Thursday’s Astros’ thoughts

Today is a bit of a mind dump of some things that pop up watching the Astros.

  • Hearing that Jose Altuve tied Craig Biggio for the most All Star appearances in club history (7) and having Yuli Gurriel miss out on the team took me back a bit. First base has always been a problematic spot to get Astros into the ASG. Of course, Yuli is not Jeff Bagwell but look back at Bagwell, where the Hall of Famer only made the ASG four times. He did not make it in his Rookie of the Year season (no surprise), but he also did not make it six times when he received top 20 MVP votes. This included not making it in 1998 (124 runs, 34 HRs, 111 RBIs, .304 BA, .981 OPS), 2000 (152 runs!!, 47 HRs, 132 RBIs, .310 BA, 1.039 OPS) and 2001 (126 runs, 39 HRs, 130 RBIs, .288 BA, .966 OPS). That is just insane.
  • Yordan Alvarez is truly an amazing young hitter. He has basically played a full season now – 160 games in his career – and his numbers to date would have made a Bagwell in his prime proud. For his career he is slashing .308 BA/ .394 OBP/ 1.003 OPS and has 113 runs / 44 HRs/ 138 RBIs. While being excellent against RHPs (.311 BA/.405 OBP/ 1.032 OPS), he has been outstanding against lefties (.304/.378/.956). His only weakness to date is his 172 Ks. Nothing will stop him if he ever improves on that (and starts getting better respect from the umps). Very little is stopping him now.
  • The six runs (five earned) that the A’s scored off of Framber Valdez Tuesday were shocking to the fans, even with the eventual huge comeback and win by the team. The shock was because the starters have been so dependable. How dependable? Framber, in 8 starts, has allowed 3 or fewer runs in seven of them. Jake Odorizzi has given up 3 or less in his last 7 starts – he gave up 4 and 5 runs in his first two starts in April. Lance McCullers Jr. has allowed 3 runs or less in 12 of his 13 starts. He gave up 6 runs in one start in April. Jose Urquidy has given up 4 or fewer runs in 13 of his 14 starts. Luis Garcia has given up 3 or fewer earned runs in 14 of his 15 starts and four in the other start. Zack Greinke has given up 4 or fewer runs in 17 of his 18 starts and 6 runs in one start back in April. That is pretty darned good.
  • So will Yuli make the All Star Game now that Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are skipping the ASG? I’m sure those guys would love to see Gurriel get one of their spots.
  • Abraham Toro has been a decent sub, but what would this offense look like with the 2019 version of Alex Bregman? The offense is so deep already, but wouldn’t that be scarier? This writer is concerned that Alex will not be Alex as long as he continues to have these leg issues.
  • So, when Urquidy comes back, do the Astros stick with their 6 man rotation? Do they move Garcia to the bullpen, so he does not strain his young arm with an uber increase in innings? Do they have someone else “rest” on the IL and rotate it through the rotation?

Oh, well, back to work, as they say. What are you thinking about today?

 

64 comments on “Thursday’s Astros’ thoughts

  1. My thoughts are of these recovering pitchers drifting back, plus Bregman in a couple of weeks. This has the potential of putting our team on a much better competitive footing. I have worries concerning our starting pitching in the last week or so. they seem to struggle with early pitch counts. Will this all star break help?

    Like

    • Yeah right on cue, McCullers gives up two runs highlighted by a bloop double that Yordan looked like me chasing after it and a seeing eye grounder to bring in the two runs.
      So, the pitchers are not quite as sharp. Its not lack of sticky stuff I hope.

      Like

    • I have been mentioning, to the lovely wife, the fact that the Astros’ pitchers seem to have extreme difficulty when up 0-2 in the count. That third straight strike has been very hard for them to get this year. Opposing hitters can relax knowing that the being down o-2 , they will most likely see a ball out of the zone next.

      Like

  2. Well, the way things are going in the top of the first today, we will probably need some more insane heroics from Alvarez today if we are going to keep the winning streak alive.

    Like

  3. No offense today. Lance gave up the two runs in the first and then held it there through 7 innings. Top 4 in the lineup were 1 for 16 and Alvarez’s single in the 9th was immediately wiped out with a Yuli DP.
    Oh well – get ready for the Yanks and the All Star break….

