This is getting a little old. The Astros had a 2-0 lead and a 3-2 lead, but couldn't hold on or take advantage of their late-inning opportunities in a 4-3 loss to the Nationals. The Astros are 76-49 (36-28 at Minute Maid Park, somehow). Anaheim and Boston both won, so the Astros lead is at 11.5 and 4 games, respectively. There are 37 games left.
*All four Nationals runs came on big hits by 50-year old players: a 2-run triple from Howie Kendrick (which came a batter after Gurriel couldn't glove a ball on what would have been an inning-ending double play), and a 2-run home run by Matt Wieters.
*While Tanner Roark pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the 3rd, the 8th inning was extremely frustrating. Brandon Kintzler allowed singles to Reddick and Gurriel to open the inning then had Marwin bunt them over, for some reason. Then the Nationals obviously intentionally walked Carlos Beltran - who had already doubled in the game - to get to Max Stassi, who was taking his 67th career AB in the Majors and obligingly GIDP'd to end the inning. Stassi:
I was looking to elevate that sinker and drive the ball to the outfield. He just executed another one on me, and I have to tip my cap to him. He won that battle and he was locating well on me.
We are one big hit away it seems like. We get a lot of guys on base. We just can't seem to pull through with that one guy to get us over the hump.
*Hinch said he doesn't like to bunt, but he knew Washington would walk Beltran if Marwin did, and he wanted to put pressure on them.
*Houston was 3x11 w/RISP and left eight men on base.
*Jose Altuve has consecutive hitless games for the 2nd time in August and the 3rd time all season.
*The Astros are 16-20 since the All-Star Break.
*Chris Devenski needed 21 pitches to throw two perfect innings. Hinch:
It was better. He hadn't done multiple innings in a while and he was really efficient in the first inning, and coming back and having a clean second inning will be a boost for his confidence.
*Carlos Correa took BP yesterday and is hoping to go on a rehab assignment on Thursday, which is expected to require 20-30 plate appearances.
*Lance McCullers may need to throw BP again before going on a rehab assignment. Look for everyone to come back on or around September 1, nine days away.
*Corpus beat Midland last night in a rehab assignment game. Evan Gattis went 0x1 with 2BB; Tony Sipp, Will Harris, and Michael Feliz threw each of the game's first three innings. Sipp struck out two and walked one, Harris K'd one, and Feliz allowed a walk and a strikeout.
*Myles Straw, he of a .295 average and a .410 OBP, was promoted to Corpus.
*Re: Boston. Doug Gotdang Fister threw a complete game one-hitter for the Red Sox against the damn Indians, so nobody knows anything about baseball.
*Vince Velasquez was put on the 60-Day DL and will need vascular surgery to repair an issue with the middle finger on his throwing hand.