Can you believe this? I know it's a trite expression, but seriously, can you believe the Astros? After being next to useless for four months on the road, they win four of five to set up at least a G163. Astros win 6-2. More on that later.
What happened elsewhere
The Yankees dropped both ends of a double-header at Baltimore
The Twins were eliminated from contention with a 5-1 loss to the Royals.
The Angels punched the Rangers in the nuts in the 9th inning, scoring five runs to win 11-10. This game was crazy. The Angels were up 5-1 after putting four on the board in the top of the 5th, which were answered by the Rangers in the bottom of the 5th. The Rangers then scored five of the next six runs to take a 10-6 lead. In the top of the 9th, the Angels went homer, homer, groundout, double, strikeout, single, single, single, single to go up 11-10.
It's not over. We still have tomorrow and tonight really. It's thoroughly disappointing what just transpired. We've come this far. We're not going to let anything else get us down.
FanGraphs gives the Astros a 15.4% chance of winning the division, and a 74.7% chance of making the postseason.
Houston @ Arizona
Collin McHugh was good, as has been his custom. In his first 13 starts of 2015, McHugh threw 79.2IP, 90H/45ER (5.08 ERA) with 12HR allowed and an .808 OPS. Since: 124IP, 117H/43ER (3.12 ERA) with 7HR and a .637 OPS. This includes back-to-back starts at Oakland and Arlington in mid-September in which he gave up 5ER in nine total IP.
Colby Rasmus hit his 24th and 25th home runs of the season, and his 3rd in the two games against Arizona. After the September 2 game against Seattle, Rasmus' OPS bottomed out at .735. Since then, however, he's hitting .301/.407/.658 in 87 PAs with eight homers and 13 walks.
George Springer was 2x4, his 5th multi-hit game in a row, and 8th 2+ hit game in his last eleven.
Chris Carter was 2x4 with two doubles last night but was thrown out advancing to third both times. Despite that, Carter is hitting .326/.420/.860 since the Yankees series at the end of August. He has hits in twelve of his last 14 games .
*Jose Altuve was 2x4 with a double and a home run, and has 5RBI in his last three games. The double was his 40th double of the season, giving him at least 40 doubles in back-to-back seasons. Since the All-Star Break, Altuve is hitting .332/.367/.502.
Where we are now
Here is the scenario:
AL Wild Card:
So here's what can happen:
HOU win + ARL loss = G163 for the division to be played on Monday, loser
HOU win + ARL win + NYY loss = Astros host Wild Card game vs NYY on Tuesday
HOU win + ARL win + NYY win = Astros play Wild Card game at NYY on Tuesday
HOU loss + ARL win = Astros play Wild Card game at NYY on Tuesday
HOU loss + ANA win = G163 in Houston vs LAA on Monday for 2nd Wild Card
If the Astros win, they're in. Hinch:
Nothing can happen to us negatively if we win (on Sunday). We'll be playing for the division or be in the Wild Card.
I love it, and it's fun as a fan. But I'm a nervous wreck.
I'm planning on having another start. I'm planning on having another three, four starts.
Coming into Spring Training, everybody counting us out, pretty much saying we're going to be subpar. To have this grind of these last few games, to be able to give us that chance, man, it's pretty sweet.
Garrett Richards (LAA) vs Hole Camels (ARL)
Richards will be pitching on short rest while Hamels has to pitch, and then won't be able to start a potential Game 1 of the ALDS on normal rest. Yay for this universal start time.
In his last five starts against the Rangers (dating back to 2014), Richards is 5-0 and has a 1.80 ERA. In his last seven starts, Richards has a 3.04 ERA
Hamels hasn't faced the Angels since 2008, but he's 5-0 in his last seven starts with a 3.38 ERA, including his last start against Detroit in which he gave up 6ER.
It's still hard to root for either team, but now that we won, it certainly puts pressure on teams around us. It gives us a chance to win the division.
Lance McCullers vs. Robbie Ray
McCullers has a 3.27 ERA in his last seven starts, not giving up more than 3ER in any of them.
Robbie Ray has a 3.82 ERA in his last seven starts, including two starts against the Dodgers (11IP) in which he did not give up an earned run.
*Jeff Luhnow stands by the Kazmir and Gomez/Fiers trades:
The players on this team that put us in a position to make those trades at the end of July deserve the opportunity for us to add talent, and that's what we did. It doesn't always work out. I think we know that, we knew that going in. Fortunately for us, we have Fiers and Gomez next year, and we're still in it.