*Another solid Mike Fiers start was blown by another poor James Hoyt outing, who gave up a grand slam and cleared the way for a 6-4 Oakland win. Springer started a comeback effort with a three-run home run in the 9th inning, but the Astros couldn't crawl back in this one.
I felt pretty good. They battled me again and put me in a lot of tough situations, a lot of jams, and cashed in in the sixth.
I let the team down. They put me out there in a big time in the game and I just didn't do my job.
The 6th inning was the door-buster. Fiers allowed 4H/4ER, 7K:1BB in 5.2IP, but three of those earned runs came thanks to Hoyt's grand slam to Ryon Healy. In June, Hoyt has pitched 12.1IP, 14H/12ER, 19K:3BB and has allowed at least one earned run in eight of his last ten appearances.
To be fair, Healy thought he had struck out one pitch before, actually dropping his bat in frustration at watching strike three (which would have ended the inning).
*The Astros had plenty of chances, getting 14 hits (11 singles). Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick had three hits each; George Springer and Alex Bregman had two each. The Astros were 1x10 w/RISP and left ten men on base. Hinch:
It seemed to be (that) every inning we were on the cusp of breaking through against Manaea, and we couldn't quite pull it off.
Take, for instance, the 9th inning. After Springer's three-run shot, Altuve and Correa singled to put the go-ahead run at the plate. Josh Reddick popped up and Brian McCann GIDP'd to end the game. Gattis and McCann combined for a 1x9, 2 GIDP night.
The first six innings are really the story of the opportunities. I think we left...nine or ten guys on base in those innings alone. We did a great job of getting guys on base, getting guys in scoring position and having them in two-out at-bats. We couldn't really win any of those at-bats.
*Watch Springer's ridiculous diving catch. At 23 home runs, Springer needs one more to tie the Astros' record for HR by the All-Star Break, set by Lance Berkman.
*Richard Justice wrote nice things about Jose Altuve. Altuve:
I don't think it's that hard to have one good season - just one. To come back every year and be consistent, it's tough. That's the player I want to be.
*Will Harris: Still important!
*Friend of AC Daren Willman posted a fantastic visual of the fastest (and slowest) players on the Astros. Note that Brian McCann is the slowest on the team, and the 2nd-slowest player in baseball.
*No, Jose Quintana's slow start to the season won't lower his price.
*Charlie Morton made his second rehab start last night for Fresno and threw 4IP, 2H/0ER, 2K:1BB in a 6-3 Fresno win.
*Collin McHugh will make his first rehab start on Friday for Corpus.
*J.D. Davis and Drew Ferguson had two hits each in the South's win over the North in the Texas League All-Star Game. Garrett Stubbs added a hit. Rogelio Armenteros allowed 3H/2ER with 2K in 1IP.
*Here's an excellent piece from MiLB.com about Quad Cities' Yordan Alvarez who was acquired for, get this, Josh Fields.
*Astros 2nd-Round pick Joe Perez signed for $1.6m and this Sun-Sentinel article says 1st-Round pick J.B. Bukauskas has a deal for about $3.5m.
*2nd-Round pick Corbin Martin will sign his contract with the Astros today.
*Here's a great profile of underrated free agent Sean Johnson, free agent no longer.
*Sad news as former UH player/Astros pitcher Anthony Young died at the age of 51.
*Idiot-ass NBC just killed soccer in America.