    Like

  4. When Alex Bregman comes back, would you send down Abraham Toro (.230/.301/.653, 3 HR, 15 RBI) or would you DFA Robel Garcia (.171/.220/.470, 1 HR, 8 RBI)?

    Hurry back, Aledmys!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Daveb…are you going to style for the Yankees series? I hope so, that will be EPIC! By the way Saturday’S game will be on ESPN so I’ll get to see it. It will be the first time Cole will be back since the last game of the World Series against the Nationals when he decided he “wasn’t an employee of the Astros organization” after the game was over. I’m a little cynical but I hope our fans give the Yankees the same welcome they gave our guys when we played there.
    One of the reasons I didn’t like to go to Minute Maid at night was the creepy people who hung around outside the ball park. Wednesday night after the game two cars got into it with hand gestures and one car shot into the other one and a young man with his father was shot in the head. The family took their child off life support this afternoon. That’s one of the many reasons I prefer to go to afternoon games. I’m probably not going to go to any games again this year, just too much trouble for me and my husband. But hopefully next year I’ll be able to go see them! By the way the Yankees got shut out today! I really hope the All Star game invites Yuli to play. With Altuve and Correa not going I do hope Yuli will get an invite.
    Night you guys! Becky⚾

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky, I’ll be at the game on Sunday, and if I skip plans in Galveston this rainy weekend, I’ll be at the park tonight or tomorrow too.

      That was a very sad event post the game on Tuesday. Houston can be a tough town. I love to visit, but am always ready to get back to where I’m going.

      I’d be very happy with two of three from the Yankees. 2 of 3 from the A’s sure did not help their cause. I think that makes us 9 and 4 against them. And I don’t think we’ve played our best baseball yet.

      Like

  6. Key tonight – Yanks are starting Nestor Cortes – a lefty who has pitched well in 8 games for them, but mostly out of the bullpen. Last time out he started and pitched well but only went 3.1 IP. We need to get to this guy and at least get his pitch count out and then tire out the Yanks bullpen. Another good start from Jake would help too.

    Like

  7. We get back to back strikeout pitchers – from Montas to Cortes. Hope we fare better against Cortes than we did against Montas. At least Cortes shouldn’t be around all that many innings.

    Like

  8. Some Friday Astros thoughts:
    * Some people dismiss Aledmys Diaz as a a player of value. I don’t and I think the Astros don’t.
    * Remember the year Josh Rojas had for the Astros organization when he was traded for Greinke? Rojas is a starting OFer for Arizona. The Astros have two guys in AAA who are looking just like Rojas was when he was traded. You can bet there is and will be interest in De La Cruz and Meyers at the deadline and GoStros1 nailed them in his praise of their value.
    * This year’s HR Derby is in the mile-high city. Next year it will probably be held on the moon. It’s Must-Miss TV for me.
    * The Oakland 3-game series was a win for the Astros. That’s all I could ask for.
    * Not only did Seattle beat the Yankees on Thursday, it was a 1-hit shutout.

    Like

  9. The debate on the radio as I was driving around this afternoon was about Correa and Altuve not going to the ASG. Everyone seemed OK with Correa missing to be with his pregnant wife, but some were jumping on Altuve for sitting out with an injury that was not keeping him out of the regular games.

    Some thought that Correa and Altuve who were part of the cheating scandal even if it was reluctantly, were leaving Brantley and Pressly (who were not part of that scandal) to face the heat of the national media and of other players in the clubhouse.
    I don’t know how I feel about this. Conflicted.

    Like

  10. Well, how about that. We get to play the Yankees without Carlos Correa, who apparently is sick. What is worse, in his place who do we get? Robel Garcia. That is a quick right/left combo to the gut.

    Aledmys and Alex, please come back out and play SOON.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mr. Bill….you just ruined my day. How convenient for Correa is sick for the biggest 3 game series of the year so far at Minute Maid😠
    I have a correction the game tomorrow is on regular Fox not on ESPN.
    My 12yr old grandson absolutely LOVES Alveraz he and his older brother are on traveling teams. Last week they were in Louisville Kentucky and got to go to the Louisville Slugger Museum…and he saw the bin that had Alveraz’S bats being made! He texted me a picture of it he was over the moon!
    He left for Church camp last Sunday and while he was gone I ordered an Alveraz jersey for him. He got it last night and I’ve never seen a kid so happy about anything in a very long time! The only color they had was Navy but he said he actually preferred Navy…he has 2 orange jerseys Bregman and Springer. Just thought I’d share a warm story with you guys!
    Let’s win tonight!
    Tate is 12
    Tucker is 15
    They are my only baseball players out of *6* grandsons!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Brantley(side discomfort) and Pressly( 1st baby due) have bowed out of the ASG. Replaced by non-Astros.
    This brings to mind what Brantley said when he resigned with Houston: We have unfinished business.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Joke I texted my sons…
    If they pick Yuli as a replacement player for the All Star Game will he beg off because he needs to spend time with Correa and Pressly’s pregnant wives?

