man our guys are going to running with their tongues hanging out by October, if we can’t have a few reinforcements. The 15 day IL will be pretty problematic…YIKES!! Lots to think about.

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    • Boy, I didn’t realize how high the payroll had gotten. And yes, we’ll have to do something to bring it back down to earth. Of course there was a lot of money made via the playoffs and World Series to add to the coffers but we not have some pretty high priced talent on the roster. Glad I don’t have that problem.

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    • Good reminders 1OP. Significant issues.

      I think years ago, when the DH was being established in the American League, there was a short period where the roster went to 26 players. One thing about the DH role now, teams are going to need guys that can do more than just hit everyday.

      Going to 28 players in September will be the biggest rule change. 1 of the guys is likely a catcher. So that really only leaves an Abraham Toro type that can play multiple positions. Utility guys will be more valuable. A guy like Jake, if he can’t hit, becomes less valuable. But will he even be back for 3 million plus? Diaz, assuming he’s back, needs to be healthy. I’d like to see our roster include at least a couple of guys that can actually hit from both sides of the plate. I think this rule will expand to allow 30 plays before long.

      The 10 day vacation becomes a 15 day vacation. And whether Verlander goes on vacation kicking and screaming, we’ve got to keep his innings down in 2020. Maybe 175 max as he enters the post season.

      I actually like the 3 batter rule. Our clubs mentality has been to build a pen of guys that can get righties or lefties out. We’ll see more pinch hitters. More and more clubs will use multiple closers too. We’ll see if this rule lasts.

      No doubt, I think this is going to be a very interesting off season. Our club will look quite a bit different on Opening Day. And there remains one elephant in the room. What will our organization due to absolutely avoid a repeat of the national distraction that took place during the World Series? I would like to think there was zero on field distraction, but we’ll never know.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I get so entrenched with these players, it blinds me to their short comings.
    Jake can only play center
    Reddick can really only play right
    Brantley can only play left
    Bregman, Yuli, Diaz, are the only guys who can actually play more than one position.
    I love Reddick and Jake….but when either one is in the lineup, it’s a black hole.
    Now that we can add one more guy to the 25 man…..where do you add, pitcher or position player??
    *Scott Boris represents:
    Garrit Cole (free agent)
    Steven Strasberg (will opt out of his contract with the Nats)
    Anthony Rendon (free agent)
    He will be rolling in money after teams fork over *MILLIONS* for his clients!

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    • Since I am the guy who presented the problems, how about I try to answer your question.
      Your question is: Where do you add?
      You add a position player. That way you have 13 position players.
      Where did having only 12 position players hamstring the Astros this past season. It hamstrung them from using all their bench players when they needed them because they couldn’t use one of those, namely, their backup catcher. A backup catcher had to sit on the bench the entire game because Hinch couldn’t use him, for fear of your other catcher getting hurt. So your 12th position player had to sit, period. That meant an 11 player bench was what you had.
      If your 13th position player can play more than 1 position, with one of those positions being catcher, than you have a lot of flexibility. First off, he’s a third catcher, so you have in-game flexibility at that position. Secondly, if he plays another position, that player offers in-game flexibility at a second position.
      Who do you add? If you are the Astros you need that 13th player to be a minimum salary guy because they are up against the cap.
      13 Pitchers gives you five starters and an 8 man bullpen and 13 position players gives you a ton of options for position players and pinch hitting that were not available with 12.

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  15. Old Pro is leading me into a discussion / idea here. I was planning on hitting certain subjects in the offseason such as:
    – ChipalattAwards for the regular season and postseason
    – Who will stay and who will go
    – A look at the newest list of the prospects
    – A look at the 40 man and Rule 5 roster moves
    – What caused the World Series loss
    – A return of What they said – what they meant
    – A possible return of Astroholics
    – A look at the top free agents

    So – what do you want to see in the offseason

    Liked by 2 people

    • Why we lost? I’d not think it needs to be discussed because I think we all pretty much know the main culprit. Lots of other topics to discuss. I assume that we’ll get a compensation pick for the loss of Cole or am I wrong?

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    • I don’t think there is much need…it’s pretty obvious that the WS loss was caused by a lack of offense in four of the seven games. The starting pitching did a good enough job in all of those and things fell apart in a couple at the end. If the offense would have been able to get the timely hits the pitching and outcome might have been different. Sometimes that happens when you run into great pitching.

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  16. Some of the things that happened this season:
    -The Astros traded Tony Kemp for Martin Maldonado.
    -The Astros traded JD Davis for 3 prospects
    -The Astros traded Tyler White for minor league reliever Andre Scrub.
    -The Astros traded Derek Fisher to Toronto for Sanchez, Biagini and Cal Stevenson. Stevenson is the get in that trade.
    -The Astros traded Max Stassi to the Angels for two minor league outfielders.
    -The Astros put AJ Reed on waivers and he was claimed by the White Sox.
    -The Astros traded Trent Thornton to Toronto for Aledmys Diaz.
    -The Astros lost Riley Ferrell to the Marlins in Rule 5 and got him back, without him taking up a 40-man slot.
    The Astros broke the logjam.

