Well. To say Dallas Keuchel's performance last night was disappointing would be an understatement. The Astros lost to the White Sox 8-5, dropping to 71-41. Seattle beat Oakland, so the lead is 14 games with 50 games remaining.
*Keuchel threw 4IP, 10H/8ER, 2K:3BB. ESPN listed his Game Score as a 9. In his first six starts of the season (44.2IP), Keuchel had allowed 25H/6ER. It's the first time he has allowed 8ER in a start since May 12, 2016 against Boston. The 9 Game Score (also echoed by Baseball-Reference) is the worst since his September 16, 2015 start against the Ramgers, when he allowed 9ER on 11H and posted an 11 Game Score. Based on Game Score, last night was the worst start of Keuchel's career.
*Oh, and this is coming against the White Sox, whose .722 team OPS is tied for 14th in the American League, have the 6th-highest strikeout total in the AL, the second-fewest total bases in the AL. Keuchel:
I just didn't make very good pitches. That's the name of the game. It seems like I haven't really been able to get ahead of anybody in the three games since I've been back, and that's proven to be bad. Put the team in a bad position, and you look up and it's a lot of hits, lot of runs.
I'm surprised any time he's not almost perfect. He's been so dominant for so many starts. If he's not particularly strong, it's a little surprising. He had a real injury, took a lot of time off. He's trying to get his rhythm, his timing. He feels good. Just an adjustment getting back to his level.
*To be fair, Keuchel got five ground balls in the first inning...that led to three runs.
*Keuchel has made 140 career MLB starts. He's recorded more walks than strikeouts in nine of them. Number of games with more walks than strikeouts in a start by Keuchel:
*Keuchel got 69 strikeouts (with 18 walks) in his first 75IP of the season before going on the DL, or 8.3 K/9. Since coming off the DL he has seven strikeouts to eight walks in 12IP, or 5.25 K/9. Es no bueno. He says he's healthy, though.
*Phil Rogers says that Keuchel's comments last week didn't exactly help anything:
If you're gonna take shots at your front office, you probably should do better than 14 runs on 21 hits in 12 innings. Those are Keuchel's totals since coming off the DL.
*The Astros' offense got home runs from Altuve (17), Gurriel (15) and a 3-run triple from Alex Bregman, who was 1x3 with two walks from the leadoff spot. They also got opposing starter Derek Holland to allow five hits and seven walks, and could only get three runs. They were 1x8 w/RISP and left 10 on base during the game.
*Jake Marisnick drew two walks last night, giving him 17 on the season in 205 Plate Appearances, one shy of his season-high set back in 2015 in 372 Plate Appearances.
*Alex Bregman drew a walk every 14.47 Plate Appearances in 2016. This season he's drawing a walk every 9.52 Plate Appearances. He also has a 9-game extra-base hit streak, tying Jeff Bagwell in 1997 for the second-longest streak in franchise history, and one shy of tying Richard Hidalgo in 2000 for the franchise record. Hinch:
What he's done is been able to control his body, which was sloppy in his back side, so that his bat actually enters the zone [flat]. Then, his pitch selection has gone up a bit, too.
*George Springer apparently ran his ass off yesterday and *should* be activated from the Disabled List...hopefully before October. Hinch:
[Today was] the best he's run since Spring Training, which is a good sign he's ready to go...It wasn't going to be [yesterday], but soon.
-Other Meat Wagon updates:
*Correa will start swinging a bat next week at Arizona.
*Will Harris threw for a 2nd consecutive day yesterday.
*McCullers played catch Monday, but is not in Chicago.
*Evan Gattis is not in Chicago.
*Tony Sipp and Michael Feliz played catch on Monday.
*Colin Moran should be able to return in time to get some ABs this season.
*Joel Sherman says Jose Altuve is a combination of Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano. In a related article, Aaron Judge is a combination of Babe Ruth, late-90s Radiohead, and Jesus Christ.
*Grant Brisbee wonders if the Verlander-to-Houston rumor is actually a good rumor. Brisbee:
It's not fair to look at the Astros' record since the trade deadline and make any sort of point. It's not just unfair, but it's also incompetent, brainless, and rude. The Astros didn't make a trade at the deadline, the Astros are 2-4 [now 2-5] since then, and I need new tires for my car. Those three facts correlate with each other roughly the same.
Read this in its entirety.
*ALDS G1 will be on October 5.
*J.B. Bukauskas will start tomorrow for Tri-City.
*Josh Reddick is giving $100,000 to the two high schools in his county.
*The Ramgers traded reliever Ernesto Frieri to Seattle for cash considerations. The cash? $1.
*ESPN is starting a streaming service for cord-cutters.
*Braves infielder Johan Camargo had to be pulled from the game, before the game started, after tweaking his knee running on to the field.
*Former Astros Great Jordan Lyles - who is younger than Jose Altuve, George Springer, Ken Giles, and is 10 days older than Tyler White - signed a minor-league deal with the Padres.