*The Astros are off today. It is the 5th off-day in a row for the offense.
*Seven of the nine Rangers runs yesterday were scored with two outs.
*A.J. Hinch knows what's up when it comes to the Rangers:
They've just beat the hell out of us. They've come into our ballpark, at their ballpark, and they've just beat us. It doesn't mean it has to stay that way. We have a lot of games against these guys, but yeah, I'm tired of getting beat by them...We have to find a new approach against them.
*Angel Verdejo says elite opposing pitchers have given the Astros fits over the last four games. And I'll give you Chris Sale and Cole Hamels as tough opponents. But Colby Lewis? Cesar Ramos? Give me a f break. Hinch:
We've got to toughen up a little bit about those circumstances, whether it's a tough call or a line drive out. They give us 27 outs - we have to maximize them and overcome some of the negative vibe that can be created by being held scoreless and also not getting enough hits.
So Hinch is noting "toughening up" and a "negative vibe" and this is what his role should be - keeping the team from pouting their way through a disappointing season.
*Dallas Keuchel was able to trot out the same postgame comments for the 10th time this season:
Ball is up, in hitter's counts. They've done a good job of taking advantage of the mistakes pitchers throw...I was the one that gave it up, so it's very frustrating...If I show up on a few pitches here and there, it's a totally different ballgame. It just seems like that's the way it's going right now.
*A.J. Reed, who has been on the DL with a strained hamstring, returned to Fresno's lineup yesterday. Really looking forward to the Astros calling him up and then sitting him on the bench in favor of Luis Valbuena or Tyler White.
*Brian Smith says Hinch will need to use his Stanford psych degree more this year than he did last year. Hinch:
I show up every day thinking today's the day that things are going to be good.
NOT TODAY, BOB!
*Erik Kratz was unconditionally released.
*I'm impressed that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Stefan Stevenson was able to write this piece will simultaneously tweaking his own nipples in glee.
*Oh cool, Yu Darvish is coming back on Saturday against Pittsburgh.
*It is 2016. You can order a pizza with a tweet. You can FaceTime with anyone around the world...from your watch. How it takes over a week to hold a hearing for an eight-game suspension appeal is absolutely beyond me. Furthermore, the decision on the appeal could take up to two days.
*Craig Kimbrel acknowledged to Nick Cafardo that there are some pretty significant differences between pitching in the American League as opposed to the National League. So just keep that in mind as you self-flagellate over Vince Velasquez and Ken Giles (...he said to himself)
*This pretty much says what you need to hear (and this was *before* yesterday's 11K game vs Hamels):
Most batting swing & misses by team:#Astros 859#Rays 802#Padres 771#BlueJays 724#Brewers 724#DBacks 716https://t.co/fA4px4Ndnr— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 22, 2016