So I guess the Rangers don't have to play any more games, what with another off-day to put them at 149 games while the Astros sit at 151 (the Astros have Thursday off). Still, a nice win with no creeping doubts until the top of the 9th inning over the Angels puts the Astros
We're back, right? We left for a little bit.
FanGraphs gives the Astros a 41.5% chance of overtaking the Rangers in the division, and an 88.9% chance of keeping the 2nd Wild Card spot.
*How great was Keuchel last night? 7.2IP, 6H/1ER, 6K:1BB. Keuchel has recorded at least 21 outs in 20 of his 31 starts, and is 14-0 at Minute Maid Park with 122.1IP, 85H/20ER, 129K:26BB.
*From David Schoenfield, no pitcher - at least since 1914 - has ever gone undefeated at home with at least 14 wins. Astros.com's Chandler Rome noted last night that Keuchel's 1.47 home ERA is the lowest in the AL since Nolan Ryan's 1.07 with the Angels in 1972.
*Interesting quote from Keuchel, regarding his breaking pitches from 2014 to 2015:
They were pretty good last year, I think they were just overlooked by the amount of ground balls I got. Pitching is all about quality and I've made a lot of quality pitches over the last two years and that's a tribute to me becoming a better pitcher.
*Keuchel's 219IP slipped him past 2011 Brett Myers for most IP in an Astros season in the last five years (given that Keuchel - ideally - pitches at least 5IP against the Rangers on Sunday, he'll pass Myers' 223.2IP in 2010). But Keuchel is the first Astros pitcher to throw 200IP in back-to-back seasons since Myers in 2010-2011.
*Keuchel's 203rd strikeout tied him with Mike Cuellar for most strikeouts by an Astros LHP in a season.
*Carlos Correa's 19th homer leaves him just one home run short of tying The Dickie Thon's club record for home runs by a shortstop. The 19th homer also gives Correa a tie with the Giants' Brandon Crawford for the league lead in home runs by a shortstop, and Correa has done it in 135 fewer plate appearances
*At 3.1 fWAR in 88 games, Correa has put up the 4th-most valuable season by a shortstop in Astros' history.
1983 Dickie Thon: 7.3
1982 Dickie Thon: 5.1
1970 Denis Menke: 3.6
2015 Carlos Correa: 3.1
*Correa also becomes the 18th rookie shortstop since 1962 to put up a 3-WAR season (a list that also includes Pittsburgh's Jung-Ho Kang and Cleveland's Francisco Lindor - both this season).
On to some links:
*Jered Weaver, who will receive $20m for his services from the Angels in 2016:
82 and up in this park doesn't do too good. I wish I felt as good as I did in the bullpen. This is probably the best pregame I've thrown in a year. It just didn't translate to the game.
*Handsome Dan Straily is on his way back to Houston.
*On the heels of David Stearns' departure, farm director Quinton McCracken is interviewing for the Red Sox' open GM position. Luhnow:
...Obviously, we don't want everyone to leave at the same time. I can't comment on any other rumored interviews, but we have enough talent where we'll be fine no matter what happens.
*Foltynewicz update: He had surgery Monday to remove half of one of his ribs because of the blood clots in his arm. Foltynewicz will be released on Thursday and be on blood thinners for six weeks. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Foltynewicz, and that he'll be back in Spring Training.