ChipalattAwards for May 2022

Though the Astros’ pop-gun offense kept the fans from going nuts over it, May was an excellent month for the team as they went 21-8 and rolled from mediocrity into a solid lead in the AL West. The Astros’ pitching was dominant, with a significant league-leading 2.26 ERA. The Yankees – spit!! – were second at 3.06. The hitting (if you ignore BA) was better than April, especially their .315 OBP (4th in the AL) and .736 OPS (third in the AL).

But what about the individuals on the team in May? I’m glad you asked.

Here is a quick chart of the Astros’ pitchers in May.

Name Gm W L Svs IP ERA WHIP HR Ks/9 IP BAA OBPA OPSA IR/ IS
Justin Verlander 5 4 1 0 31.2 2.27 0.947 5 7.7 .209 .254 .602 0/0
Framber Valdez 6 4 1 0 43 2.30 1.000 2 6.9 .210 .262 .555 0/0
Luis Garcia 5 2 2 0 27 2.33 1.148 2 10.7 .204 .272 .602 0/0
Jake Odorizzi 3 2 0 0 16.2 0.54 0.720 0 6.5 .146 .203 .385 0/0
Jose Urquidy 5 2 1 0 25.1 3.91 1.697 4 7.5 .345 .370 .910 0/0
Cristian Javier 6 2 2 0 27.2 2.93 1.157 2 11.7 .200 .292 .622 0/0
Ryan Pressly 9 1 0 6 8.2 2.08 1.154 1 7.3 .258 .303 .658 2/1
Hector Neris 13 0 1 0 12 3.00 0.667 1 10.5 .150 .209 .509 2/1
Rafael Montero 13 2 0 2 11.1 0.00 0.706 0 6.4 .135 .200 .335 6/0
Phil Maton 11 0 0 0 12.2 2.13 1.105 2 5.0 .245 .289 .697 4/1
Ryne Stanek 11 0 0 0 9 0.00 0.889 0 7.0 .103 .235 .339 3/0
Bryan Abreu 7 2 0 0 11 1.64 0.909 0 12.3 .162 .256 .445 2/0
Blake Taylor 9 0 0 0 9 6.00 1.778 0 6.0 .290 .386 .702 3/0
Seth Martinez 4 0 0 0 8 0.00 0.875 0 5.6 .138 .219 .391 2/0
Parker Mushinski 1 0 0 0 2 0.00 0.000 0 13.5 .000 .000 .000 0/0

Note – I added the IR (Inherited runners) / IS (Inherited runners who scored) stat for the relievers.

Starting Pitcher of the Month. (Tie) Justin Verlander/ Framber Valdez – You would have a hard time slipping a playing card in between those stats for Framber and Justin – (JV – 4-1 / 2.27 ERA/0.947 WHIP and FV – 4-1/ 2.30 ERA/ 1.000 WHIP), practically a dead heat. If we could ignore Verlander’s last start in May – this award would be his, but that is not how this goes.

Runner-up. Jake Odorizzi – His stats are the best (0.54 ERA/ 0.720 WHIP), but he falls to second based on only having 3 starts in May before his leg injury occurred. Still, the starts he did make were very encouraging after his early-season struggles.

Last Month – Winner – Verlander / Runner-up – Valdez

Relief Pitcher of the Month. Rafael Montero. While pitching in high leverage situations all month in 13 appearances, his 2 wins, 2 saves, 0.00 ERA and microscopic slash against (.135 BA/ .200 OBP/ .335 OPS) was totally dominant for somebody who was a supposed throw-in in last year’s trade with Seattle. Oh, and he did not allow any of his 6 inherited runners to score.

Runner-up. Ryne Stanek – This one blew me away. I was totally aware of how good Montero was in May, but Stanek was equally dominant, and I had no idea. In 11 games, he also had a 0.00 ERA and a microscopic slash against (.103 BA/ .235 OBP/ .339 OPS), and he did not allow any of his 3 inherited runners to score. Montero edges him out on more appearances and more high leveraged situations, but still…..  

