So the Astros pulled their probably-too-little/probably-too-late routine out on Sunday as Joe Musgrove finally shut down the Angels in a 4-1 Astros win.
Musgrove allowed one run in seven innings. Musgrove:
There are a few guys in here that are handling it a little worse than the rest of us from having personal relationships with Jose (Fernandez). The energy was a little bit down, so I was hoping to go out there and pitch a strong seven.
I just wanted to go out there and put up a zero. I needed to do that for the team and show them that I can bounce back.
Tony Kemp hit his first major league home run, so yay. Yulieski Gurriel became the 1st player since Joe Torre in 1975 to hit into four double plays in a game.
*So the Astros are three games back with six to play and chasing three teams. One of those teams is Seattle, against whom the Astros open a series tonight. Hinch:
I know Seattle is the one team we can control what they do for the next three days. We'll play it out and see where it goes, but we need as many wins as we can get.
*If the Astros go 6-0, Baltimore needs to go 3-3 and Detroit needs to go no better than 4-2. FanGraphs puts it at 3.2%.
*Brian T. Smith credits A.J. Hinch for keeping the team together and fighting despite injuries to Valbuena, Keuchel, and McCullers.
*George Springer has altered his approach, slowing his swing down. Springer:
I know that my job is to somehow, someway get to first base and I think I kind of got away from that for a little bit. And so I just told myself, 'Just get to first base and we'll see what happens.
George goes through these stretches of over swinging and really trying to make up for lost time. He's maturing as a hitter as well and he's cut his swing down just enough to make better contact.
Springer has seven hits in his last eight at-bats.
*Chris Devenski: The Astros' unsung hero
*The Red Sox struck out the Rays 23 times yesterday.
*For South Floridians, watching Jose Fernandez pitch felt like freedom.
*Lance McCullers - who came up in Tampa with Jose Fernandez - was very emotional.
*A baseball card contest pays off 60 years later.
*Grantland, 2013: From Cuba with Heat
*Meet Jose Fernandez: The best pitcher you've never heard ofM