*The Astros beat the Marlins 3-0 yesterday behind Lance McCullers' tribute to Jose Fernandez, throwing six scoreless innings. The Astros are 29-12 and lead the AL West by eight games (and, lest any Ramgers fans come looking to troll: yes, we know it's May.)
*Hinch, on McCullers' start:
I know it meant a lot for him to pitch on this mound. So it was nice for him to be near his best and use his pitches and be effective. He just did a lot right and he did it with a lot of emotion today. It meant a lot to him.
*McCullers' 1st two road starts: 9.1IP, 15H/10ER, 11K:4BB
McCullers' three road starts since: 19IP, 9H/0ER, 14K:4BB
*McCullers is the first Astros pitcher since Roger Clemens (2005) to throw three straight ER-less road outings.
*Jose Altuve hit two doubles and two triples yesterday against Miami - Jake Kaplan notes it's the first time that's happened in Astros history, and the first time in the Majors since Carl Crawford did it back in 2005. And Altuve never crossed home plate yesterday.
*Speaking of the Rangers, they have won eight straight games against straight trash teams (San Diego, Oakland, Philadelphia) but still, eight straight wins is eight straight wins. They're 8-2 in their last ten games, and have lost a game to the Astros in the standings, who are 9-1 in their last ten.
*Mike Lupica: The Astros are for real
*Richard Justice: Astros are loving life on top
*Jerome Solomon: Astros are providing some championship hope
*Jeff Luhnow still expects Frankie Tuesday to pitch for Houston this season though, what with 19 walks in 19IP, it could be in relief.
I don't know if it's going to be in the rotation or in relief, if it's going to be in September or if he'll be able to come up and fill a need before then. We'll have to wait and see...we're just going to have to be patient with him.
*Still, the need for a starting pitcher is more evident after Mike Fiers' rough start and any impending slumps/injuries. Ken Rosenthal reported Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole could be a possibility for the Astros as the Astros will likely make a push to strengthen their squad and the Pirates' window hurriedly closes. Not only Cole, but lefty reliever Tony Watson could be a potential trade target as the Astros search for a viable option other than Tony Sipp (who has admittedly pitched much better of late).