Last Month – Winner – Hector Neris / Runner-up – Rafael Montero

Special Recognition Award. Y’all pick this one. Was it the very solid starting months of youngsters Luis Garcia (2-2, 2.33 ERA) or Cristian Javier (2-2., 2.93 ERA) or a step up for Bryan Abreu (2-0, 1.64 ERA) or even some surprise help from Seth Martinez (eight innings of scoreless ball over 4 appearances).  

There were some good numbers and some very offensive numbers on the offensive side.

Name ABs Runs Dbls HRs RBIs BBs Ks BA OBP OPS BABIP
Martin Maldonado 68 7 2 2 7 1 24 .147 .183 .448 .191
Yuli Gurriel 98 10 5 3 9 5 16 .214 .264 .621 .225
Jose Altuve 100 21 6 9 13 7 13 .320 .376 1.026 .295
Jeremy Pena 81 9 3 4 13 3 20 .333 .353 .871 .397
Alex Bregman 95 10 8 2 14 15 16 .221 .339 .708 .241
Michael Brantley 96 8 6 1 9 16 9 .250 .360 .724 .264
Chas McCormick 64 10 2 4 10 7 19 .172 .254 .675 .171
Kyle Tucker 79 11 5 4 14 17 19 .253 .385 .854 .286
Yordan Alvarez 100 18 2 8 16 15 24 .260 .353 .893 .261
Jose Siri 55 8 1 1 4 6 18 .218 .317 .670 .306
Aledmys Diaz 44 5 0 1 7 0 7 .250 .400 .650 .250
Jason Castro 26 3 2 0 1 3 13 .154 .233 .464 .286
Niko Goodrum 16 1 1 0 1 1 10 .125 .177 .364 .333
Mauricio Dubon* 39 7 1 2 5 1 1 .256 .268 .704 .216
  • Includes 8 games with SF

Positional Player of the Month. Jose Altuve – It is probably no coincidence that Altuve was pretty useless in April, and the team floundered, and he has a big May, and the team also did. It is encouraging to see him mixing in a bump up in batting average (.320) with an uptick in power (9 HRs)

Runner-up. Jeremy Pena – If you wanted to give this to Yordan Alvarez instead, you would be well in your right, but this was an essential period for Pena as he further solidified that he belongs in the majors. Sure, that .397 BAbip may have helped bump his actual batting average. But he continued to swing a good bat with pop, and what more can you ask of the young man.   

Last Month – Winner – Yordan Alvarez/ Runner-up – Alex Bregman

Biggest Surprise (Positive). Rafael Montero – If he keeps pitching like this, we may have to retire this award. There is nothing in his background that points to this great a start to the season.

Runner-up. Odorizzi – Dan P had given up on this guy, and then after a few Zen moments with Guru Verlander, he became a very good pitcher. Just hoping he remembers what he did when he comes back.

Last Month – Winner – Montero / Runner-up – Pena

Biggest Disappointment. I hate to give this to Yuli Gurriel because he has been hitting the ball better lately and has hit in bad luck (.225 BAbip) this month. But come on, Yuli. Get it rolling.

Last Month – Split between Altuve, Martin Maldonado and Jason Castro

Crazy Stats…..There are a number of them:

  • Chas McCormick had a weird month. He scored 10 runs and knocked in 10 runs while also accumulating only 11 hits in May. That is pretty productive for somebody who only hit .172 on the month (with a bad luck .171 BAbip).
  • How the heck did Niko Goodrum hit in so much luck (.333 BAbip) and still end up with a .125 BA?
  • Weird to see Justin Verlander in 3rd place with the starters with a 7.7 Ks per 9 innings. But it seems he is pitching to minimize the number of pitches this year.
  • Look at those ERAs. Blake Taylor’s 6.00 is really the only bad number up there. Only Taylor and Jose Urquidy (3.91 ERA) are higher than 3.00 for the month.
  • Crazy that only two players – Jose Altuve (.320) and Jeremy Pena (.333) hit above .260 for the month. It feels like they would have practically the whole lineup above that in recent years – other than catchers.

As usual, it is your turn to comment. Any you want to award? Any awards you disagree with?

