At 48-35, the Astros are 4.0 up on the Angels with a 62.3% chance of winning the division and an 80.5% chance of going to the playoffs. Let's get to the Hot Links...
*Collin McHugh couldn't find his command against Boston.
*Jim Crane talked to Brian McTaggart about the need for a starting pitcher, having checked on Scott Kazmir, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, and Mike Leake (notably absent from this list is Colston Douche Hamels).
If we can get the right move, I'm sure Jeff (Luhnow) will pull the trigger. He has the ability to do that if he wants to do it. It will depend on what kind of contract it is and how long it is and who it is and what we need, but I know it's something a lot of teams are looking at right now...
...On the trade deadline, we're looking at a lot of different options. It's no secret we'd like to get a little deeper on the starting pitcher side. The bullpen is solid. We'll get our guys healthy and hopefully make a run.
*George Springer and the Astros elected not to have surgery on his wrist in hopes that it will make for a quicker recovery.
*Jeff Luhnow on the team's progress:
The most compelling thing about this team is the contributions have come from so many different components. The constants have been Keuchel and the bullpen for the most part. Others have ebbed and flowed as the season's gone on. But there's been enough players contributing at a high level...each month to keep us winning.
*Dan Straily will get at least one more start, and Jake Marisnick will return to the team today, with Domingo Santana heading back to Fresno.
*Nick Cafardo says Cole Hamels will likely not accept a trade to Houston or Toronto. "Yet if those are the only options he has," Cafardo writes, "would he say No?"
*Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan: The Astros won't fold like everyone expects them to do. Money line:
If Edward Snowden hacked into the Astros' database, even he would be stumped as to how this is all happening.
*The Masked Marvel wrote about the possible edge the Astros have in scheduling for the rest of the season.
*Draft longshot Luken Baker is still planning on going to TCU.
*Just about all of Locust Grove, Oklahoma went to OKC to watch Adrian Houser pitch.
*Here's a nice profile on former Astro and Mariners Rule 5 pick David Rollins, who made his Major-League debut yesterday.