Well well well. The kids go back to school (so I hear, mine isn't old enough yet) and the Astros sweep the Dodgers. You parents ought to be feeling pretty good right about now. Be sure to check out the Masked Marvel's recap of yesterday's win over Clayton Kershaw - well, not so much Clayton Kershaw, more of the Astros' win over the Dodgers bullpen. The Astros had not swept the Dodgers (and keep the league switch in mind) since Brian Moehler, Chris Sampson, and Geoff Geary got wins at Dodger Stadium on May 9-11, 2008.
From June 28 to the beginning of play August 24, 2012 - three years ago to the day - the Astros had won seven of their previous 50 games. 43 losses in 50 games. The winning pitcher on August 1, 2012? Mike Fiers, for Milwaukee.
The A's and Mariners both won, the Angels lost, and the Rangers beat the Tigers to remain four games back of the Astros. The Rangers have won nine of their last eleven games and have an off-day today because they seemingly don't ever have to play any games (the Astros have played 125 games, the Rangers 123), but will start a series in Arlington against the Blue Jays on Tuesday.
FanGraphs gives the Astros an 82.9% chance of winning the division and a 94.5% chance of making the postseason - both are season highs.
ESPN's Christina Kahrl: Astros ready to lift off for an October destination.
Sure, this was just a three-game series in August. But beating the team with the best one-two rotation punch in baseball in the middle of a pennant race demonstrates that you can beat anybody in a short series.
*Kenley Jansen, on the 9th inning:
Two (expletive) hits. What can I do?
*Clayton Kershaw says it's time to panic after the sweep.
*Brian T. Smith refers to the Dodgers as "Magic Johnson's precious baseball baby"
*Hinch, on Gomez's failed attempt to steal home:
I know it's maddening sometimes with the outs on the bases. But we're always trying to get 90 feet.
*McCullers spent his three-week vacation in Corpus working on his mechanics and a "slider-slurvish" pitch.
*This freaking Mike Fiers/Pine Tar thing isn't going away.
Non-Astros Read of the Day:
The Knowledge: London's Legendary Taxi-Driver Test, Puts Up a Fight in the Age of GPS