67 comments on “ChipalattAwards for May 2022

  1. Excellent effort Dan. Hope you did not gut that one out under your doctors care! I wanted to add one more point to last evenings thought provoking comments. Dusty Baker might well be enamored with what Maldonado brings to our club and what he does to keep the pitching staff together. But we are way past the upgrade point. It’s time to make the catchers position one of strength on both sides of the ball. Here’s another name: Willson Contreras. Take him from the Yankees. That would certainly offend the folks up that way.

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  2. At this point Javier deserves a full time gig in the rotation. He has done everything asked of him for years now, and has pitched effectively as a starter. It provides an interesting problem because Odorizzi has been up and down but his ups have been good, and they hope Lance is pitching in July. It would have been inconceivable at the beginning to think any of the young 3 could be out but has Urquidy pitched his way into that question?

    Right now most of the team stars are playing like stars. I don’t think anyone is jaw dropped by Verlander or Valdez, they are pitching better than you might have expected but not really better than you hoped. Alvarez and Tucker have come around. Altuve has been dependable. Pena gets nods because he is surprising us. If Yuli and Bregman can start matching expectations this team will have a really good regular season when all is said and done.

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  3. Apparently, it’s never going to happen, but I’d sure like to see Chas get at least a full months of starts. I don’t think we should be waiting for Christmas when Jake shows back up. His brief lifetime stats are no more remarkable than Chas’.

    Take away those Taylor and Urquidy stats and everyone else looks like an All Star.

    Dan, what’s crazy is that our pitching carried us to that 21 and 8 record in May. It sure was not the bats.

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  4. Some thoughts…
    – Daveb, a lineup that is hitting on all cylinders or at least more cylinders than the Astros have been doing can afford to have the blackholes of Maldonado/Castro in the lineup. Click should be looking to see (near the deadline) if he can pull some talent away from a team out of the pennant race at catcher.
    – Steven – Urquidy and his 3.97 ERA could be the odd man out, when/if Jake O returns and Lance comes back. A lot of teams would like him as a lot higher than their 6th or 7th best starter. But starting pitching depth is almost always needed.
    – Bryan Abreu’s recent emergence makes the move of Javier to the rotation a whole lot easier to take
    – The pitching has been great. The hitting not so much, though the team has had some critical scoring at the right times during May.
    – In May the Astros were the 8th best team in runs scored in the AL – middle of the road. However, only the Red Sox went bat guano crazy scoring this month. Most of the top half of the league in scoring is packed close together.
    – I think Yuli will begin hitting better, he seems to be making better contact lately, which may lead to a streak. I hope Bregman does. He still looks like someone playing with a bad something or other. Bregman is still showing a good eye with those 15 BB/16 KK ratio and 14 RBIs in May is a solid number. He has to raise that batting average. Will he?
    – I think the thing Jake Meyers brings is someone with a higher top end and certainly someone with more consistency than Jose Siri. Siri in May only hit .218 despite having a .306 BAbip. That’s not good. But I think the team can live with the production of Chas and Jake helping out in those #3 and #4 spots in the OF.
    – I think the lack of power at the corner IF and corner OF spots (outside Tucker) is problematic. Hopefully that will warm up with the weather.

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  5. Glass half-full guy (I stole that from one of you) says that Verlander and Framber are looking like guys I want throwing as many postseason games as possible. Glass half-empty guy is concerned about Verlander’s workload AND remembers some Framber starts on short rest where his control was awful.

    I was surprised Alvarez didn’t get a mention on offensive player of the month. His overall stats aren’t eye-dropping, but his 8 HR during the month all came during wins and by my recollection factored into those decisions. It was great seeing Altuve have a great month, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I share your concerns about innings from the starters, but am encouraged by the fact that Odorizzi will return and get us back into a 6-man rotation. Also am wondering if LMJ might provide some help late in the season to keep some of the starter innings down, perhaps as an opener to start with one inning and then work up from there.

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    • Meanwhile, Chandler Rome seems to be implying that Hunter Brown has nothing left to prove at AAA ball. He’s had an excellent 44 innings so far in 2022, but those 4.3 walks per nine would translate into something higher with the big club and while solid, the 1.182 Space Cowboy WHIP is higher than five of our starters if Odorizzi is included. I hope Hunter reads little and keeps working on his game.

