This is way more fun, yes? The Astros beat the Mariners 5-2, the Indians lost, and the Rangers were officially eliminated from the AL West race. The Astros are 89-58, 14 up on the Angels with 15 to play. They're also 1.5 back of the Indians, but one back in the Loss column. Last couple of weeks should be pretty fun. An Astros win and an Angels loss will clinch the division today. Astros play at noon, Angels play at 8pm.
We're excited. We can't wait for that. We're chasing that first and then we want obviously to have the best record in the American League. So hopefully we can clinch soon and then go after the other one.
It's trending to where it looks like it's going to be a fun homestand in front of our fans. It's an opportunity you set out for in the beginning of Spring Training. To close out a division is hard. It's hard doing what we're doing.
*Hinch dropped the mic to Richard Justice before yesterday's game:
Someone had to win 20-plus games in a row to even be relevant with us, so that tells you what kind of season we're having.
*FanGraphs is still projecting the Indians to finish with the AL's best overall record by one game.
*The Astros' 89th win of the season moves them into a tie for 7th in franchise history, with the 2005 and 1979 Astros.
*The Astros didn't get in from Anaheim until 7am yesterday and weren't required to be at Minute Maid until 5pm.
*James Paxton gave up 4H/3ER, 0K:2BB in 1.1IP last night. In his three previous starts against Houston, Paxton had allowed 12H/1ER, 20K:4BB in 20IP.
*Charlie Morton threw 6IP, 5H/1ER, 7K:1BB despite working from behind in the count a lot. He only threw a first pitch strike to 12 of the 23 batters he faced. Morton's 12 wins are a career high.
*Ken Giles recorded his 31st save of the year, tying him with 2015 Luke Gregerson for most saves by an Astros reliever since Jose Valverde saved 44 games in 2008. And last night I wrote that Ken Giles is actually kind of Billy Wagner.
*Francisco Liriano struck out the side on 11 pitches.
*George Springer was 1x2 with 3BB. It was his first 3BB game of the season and the 8th of his career.
*Altuve 200-hit watch: Altuve went 1x4 last night and is sitting at 191 hits.
*The Astros might put McCullers in the bullpen for Tuesday's game against the White Sox.
*New Britain, Connecticut - Springer's home town - sent three 53' trucks to Houston full of supplies.
*The Astros gave a veteran a new car.
*A fan did a Thing at the game and the people in the stands weren't having it.
*Jeff Sullivan broke down where each team is getting their wins.
*The Red Sox got slapped on the wrist for the Apple Watch fiasco (I refuse to use anything that ends with "-gate")
*The story behind the guy behind the greatest baseball gif of all time.
*I've started putting the separate interviews from last weekend's Bozoathon up on SoundCloud, or you can keep track of the ones I add here.