    Are the Astros saying screw you to the MLB for punishing their team and really none of the others?

    Like

  14. Anyway, Galveston has shined itself up over the past few years. I’m impressed. I will miss tonight’s game due to impromptu Budweiser consumption on the sunny beach. Yes, the sun has come out down here and it’s like a festival! People are very happy. Good luck Astros. I hope Chas gets a start.

    Like

  15. You should read MLB regs about the All Star game, probably had something to do with Brantley and Presley deciding not to go. But, Presley’S wife is due any day so I can see him not wanting to be far from home.
    My own opinion but the game is soo political now it’s a joke.
    Pray our guys can get some runs tonight….although it will be nearly impossible against Cole. I do NOT want to see them shut out again.

    Like

  16. Don McLean dropped by to watch last night’s game. When he left, he was singing:

    And ‘Stros’-subs we admire the least –
    those who showed up for the feast –
    can’t hit the loudmouths from the East-
    oh, how our offense died!

    So Bye, Bye, HRs and RBIS;
    when all our heroes put up zeroes, anger sure multiplies!
    When the best that we can muster is some lazy pop flies,
    I bet Jomby laughs at us til he cries.

    And then he shifted gears, and sang:

    Sorry, sorry night!
    Astros came, but didn’t play;
    got shut out for a second day.
    By a pitching staff just blown out by the Mets –
    that’s as ugly as it gets.
    When will someone tell you, fellas-
    this league can’t stand a cheater – unless his name is Mookie Betts!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Unfortunately, the new MLB rules prevented me from parody-ing the full nine stanzas relative to that double header. And I was somewhat handicapped by the fact that each verse had to start with a rhyme on 2nd base.

        Liked by 2 people

  17. Choose a theme song for our ‘Stros last four games before the 2021 All-Star Break. Some possibilities are [but feel free to choose your own]:

    1. Runnin’ on Empty;
    2. Take it Easy;
    3. It Don’t Matter to Me;
    4. Up on Cripple Creek;
    5. Sticky Fingers;
    6. Well, Where Oh Where Can My Baby Be? [esp. for Correa and Pressly];
    7. One Out of Three Ain’t Bad [okay, I know that’s not what Meat Loaf said!];
    8. Turn the Page

    Like

  18. Robel is kind of like that one kid on your Little League team who you dreaded coming up in important ABs but always seemed to be.
    I was often that kid, but I wasn’t getting paid.

    Like

  19. Well I tuned out when they went down 7-2 and came back for the bottom of ninth, thank God.
    Hope daveb was there and stayed for it – what an insane comeback on a day the pitchers walked 14 hitters.
    Astros win 8-7!!!!!

    Like

  20. This game reminded me of the huge rally game the Astros had against the Angels and Huston Street back in 2015. In that case they had no one on, two outs and two strikes when Preston Tucker hit a solo shot to make it 3-1 and finally Jed Lowrie hit a 3 run homer barely inside the foul pole to put them ahead 5-3.
    Of course that was on the road, but it was a huge rally in a series they were struggling the whole time

    Like

    • I’ve watched the ninth inning comeback at least 3 times. I might watch it 3 more. It’s that inspiring! Baseball is a strange game. Three days and not a peep out of the offensive, then all of the sudden it breaks out like a leviathan breaking the surface from the deep or a sleepy dormant volcano that erupts with unbridled fury. Strange indeed! Now for a well deserved break and back to the business of winning a championship.

      Like

  21. I suspect Alex Ulloa is already better – with both the bat and the glove – than the guy who has started the last four games at shortstop for us. On Whitaker, he has apparently decided- or it has been decided for him – that he is better in the outfield than at SS or 3B.

    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