The Astros offense has pretty much gone on the DL. They've scored four runs in the last 41 innings. In the last four games they're hitting .171/.233/.225 with 36K:7BB and four extra-base hits. Last night saw the Astros' offense get dominated by Grampa Dickey, 2-1.
*The Rangers lost to the Orioles, the Angels beat the A's, and the Mariners beat the Red Sox.
So your division looks like this:
Trinity River: -
The Astros are now 3.5 GB of Toronto for WC1 and 2.5 GB of Boston for WC2, with the Tigers 2.0 up on Houston.
*FanGraphs now gives the Astros a 16.4% chance of winning the division (Rangers at 77.7%) with a 33.6% chance of making the postseason. If they don't wash the sheets of all the fecal matter they've sprayed on their beds over the past week, there won't be much of a point to updating this little section.
*Over his past three starts, Dickey had allowed 17 earned runs so of course.
*The Astros are 2-5 since Luis Valbuena left the July 26 game with a strained hamstring.
*Hinch, on Dickey:
We have been in an offensive lull for a few games now. Obviously, Dickey had his good knuckleball going tonight, and his ball was moving all over the place. The hitters were coming back and remarking on how much action he had on his pitches.
*There were two big pitching stories last night:
1) Lance McCullers left in the 5th with "discomfort in his right elbow." McCullers:
We don't really know...I felt a little discomfort, and out of precaution, I just had to get out of there.
I didn't start the season how I wanted to, being on the DL and whatnot. I just felt like I was starting to hit my stride a little bit.
This is bad. Real bad. McCullers will be evaluated today. Jordan Ray said McCullers didn't seem too worried.
2) But! Joe Musgrove! Musgrove tied an MLB record for a reliever in his MLB debut by striking out EIGHT Blue Jays in 4.1IP. ESPN says he tied Barry Jones' record for Pittsburgh on April 20, 1986.
Lots of reactions to Musgrove's debut, who said he was tired just from the adrenaline of jogging out to the mound to begin his Major-League career. Hinch:
I loved the way he pitched.
McCullers, on Musgrove:
He's nasty, man. Plain and simple, dude was filthy tonight.
*In the wake of Monday night's 9th inning, A.J. Hinch has installed Ken Giles as the Astros' new closer. Hinch, on Will Harris:
I think it's because he's been so dominant in the first few months, all of a sudden, giving up runs in a few games in a row gives the feeling that the sky is falling and something's wrong with him. The reality is, it's the execution of a couple pitches that's gotten him burnt.
Harris has allowed seven earned runs in his last 5.2IP after allowing three earned runs in his first 37.2IP of the season.
*In other bullpen news, Luke Gregerson has been placed on the DL with a strained oblique which, this being the Astros, means he's done until mid-September at the earliest.
*A.J. Reed is looking to stick around this time.
*Fresno closer James Hoyt is with the Astros after Doug Fister went on paternity leave. Hoyt said the development of a splitter over the winter has led to his increased success this season. In 50IP for Fresno, Hoyt has struck out 84 batters with a 1.62 ERA. Go back and read Evan Drellich's profile of Hoyt from February 2015.
*Well Alex Bregman is 1x32 to start his major league career. He did not look overmatched in the first few games but I feel like he's pressing to get out of this slump. Bregman had five strikeouts in his first 24 PAs, and now five strikeouts in his last ten PAs. His BABIP is under .050. This is an almost unbelievable turn of events.
*Keegan Yuhl was promoted from Corpus to Fresno. Yuhl posted a 3.04 ERA in 97.2IP (75K:21BB) for Corpus. We wrote about Keegan Yuhl back in June.
*Check out Jayson Stark's piece on how August trades work.