*The offense went ahead and called in sick in advance of today's off-day, getting dominated by Jharel Cotton and his 5.88 ERA in a 3-2 loss. The Astros are 76-48. The Angels and Red Sox won yesterday, so the Astros are 12 games up on the Angels and 4.5 up on Boston. There are 38 games remaining.
*The game got off to a rough start when Alex Bregman and Marwin Gonzalez made two errors on the same play that allowed Marcus Semien to get a 2-run little-league home run. Semien:
I have had that play happen in Little League on my mom's birthday. She called it a home run and...there were errors but she was like: 'Oh you hit a home run for me on my birthday.' And it was probably like an infield single that turned into a run scored.
*Yesterday was Jharel Cotton's fifth start since coming off the DL. In the previous four starts he threw 20.2IP, 28H/19ER, 13K:10BB. So of course Cotton - whose brother Jamaine was the Astros' 15th Round pick in 2010 - threw 6.2IP, 4H/2ER, 2K:3BB.
They did a really good job of keeping us pretty much in check. We didn't do a lot offensively in the first part of the game. We put ourselves behind, and never really got it controlled in the bigger moments....You have to give credit when the [other] guys beat you.
*6-8 in the lineup (J.D. Davis, Derek Fisher, and Juan Centeno) went a combined 1x10 on 28 total pitches. Davis is hitting .136/.296/.227 in his first seven games with the Astros.
*Alex Bregman and Jake Marisnick each had two hits.
*George Springer has hit one home run since popping off for a 2HR on July 7.
*The loss put the Astros' August record at 7-12, setting a season-high in losses in a calendar month.
*Brad Peacock did Brad Peacock things, working in and out of trouble: 5.1IP, 7H/3R (1ER), 8K:2BB. The 3rd run of the game was charged to Peacock despite scoring on a Francis Martes/Juan Centeno passed ball. So to recap, the A's three runs scored on a two-error play and a passed ball. Clean baseball. Hinch:
It wasn't his fault how the game started. He had another good outing, he kept us in the game, and that's what you ask your guys to do.
Off-Day Playoff Odds Check:
FanGraphs (98-64): 100% to win division, 15.9% to win World Series
FiveThirtyEight (98-64): 100% to win division. 14% to win World Series
Baseball Prospectus (98-64): 100% to win division. 16.7% to win World Series*
*Last update: Sunday morning
*Carlos Correa took BP off a pitching machine before yesterday's game. Hinch:
The high-speed batting practice inside off the machine is a higher-end batting practice than a coach throwing it to you. So, he's doing remarkably well. His body's in good shape. He took ground balls again. But he's got a few things to do before we'll talk competition.
Lance McCullers also threw BP to Brian McCann and Evan Gattis but still isn't expected to return until September.
*Corpus will get a postseason push on Tuesday against Midland as Evan Gattis, Will Harris, Michael Feliz, and Tony Sipp will all get a rehab appearance.
*Tyler Clippard became the 3rd Major Leaguer in history (or at least since 1969 when they started counting it) and the first since Ted Abernathy in 1970 to record a save for three different teams in the same season.
*LOL at Richard Justice's unnamed scout, who doesn't believe the Astros have the lowest strikeout total in the Majors.
*Obligatory Justin Verlander note, after he blanked the Dodgers yesterday. Verlander:
I went out there against the best team in baseball, and this morning I just kind of told myself I was going to take a playoff type of intensity out there and not let these guys sweep us. It's impossible to really create a playoff atmosphere without being in the playoffs, but I tried my best to do that and use that much more focus and intensity on every pitch.
*Jordan Jankowski, whose wife is named Jordan, was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers and optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City after the Astros had to DFA him to make room for Max Stassi.
*Carlos Beltran's fundraiser went well. You could tell me that Alex Bregman was a star in the 1970s and I would believe you.