*The Orioles beat the Rangers, so the Rangers have lost back-to-back games since the Trade Deadline in Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels starts. Would have been nice to get to 3.5 GB but lolz. The Angels beat the A's, the Mariners beat the Red Sox.
*5-9 in the lineup has gone 6x61 (.098) with 19K:0BB this series. They have gone 13x115 (.113), 33K:3BB since the beginning of the Tigers series.
Astros slumps:— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) August 4, 2016
Rasmus 3-for-63 (two HRs)
*Hinch, on the "offense":
This is a dry spell for us. Right now you've got some guys grinding mentally and physically, and they're trying to do too much and ultimately not finding the results....We've been through this before. We've seen this happen, and we've come out of it pretty explosively in the past, and I think we'll do it again.
Yeah but the difference between it happening in August and it happening in April is about three months of wiggle room.
*We did get to see James Hoyt make his Major League debut, though. The 29-year old is the 2nd-oldest Astro to make his Major League debut, 49 days younger than Don Bradey in 1964. Bradey only pitched in three games in his career, allowing 6H/5ER, 2K:3BB in 2.1 career IP.
*The prognosis on Lance McCullers is an elbow sprain, and he won't even pick up a baseball for two weeks, which would then require a throwing program and at least one rehab start. McCullers won't be back before September. Brad Peacock came up and will fill Feldman's role as long man in the bullpen.
*Hinch, on McCullers:
It's all guesswork. You're guessing, I'm guessing. Everybody wants to know what's possible...We want to know today what the future holds in late August and September. But until he gets some rest and things calm down, we're just not going to know.
*Joe Musgrove will get his start on Sunday. Hinch, on Musgrove:
We really like this guy. He's got a lot of charisma, a lot of polish to him. Even to be able to warm up in front of a full crowd and both teams waiting and the umpires sort of pushing the action, it's not easy. His maturity came through, with rave reviews.
*Alex Bregman got the night off last night after starting his ML career 1x32, after spending some extra time working on his swing:
It's just a mechanical issue that we're working out to get back to how it was. Today was great. We got back to what I was doing before.
*ESPN's David Schoenfield took a look at each of Alex Bregman's plate appearances and drew some good conclusions. Among them:
His track in the minors is just too good to think he wasn't ready for the majors. Every hitter has bad stretches; Bregman just happened to start his career with one.
And if that's not a summary of the 2016 Astros, I don't know what is.
*The Toronto Star talked to former Blue Jay Colby Rasmus about Jose Altuve. Quote of the year?
He just has a crazy ability to find holes. He don't hit gloves. It's crazy, especially today when it seems that whenever you start doing good they've got a whole staff of super-nerds trying to come up with ways to get you out. They got their super nerds, and we got ours, crunching the numbers trying to figure it out. So for him to stay on top of his game and being just five-foot-six, 160 pounds, he's one in the world. I don't think there'll be another one like him.
*This is worth probably five games in the 2016 standings: MLB.com ranked the Astros as the 3rd-best farm system.
*Indians minor leaguer Francisco Mejia (who would have been in the Lucroy deal had Lucroy not dropped it like 3rd Period French) ran his hitting streak to 45 games - a modern minor-league record.
*Want some free agent help this offseason? MLBTR updated their 2017 Free Agent Power Rankings.
*An oral history of Kenny Lofton's ridiculous catch - 20 years ago today.
*The Phillies' Aaron Altherr almost replicated Merkle's Boner.
*The lead singer of Modest Mouse caused a chain reaction wreck. He just drove off sometimes life's okay.