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      • Brown does have something left to prove! He needs to prove he can stop walking batters as a starter, where he has 19 walks vs 40 strikeouts, a 2 to 1 rate.
        As a reliever he has 2 walks vs 20 strikeouts, a 10 to 1 rate. He has great stats as a reliever and good stats as a starter.
        That is something he really needs to work on, because Houston needs Brown as a starting pitcher in the years to come. They have VERY few true starting pitcher prospects in their system.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I want to throw Bryan Abreu’s name in there. Those are some really good numbers from a guy we have sat for years waiting for him to arrive at the train station.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The key to this 3 game series for the Astros is to get to the Royals starting pitchers. If the Astros can put their starter in trouble, the Royals’ bullpen has the second highest ERA in baseball.
    On the flip side, the Astros bullpen has the lowest ERA in baseball.

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  8. So starting 2023 he will get $7 MM, $10 MM, $15 MM and three years of $26 MM
    It secures the young man’s future, ensures what the Astros pay and possibly save them some big bucks when he would have reached FA

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  9. Always happy to see cost certainty – that really helps in planning – but I am scared of year 4 and his weight. As long as he keeps his size under control his knees wont suffer as much in the grind – he should be fine. Now for Tucker.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I personally prefer to see incentive/disincentive clauses in long-term contracts, so that pay beyond an agreed minimum is tied to performance expectations. Apparently, the players and agents don’t like that idea.

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  11. Our newest gazillionsire and his teammates are up 7-0 and the Angels are losing 10-0
    Yordan with 2 hits including a 2 run homer, Diaz with 2 hits including a homer and 3 RBIs and Maldy with a 2 run homer
    Astros could end the evening 7.5 games up

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Good game tonight. Good hitting. And I would like to take a bow for saying last year that Seth Martinez could help this team’s bullpen. Well actually I called him Nick Martinez. So I had it all correct except for his first name and his last name. (For me, that is really close.)

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  13. Things you might not know:
    * Myles Straw has no HRs and 6 RBIs in 47 games so far.
    * Machete has more HRs than Yuli.
    * Juan Soto has 44 BBs and only 35 Ks.
    * Aaron Judge has the highest OPS in MLB at 1.063.
    * Yasmani Grandal has a slash line of .162/270/.214/.484 in 44 games. His salary is $18.25 mil.
    * Javy Baez signed for $140 mil with Detroit and has an OPS of .532 in 41 games.
    * Jeremy Pena has an OPS of .814 in 45 games.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Last year I mentioned Jonathan Bermudez as possible help on the mound. Then this winter, in anticipation of the Rule 5 draft that never happened, he was added to the 40 man roster. (Please note than GoStros I believe said he would never see the majors). Per 9 innings, his hits given up have gone from 7.54 to 11.36. Ks down from 11.84 to 8.07. And BB up from 2.76 to 4.54. He did move in mid-2021 from AA to AAA but I think home plate is the same size.

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    • At this point we’ve won that Myles trade. And on top of his welcome to Cleveland, they gave him 25 million guaranteed over the next five years. I think I’d rather have Chas, et al.

      Seems like suddenly the balls are flying. Has MLB quietly changed the baseball again or is it just getting warmer?

      They gave Baez 140. The guy’s got a lifetime .303 OBP and a .771 OPS. That deal might not age so well.

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    • astrocolt45, yes, I was excited about an in house lefty that threw strikes and got guys out at AAA. I also wonder what what happened to GoStros1. I didn’t mind when he got annoyed with me.

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    • In 2013, David Martinez was named Pitcher of the Yearfor the Astros minor league system for his performance in AA Corpus Christi.
      When he got promoted to AAA he got bombed and pretty much got hit hard for the rest of his career, which seems to have ended in South American baseball in 2021.
      I have never forgotten his 14-2 record in 2013 in CC.
      Here’s hoping Bermudez follows a different path.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t anticipate he’ll turn into a star, but take the numbers with a grain of salt as they’re heavily influenced by two stinkers. He came on in relief after a starter only went 1 inning and promptly gave up 7 hits, 3 BB, and 10 earned runs across 2.1 innings of relief in OKC and had a start a couple weeks later where he was tagged for 5 runs but only managed 1 IP against RR. If you take those two games out his numbers aren’t about what you would have anticipated. He would also be a future bullpen piece intended to face mostly lefties, but thus far has seen over 2/3 of hitters from the right side in 2022.

