Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Morning Hot Links

I see you, Jed Lowrie. The Astros were down to their final strike three times in the 9th inning and still managed to rally off Huston Street for a 5-3 win over the Angels, preserving a 1.5-game lead headed into the biggest series of the season at Arlington tonight. FanGraphs has the Astros at 73.7% for winning the division, and 91.2% for making the postseason. Seven of the Astros' 19 remaining games are against Arlington.

A couple of notes about Lowrie's 9th inning three-run go-ahead homer:

*It was just his second career home run at Angel Stadium.
*It was his first home run off Street.
*It was the first home run he has ever hit with a runner on in the 9th inning or later
*His last two home runs: 3-run go-ahead homer yesterday, go-ahead grand slam on September 6.
*Of the nine home runs Lowrie has hit this season, three of them have been in the 9th inning.
*Six of his nine homers this season have given the Astros the lead.

But Kole Calhoun almost caught it:
I felt like I was really close. I thought I had a good beat on that ball. Might have tipped my glove, I'm not really sure. But I kind of just ran out of room and when I went to jump I was up against the wall and tried to make a stab at it. But I just couldn't get there.

And how about the ball from Correa that got stuck in Featherston's glove?
A very helpless feeling. Definitely would have had an out at first, end the game there, and it was definitely stuck. Couldn't throw my glove all the way to first base. It was weird.

*Houston had a 0.1% chance of winning that game when Preston Tucker launched the solo homer. 

*Friend of Astros County ThaShark rightly mentioned that this game could be like the 2004 series between the Astros and Giants. After dropping the first two games at San Francisco on September 21/22, and down 3-2 in the 9th on September 23, Lance Berkman hit a three-run homer in the 9th (which would become a 7-3 win after Jason Lane and Raul Chavez got RBIs) to put the Astros up. The Astros would win eight of their remaining nine games to wrap up the Wild Card. Let's hope that - even though they've lost four of the six games on this road trip - yesterday's win propels them into Arlington with some momentum. 

*The Dallas Morning-News has a Tale of the Tape between the Astros and Rangers. 

*A.J. Hinch says the Astros are playing with intensity going into the series:
These are all really intense games. We're drained at the end of the night because of what we're putting into these games. This will be no different, these four games. They're right behind us. It's the middle of September, scoreboard-watching time...I like the momentum coming out of (Sunday's win).

*Hacksaw Jeff Banister, who grew up an Astros fan in La Marque (or "La Margue," as the FW Start-Telegram thinks) is excited:
I can't wait. Are you kidding me? The idea of having the two baseball teams in this state go head to head this late in the year of the magnitude for what it means on the season...for me it's special.

Read more here:

*Carlos Gomez will be evaluated in Houston today after leaving Sunday during BP with intercostal discomfort. Gomez has hit .234/.282/.379 with a .268 BABIP for the Astros, but .306/.362/.565 from the 15-1 win at Yankees Stadium on August 25 (to use a somewhat-arbitrary end point). Gomez:
This is frustrating. I start hitting and drive the ball and feel myself. I hope it's not bad things, something a few days. If it's a bad thing, I'm going to feel like really bad, frustrated.

*If Jason Castro can run at full speed, he'll rejoin the Astros.

*Fresno and Round Rock - the Astros and Ramgers affiliates, respectively - will play each other beginning on Thursday for the Pacific Coast League championship.