Good thing the Rangers did not swap home series with Houston. Hate to lose this crowd; pic.twitter.com/FBfuyjXiGT— Gerry Fraley (@gfraley) September 26, 2017
They've done very well against us the last couple years. If we're able to eliminate them from postseason play, that would be awesome.
*The Astros are 96-60 and are now tied for 3rd all-time in single-season wins with the 1986 team. They'll need to win out to match 1998, but 98 wins puts them in 2nd place.
*Houston went 10-28 against Wichita Falls between 2015 and 2016. They're 10-7 against them in 2017.
*The Indians were off yesterday, so the Astros are two games back with six games to play. With Cleveland holding the tie-breaker, the Astros need to finish three games better than Cleveland, who opens a home series against Minnesota tonight. Houston, who is five up on Boston, can clinch home field in the ALDS with a win tonight and a Red Sox loss.
*The Astros scored eight runs in the 4th inning in which only one of the runs was earned thanks to some Benny Hill-inspired fielding by the Rangers. That 4th inning went as such:
Single, Single, Sac Fly (1-2), walk, line out, HBP, error (2-2), walk (3-2), error (4-2), single (6-2), double (8-2), foul out.
Seven runs scored with two outs.
*Collin McHugh needed 112 pitches to throw 5IP, 7H/2ER, 6K:3BB. 69 of those pitches were for strikes.
*The Astros bullpen of Hoyt, Sipp, Clippard, and Feliz threw 4IP, 1H/0ER, 8K:1BB. Michael Feliz struck out the side in the 9th in his first game since September 9.
*So it seems that The Outlaw Jose Leclerc retaliated to a non-issue between Collin McHugh and Carlos Gomez, in which Gomez took issue to a pitch up and in, changed bats, fouled a ball off up over the plate (which sort of negates the "we're going to hit you" position) and then marched like a brave soldier towards McHugh. McHugh:
I asked him what the issue was and he said, 'Yeah, I got a problem with you.' And everybody else was out there by that point in time. The game goes on. I don't want to spend any more mental effort thinking about Carlos Gomez. It is what it is.
Gomez saw it differently and, WAIT FOR IT, there is a Snitch in the Astros clubhouse:
It's always going to be I am the troublemaker. I'm always going to get blamed. The truth is I got told by one of the people who work for them that he was going to hit me. So, last time I faced him he hit me right away. No one said anything about that, but I react to something, I'm the troublemaker. How am I supposed to react?
How indeed. Fact is Carlos Gomez is going to play Victim and ask the cashier why he's the troublemaker when the local HEB runs out of his favorite hummus.
*Gomez went on to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about McHugh, whom Gomez said ran away "like a little cat" when the benches cleared in May after Mike Napoli's life was threatened by a pitch 20 feet behind his back.
I'm a man and am responsible to my stuff. I don't think I did anything wrong. When I'm wrong, I apologize. He tell(s) one of his people that he was going to hit me. You tell me to my face. I go after you personally, you run away. What kind of man are you? I have nothing against this team, I have something against him.
*Altuve was 1x3 with a walk before getting plunked by Jose Leclerc (SAY HIS NAME AND REMEMBER IT), giving him 199 hits on the season. Altuve:
When I got hit, I thought it was something really, really bad, but thank God it was just a hard hit and I feel good.
Here's the video of the Leclerc pitch:
X-rays were negative. Hinch said that Altuve might not play "the next couple of games, anyway" so it may be that Altuve gets tonight off as it is. I want that 4th consecutive 200-hit season, though, sooner than later.
*Marwin Gonzalez was 4x5 with 3RBI including his 23rd home run of the season. It was Marwin's 3rd career 4-hit game, his first 4-hit game since August 11, 2016 and his 41st multi-hit game of the season.
*Carlos Correa was 0x5 and is hitting .222/.282/.306 in September as he works to regain his form after missing significant time during the season. His .588 September OPS is the worst of his young career.
*A.J. Hinch is trying not to overthink the regular season-ending series against Boston. Hinch:
Exposing guys to different matches and things like that is a little tricky, but you can overthink that, too. You really just need to play the games and compete and let whatever happens happen, and not get too caught up in that stuff.
*The upcoming rotation through the end of the season:
Thursday (at Boston): Peacock
Saturday: McCullers or McHugh
Sunday: McHugh or McCullers or Keuchel
*Here are five questions Hinch has to answer this week.
*Brian T. Smith writes about Hinch's impending Lance McCullers decision
*Rolling Stone (?!) offers up a piece on how the Astros are helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
*Check out photos from Puerto Rico and re-evaluate what's making you Mad, Online.