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  15. Please forgive me for going off topic, sort of. I enjoy reading some of the blogs for other teams. Unlike ours, they go way off topic sometimes to the point of being silly. So I was reading one that was talking about Yordan’s contract. One guy would talk about how cheap it was. The next guy about how expensive and so on. That got turned into “Expensive” and “Cheap.” So the argument went into arguing about what was expensive or cheap. That turned into “Gas is too expensive.” Followed by “We need Moar bikes lanes.” I quit after that.

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    • That’s not the worst of it. I think it was a Fanduel post, where one guy claimed Latino players keep getting screwed on their contracts. And then the thread turned into a racial debate. Bikes lanes would have been a nicer discussion.

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  16. No offense today – though I do think we got screwed on the review of Alvarez at second which would have scored a run.

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  17. Luis continues to impress. I’m sure glad we have him. He gives up too many long balls, but he’ll figure that out too. I have to keep reminding myself that he’s figured out a whole lot of baseball while skipping AA and AAA ball.

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  18. Question: Why do we have a 1st base coach? In the previous game Yuli grounded a ball to third or short. He did know the first baseman dropped the ball. Yes, it was a mental error on his part. But from what was visible, the first baseman had to go toward second to pick up the ball. And Yuli didn’t see any of this because his back was to first base by that time.

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  19. Carapazo (sp) did his best to give KC win today. No calls for us but plenty for KC. Then throws Pressley out in the 9th on a pitch up and in after warnings issued and Pressley complains. Maton comes in and tries to give the game away. Luckily Montero comes in and gets the last out. Key was 9th inning scoring 3 runs with 2 outs.

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    • Woo! My blood pressure soared in the ninth. Watched the umps call bad balls and strikes the entire series, and then it got worse. Way to win, Astros!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think a big part of the Astros 9th inning rally was anger at Yordan getting hit. They should have tossed that pitcher right there and then. Yordan had hit one to the wall for an out, a triple, a single and a homer and then gets drilled. Yeah, that was a mistake for sure. But the team went into immediate attack mode to get a good margin that they needed.

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    • And Dusty didn’t act like he was too upset about it. Maybe he dd want to get his blood pressure up but I was disappointed in his response. We did answer back with that 3 run rally but we need more fire in the belly of the team.

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  20. I’m still here just haven’t posted! The ninth inning today fiasco was enough to make a preacher cuss😠 Our guys got hit three times today, and NOTHING was said to the Royals bench….hopefully this Umpire crew gets a good tongue lasing for that little stunt. Now that we have Yordan locked up, it’s time to do the same with Kyle Tucker!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I don’t have a problem with pitchers pitching inside, but I really hate what seems to be deliberate HBPs. I lived through too many games where Jeff Bagwell was on the DL with a broken hand and the Astros floundering along. I don’t know why the umpire crew did not stop this shenanigans earlier. If this is additional punishment for the cheating scandal – that is a problem because this ties to health and safety of the players.

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    • The league needs to hold teams and players responsible. The difference between a fastball going 80 mph and one going 95 mph is huge. If you throw at me with the former, I’ll get a bruise, but also can get out of the way or move to get hit in a place that’s not dangerous. If you throw the latter it can cause serious injury and reaction times don’t often allow the hitter to get in a safe position. Policing the game by the players isn’t possible in this day and age. Besides, the salaries are so high that a fine or suspension isn’t much of an impact to most of them.

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      • My only problem with the league holding teams and players responsible is that the league has made it clear that we cannot trust them – EVER, TO DO ANYTHING RIGHT OR FAIR. The ‘league’ means the Commissioner, and the Commissioner means the big, rich franchises on the East and West coast – not teams like the Houston Astros. Asking the ‘league’ to fairly police teams and players is like asking Amber Heard to police Johnny Depp’s pillow.

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  22. I don’t know if we commented on it here, but over the weekend Blake Taylor (who as we noted above was the only sub-performing pitcher) was placed on the IL with elbow discomfort and Parker Mushinski was brought up who has thrown 15 scoreless innings at AAA and had thrown a couple scoreless in the bigs last time up.