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  17. All season long and in the World Series, the 2017 Astros were a team that was dynamite in the late innings and great at coming from behind to win.
    All season long and in the World Series, the 2019 Astros were not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Astros computer jockeys may know why this happens, but obviously they don’t know how to get the better result. The 2019 team walked a good bit more than in 2017, but their production with 2 out RISP was way worse. And the come from behind results were nowhere near the same, as OP noted. I think this is just one of those things that makes baseball what it is.

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  18. As 1OP has pointed out and I’ve gone back and looked at what we have for the 2020 season I think we have some big salary issues facing us. I’ve only included the players earning greater than 8MM.

    JV – 33
    ZG – 24
    JA – 29
    AB – 12.6
    YG – 8.4
    GS – 21.4 (est)
    JR – 13
    MB – 16
    RO – 10.2
    RP – 8.7
    That’s 176.3MM for only 10 players. I’m not sure what to make of the situation but I think we’ve definitely backed ourselves into a corner. We’ll have to have some farm hands come up or it’ll be a Bad Day at Black Rock. One other note is the case of Carlos Correa. If he becomes the superstar that he can become we’ll have to give him the Altuve/Bregman deal which will add another 30MM to the payroll, not counting what we’re going to pay Springer (28MM/yr) come 2021.
    I’ll throw one more thing out there. Until our guys learn to “beat the shift” we might continue to flounder in getting our RISP #’s better.
    And in watching one of the online programs today, the mentioned that before the Astros do anything player related they have an image problem which needs to be addressed.

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    • Zanuda, I don’t think we’re backed into a corner, although it’s clear the expectation was the win it all this year. I’m sure Luhnow has a series of plans all lined up already. But we are indeed going to have to get more from a batch of guys making less than a million.

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  19. I’m going to have a brief therapy session here as the rain pours down, flooding parts of my little island. I’ve always agreed the post season is a crap shoot. Indeed, this turned out to be the crappiest crap shoot of my baseball watching career. Never again will I see the road team win all seven games of a seven game series. It just won’t happen. Too often a couple or a few plays influence the outcome of a such a series, making the entire season somewhat of a moot point. And unfortunately, whether it evens out in the long run of not, too often our umpires play too big a role in deciding such important contests. They should not play any role in the outcome. I’ve read too much stuff on the 2019 World Series by now. But the stats are the stats. I think both clubs had a 4.29 ERA. Our two big guys lost three games, but they really did not get out pitched by their two big guys. Our club had more hard hit balls. In fact that was clearly illustrated in game seven. We hit several balls on the button that would have likely put the game away, even if just one of them had dropped in. Howie Kendrick did an excellent job hitting an excellent pitch 336 feet off the foul pole that was essentially the difference in the game. But indeed, our guys had so many opportunities to take control of game seven and control their own destiny. Alas, whether due to great clutch pitching, or pressing bats bowing under the pressure of a game seven or just plain bad luck, we just did not get it done. It is harder when you are expected to win. It’s always easier being the underdog. I tend to think it was more a combination of bad luck and pressing that was the culprit.

    This therapeutic session would not be complete without a few words on inning 7. Going back to my birth on a February 7, to my first real baseball hero and the number he wore on his back, 7 has always been my lucky number. When I saw Zack Greinke finish up his 6th consecutive impeccable inning and enter the dugout, he got pats on the back, fist pumps and a hand shack or two. I started assuming he was done. I started envisioning Cole coming in and mowing down the Nats with high heat at 100 and knee bending breaking balls at 93 to get those last nine outs. I was sure that was the real plan! The contrast between him and Greinke would have been a brutal way to finally finish off those pesky Nats. I thought that Hinch timed his game plan perfectly. But alas, it was not to be. I hold no grudge. I don’t need to go to a monastery for a month begging forgiveness. A. J. Hinch is still my most esteemed manager. But I think our analytical manager went with his gut for a change. And that changed everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My feeling is that if Greinke had not pitched as well – we might have won it all.
      Say – after 6 IP he had given up 1 run but had lots of traffic – 5 hits 3 walks – they would have pulled him for Cole
      But he was so dominant – AJ let him start the 7th and he did not want to bring him in the middle of the inning.
      But who knows – in 2017 bringing in JV against Boston almost cost us the game.
      The only people who don’t make mistakes are those that don’t do anything

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      • Unfortunately in baseball as in life we don’t get to see what would have happened if we’d done “B” instead of “A”. In life we just look back and say that was the “Plan” all along because life is a tree with many branches and we don’t get to look at all the branches before making a decision. We can look back and say if I hadn’t done “A” way back when then “B” would not have occurred and for a majority of us “B” was a pretty good thing. Life is full of those A’s, B’s, C’s, etc. Time to move on and see what happens next.

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  20. Well if we are going to look at results, and now determine what cost the World Series, Hinch blew it on Oct 18th. He should have used his bullpen, rested JV, wins the game on Altuve’s home run the day before it happened and our rotation is set up for the Nationals.

