*The Astros scored five runs while I was in the shower in the bottom of the 4th last night and slowly tried to give away a 2-run lead, which they did twice successfully, with Luke Gregerson allowing the tying run in the 8th. Jake Marisnick's go-ahead homer in the bottom of the 8th inning gave the Astros a 7-6 lead to which they would hold on. The Astros are 32-16.
We talk about series wins all the time. We played enough winning baseball to win the series, which is all you can ask for out of your team, but we didn't play perfect. We've had a little sluggish stretch here, but it's hard to be disappointed when you leave the ballpark tonight having won three of four against the Tigers...
The fourth inning was the difference in the game.
The five-run 4th inning in a 7-6 game? What a baseball mind...
*The Astros got their five runs while I was in the shower in the bottom of the 4th on three homers off Justin Verlander - just the second time he has allowed 3HR in an inning.
*Marisnick's 8th inning homer was the 2nd he's hit in the 8th or later this season - one tied the game (April 9 vs Kansas City), this one was the go-ahead shot. Those are the only two times he's done that in his career. Hinch, on Marisnick's .559 SLG this season:
I think he's finally connected with his swing. His timing is better, his alignment's better, and his direction's better. Obviously, his pitch selection's gotten a little better.
*Mike Fiers threw 4.2IP, 10H/4ER, 2K:1BB, generating just two groundball outs on the night. The Astros pitching staff allowed 14 hits to the Tigers, the highest of the season. In games in which the staff allows 10+ hits the Astros are now 6-7. They were 22-44 in those games in 2016.
*This season Luke Gregerson thrown 18IP, 21H/13ER, 19K:7BB, 6.50 ERA/1.56 WHIP (5.70 FIP). His Hits/9 have jumped from 5.9 in 2016 to 10.5 in 2017 and he's currently suffering through career-highs in HR/9 and BB/9. To be fair, six of those earned runs came in 0.1IP against the Royals in April. Take that game out and he's got 17.2IP, 16H/7ER, 19K:6BB. Not elite, but one game has skewed his overall numbers.
*Brian McCann passed his concussion test and is cleared to return to the lineup tomorrow.
*Jon Heyman's Notes column says that Carlos Correa was out of the lineup for not running all-out on a play, not the sinus infection that, oh I don't know, A.J. Hinch said it was. But Heyman does say the Astros are interested in Cuban shortstop Jose Israel Garcia, so that's something, I guess.
*Collin McHugh threw off a mound yesterday!
*Buster Olney says Sonny Gray could be the #1 trade deadline candidate. If the Astros swing a deal with Oakland, they are contractually obligated to include Jed Lowrie.
*Jake Kaplan has some backstory into Jordan Jankowski's drafting/signing, and it's a good one. (We covered it briefly when he got drafted)
*Here's David Barron on Mike Stanton's new role with Root Sports SW.
*Ken Hoffman walked around Minute Maid Park with Reid Ryan before a game last week.
*Mattress Mack will give you a full refund on your bedding purchases of $3,000...if the Astros win the World Series.
*Rachel Robinson is this year's Buck O'Neil Award recipient from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
*The Rangers use their medical staff to recruit players with a history of injuries.
*Not Astros-related, but my favorite soccer team's manager up and quit and I am sad.
*Read Trevor May's account of going through Tommy John Surgery.