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  23. The Astros’ offensive leader board suddenly features … Yordan Alvarez. He leads the team in BA [.295]. He leads the team in OBP [.391]. He leads the team in OPS [1.015]. He leads the team in HRS [16]. He leads the team in runs batted in [34]. He leads the team in runs scored [35]. He leads the team in hits [51].

    No wonder the hapless, chicken-offal Royals threw at him.

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    • Congratulations to Yordan on being named AL Player of the Week. [and, as Shoeless Joe Jackson once dead-panned to young Archie Graham in corn field near you: ‘But watch out for in your ear!’]

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  24. Bullpen availability tonight?

    Mushinski [available]
    Abreu [available]
    Seth Martinez [available]
    Stanek possible [13 pitches yesterday]
    Pressly possible [11 pitches yesterday]
    Montero doubtful [3 pitches yesterday; 24 pitches Saturday]
    Neris doubtful [27 pitches yesterday]
    Maton doubtful [19 pitches yesterday]

    Come on, Christian Javier! Have yourself a game, son!

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  25. I’m pretty sure they scored all seven of their runs with two outs.
    I do know that Jose got thrown out twice when there was just an out with Bregman and Alvarez coming up. The play at home was not even close.
    Javier looked disinterested. His last two outings raise eyebrows a bit.
    If the manager leads a charge out of their dugout, shouldn’t he be suspended?
    Neris seems to have gotten a bit carried away.
    Bregman had two more walks but he’s hitting .217 and his OPS is down to .718.
    That’s a forgettable game last night.

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    • On Altuve’s first thrown out at 2nd, if he doesn’t try for second and draw the throw, Maldy is thrown out by a ton at home. On his other one, Pettis waved him on in when there was no chance (just like he waved Maldy in). What was Pettis thinking both times?
      I don’t like to be on the side that is throwing at or behind guys.
      Bregman did come within inches of a huge double down the left field line. But he does not belong in the third spot in the lineup. Alvarez should be moved up and Tucker should be moved up – I don’t care for this left right left lineup.
      Bad game at Black Rock last night

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      • That is true – I thought Ray was toast early, but he held on – we could not quite get over the hump with him and like you say – we gave away two outs in the middle of promising rallies.

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  26. When you are up in the division by 8.5 games, I think it behooves a team to let some stuff other teams do slide. They envy us, and are small-minded children – I get that. But last night we were no better – and wound up giving away a game we very easily could have won.

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    • It is an interesting situation Mr. Bill. I agree that you should let things slide a bit when you have the big lead, but maybe you also have to let them know you won’t get pushed around either. I had no problem really with Pressly pitching inside on Sunday, but last night, if we were throwing at them in the 9th (and reading the no comment from Neris, I think we were) – why poke the bear? The M’s have been underachieving in my mind, but they could go on a roll. Why give them motivation?
      You can read what was said here
      https://www.mlb.com/astros/news/dusty-baker-ejected-after-benches-clear-in-mariners-vs-astros

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      • Down 7-4 and 2 outs in the 9th when he nearly hit Suarez in the head.

        There was the story of Stan Williams with a 3-0 count on Henry Aaron hitting him right in the ribs. Aaron on first yelled at him and said “Why did you do that?” Stan’s reply was, “I was going to walk you anyway.”

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  27. The 8th inning was painful to watch last night. Runners on 1st and second with 1 out. Chaz K’s on 3 pitches that were nowhere near the plate. Then letting Castro who’s batting .100 hit for Madly (don’t we have anybody better) K’s on three pitches out of the zone. Well maybe one was in but I don’t recall. 1 for 9 RISP just doesn’t get it. Then all the other embarrassing stuff in the 9th. Need to forget this one and move on. And get rid of those UGLY ass space city uniforms.
    Have we even won a game in those uniforms?
    I suspect that there are some guys that are getting tired of the comments and boos everywhere we play. I probably would be too if I were out there. I guess it shows the how a lot of those fans have no class what so ever. Oh well. Lets win tonight and right the ship.

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  28. It seems to me that pitchers on both sides were having trouble locating. Nearly all of the homers given up were pitches middle or up in the zone. Both sides had trouble with wild pitches and passed balls.

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