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  21. I washed my Springer jersey today, and put back in my closet…for next year.
    I can’t second guess anything Hinch did or did not do, I simply don’t know enough to expound on it. I still get the paper everyday, although I’m not sure why sometimes…BUT there was an article about Garrit Cole ” walking back” some things he said after the game. I love that kid, and I understand how he felt after it was over, but please stop talking about it Garrit, it only gets worse with the way the media are these days.
    I’m pretty sure Chirinos will get another one year contract, but is Garret Stubbs ready to join Chirinos behind the dish? What do you folks think?
    Zack Greinke was given a “Fielding Bible” award….he is awesome keeping balls from getting through the infield…like having another infielder!
    Don’t forget to set your clocks back tonight!
    P.S. Haven’t heard from Diane in a few days! Check in girlfriend ok?!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I saw post that was brilliant. I don’t know why Luhnow didn’t think of it himself.

    “The Astros need to sign the best players of the Yankees and Dodgers. Then have a competition in Spring Training and keep only the best at each position.”

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Some postseason thoughts and mumblings:
    -The worst idea I have seen so far involving the Astros is Dan Szymborski’s suggestion for the Astros to issue a $17.8 million QO to Wade Miley. https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/10/2019-20-offseason-calendar.html
    -Why would you pay $5.6 million dollars to an injured Aaron Sanchez for the 2020 season knowing he won’t be available for most or all of the season? He is a free agent at the end of the 2020 season.
    -You have Brantley, Springer, Reddick, Marisnick, Alvarez, Straw and Tucker on your roster as outfielders. Do you really need Marisnick, who would make more salary than the last three combined?
    -Can the Astros find a reliever in their system who can deliver a 4.83 ERA with matching FIP for league minimum instead of Devenski’s $2.825 million? How high is that bar?
    -The Astros had the fourth highest payroll in 2019 and, as of now, have the second highest lined up for 2020, just barely behind Boston. The Red Sox say they are going to pare down to get below the luxury tax line. I believe we will have JD Martinez’s decision by tomorrow, right? His salary alone coming off the books could get them down below the line.

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    • I have never heard of Dan Szymborski. Some club will give Miley a shot, but I think he cost himself about 10 million plus in September, whatever the reason(s) for his breakdown.

      I’d like to see if Strom can help Sanchez reinvent himself, but no, not at 5.6.

      It’s time for Straw to be our new Jake.

      Yes, I think we can replace Devenski for minimum wage or close to it.

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  24. Concerning Devenski, he is the one pitcher that Strom has not helped. He came in 4 years ago and had 2 pitches. Still has 2. Probably not Strom’s fault. In the Good Ole Days, he would be in Winter ball.

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  25. I see that Manfred (maybe it’s Boyfred) is redoing the minor league system. If he wants to improve baseball, he should make the foul pole foul, and so back to the World Series to test it.

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  26. Zack Greinke won the NL Gold Glove for pitchers.
    None of the Astros won AL GGs, though Gurriel, Altuve and Bregman were all
    runners up.
    Robbie Grossman was a runner up in LF – who would have thunk it

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    • Dan, I don’t know what the criteria is for wining a Gold Glove, but I always assumed it was subjective. Having three runners up does say something about the depth of our defense though. And we really don’t have a weak link anywhere on the field. There is Correa too, who does things that no other guy at his position can do. And Jake, he should have the off the bench Gold Glove. I would not trade our D for anyone else’s.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My understanding is that the GG these days is based on a combination of Managers/Coaches input and input from a sabermetrics organization. In general I don’t believe sabermetrics are friends to those who use the shift a lot.

        Often over the years – GG awards favored those players who were very good hitters (makes no sense I know) or with great reputations. Derek Jeter won five of them after reaching age 30, even though most people thought his range sucked and he should have switched spots with A-Rod who was playing 3rd base.

        Watching Greinke field there sure is no doubt of his excellence. That is not based on what he used to be.

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      • Reddick is the only one of the four I would have felt deserving of consideration for a gold glove this year. Greinke is really good at fielding his position. Maybe he can teach Joe Smith how to do it adequately during spring training.

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      • Devin, I sure liked Yuli at first, but I got to watch him every night. I could not compare his work to the eventual winner. Pretty impressive though to become a major league first baseman well into his 30’s and get named the 2nd best in his league.

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  27. We are crowding the luxury cap already, so . . . how on earth does Luhnow go about trying to improve this team for 2020? How, without trading Verlander, Altuve, Greinke, or Bregman, do we open up budget room to add anybody from outside the organization that stands to make anything above the league minimum?

    While we will certainly shed guys like Jake [making room for Straw] and Aaron Sanchez [who won’t pitch anyway], and trade at least Reddick [making room for Tucker] if not Diaz [making room for Toro], any money we save on those guys will have to go to at least one bullpen guy and at least one catcher, neither of whom is likely to improve us over 2019.

    Jeff definitely has his work cut out for him.

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