Oh Jeez. It's happening, the collapse is happening. In the two weeks since July 4, the Astros' odds of winning the division have fallen from 62.3% to 29.4% and their postseason odds have taken a nosedive from 80.5% to 55.4% (all via FanGraphs). We're all going to suffer and die. OR you could look at it like it's now a 70-ish game season and the Astros are 1.5 games back behind a streaking team that is 15-5 in their last 20 games. On to them Hot Links...
*Scroll down a post and you can read the Masked Marvel's very good recap of last night's dumb 7-6 loss. A.J. Hinch said:
We had a chance to win the series tonight and we didn't do it...We didn't use our outs well enough early in the game and we ran out of outs. If you wonder if games in July matter, tonight is proof positive.
Rangers manager Hacksaw Jeff Banister, likely holding an American flag and a 2x4:
Our guys are not going to be pushed around
Feldman, on Rougned Odor:
I don't really know that Odor guy much, but he's got some good veterans he can learn the game from over there...He doesn't need to act like that.
Whatever was exchanged between me and (Odor) is between me and him, but at the same time I wasn't too pleased about him taking his time getting into the box.
*What with Carter's ankle injury (which doesn't seem to merit a DL stint), Luis Valbuena and Hank Conger took grounders at 1B before last night's game.
*The Astros and Padres have held preliminary talks regarding a trade for starting pitching, presumably for Andrew Cashner and/or Tyson Ross, according to sources of the San Diego Union-Tribune, but "there are no indications of anything imminent."
Cashner, a Conroe native, won't be a free agent until 2017. Ross won't be a free agent until 2018.
*Buster Olney tweeted that the Phillies are engaged with multiple teams on trading Hamels, and are pushing to get a Papelbon deal finished.
*Dayn Perry wrote about Carlos Correa's power.
Is Correa already the American League's top shortstop? After six weeks or so of Correa, yes, that question can be asked plausibly. Of a 20-year old.
*A.J. Reed hit his first Double-A homer last night.
*Here's a fantastic article on Astros 40th Round pick Steve Naemark.
*What the Heck Bobby, has a cool look at former Astros players in Independent Ball
*A week ahead of Craig Biggio's Induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame, we wrote about why Nolan Ryan is wearing a Rangers cap on his plaque.