*Mike Fiers was pretty great last night and Alex Bregman might have just ignited the offense with a 3-run Train Track Home Run as the Astros beat the Nationals, 6-1. The Astros are 77-49. Anaheim lost, Boston won, so the leads are 12.5 and four, respectively. There are 36 games remaining.
*The Astros scored more than three runs for the first time in a week and hit three home runs in a game (Bregman, Stassi, Marisnick) for the first time since hitting five in a 16-7 win over Toronto on August 4.
*All four runs in the 8th inning came with two outs. Bregman:
Early in the year we did a lot of that. We did a lot of two-out hitting and that's one of the things that I think this team is really good at. And we've got to keep that up if we want to win ball games.
*Fiers was solid, only needing 90 pitches to throw 7IP, 4H/1ER, 6K:1BB. Fiers:
He had a great game. He was really good from the very beginning with his fastball. I think it was the best fastball I've seen out of him in a while. I know he felt really good and he was executing his pitches in and out...He had a little bit of everything where he was in total command of the game.
*Jake Marisnick is one of the few Astros who are hitting better at home than on the road.
*George Springer has one home run in his last 25 games.
*Look for Ken Giles to suddenly get pulled from a warm-up session and miss the rest of the season after waking up with a stiff neck. He thinks he'll be able to pitch tonight. (Okay lol).
*The Astros start to get guys back today. Juan Centeno was optioned to Fresno last night in advance of Brian McCann rejoining the team. Max Stassi will remain with the team as he is out of options, and would have to pass through waivers to get to Fresno.
*Carlos Correa will begin a rehab assignment in Fresno today. Lance McCullers will start for Fresno tomorrow night. Will Harris will pitch for Fresno tomorrow night in anticipation of getting activated this weekend in Anaheim.
*Beyond the Box Score: How Brad Peacock became the Astros' new secret weapon.
*Here's a good article in the Corpus paper on Forrest Whitley's ascent through the system. Whitley:
To be honest with you, if somebody told me I'd be in Corpus (now), I'd tell them I think they're crazy. I was fully expecting to spend the season in Quad Cities. Even getting called up to High-A was a bit of a surprise to me and to Double-A is a complete shock. I was completely blindsided by it.
*Rich Hill, man. Tim Brown wrote a good piece about Hill losing a perfect game in the 9th on an error and a no-hitter in the 10th in a 1-0 loss. Peter Gammons is especially broken up about it, but I'm guessing he'll end up in Armando Galarraga territory in that his performance last night will be more memorable than a random no-hitter.
*The Ramgers' Big Expensive Taxpayer-funded Dumb New Ballpark's name will be unveiled today. I vote for Big Expensive Taxpayer-funded Dumb New Ballpark.
*As the Gulf Coast and the rest of Texas prepares for the arrival of Tropical Storm Harvey, I highly suggest you keep Space City Weather bookmarked.