*The Cardinals beat the Astros 3-1 yesterday. It took around 20 games but an Astros starting pitcher finally kind of laid an egg. The Astros' offense got seven hits, only one an extra-base hit - a double from Max Stassi.
Verlander threw 5IP, 8H/3ER, 4K:1BB.
A bullpen of Hoyt, Sipp, Harris, Nick Hernandez, and Chris Nunn (and I don't know from where he came) allowed 1H/0ER, 3K:2BB in 4IP
Jackass Adam Wainwright hit Jose Altuve.
Verlander ain't worried:
In these situations I'm thinking a little differently because I'm trying to work on some stuff so (I) threw some different pitches up there. But overall, it's another step in the right direction.
Hernandez, from Missouri City, was removed after three batters in the 9th because Hinch said "he looked a little uncomfortable."
*Brian Arbor explains why Kyle Tucker needs more time in the minors.
*Jerome Solomon says the Astros' smart decisions, not tanking, helped them win the World Series.
We talked about this the other day: The Astros thought losing 105 games was better for the organization than losing 95 games. They made mistakes, releasing J.D. Martinez chief among them. There were smart decisions, there were bad decisions. The smart ones outweighed the bad ones. And isn't that exactly how we'd like to go through life?
*Yuli Gurriel will begin increased activity today.
*Jake Kaplan looks at who will bat 2nd in the Astros' lineup in 2018.
*Buried at the bottom of the notes column that begins with Brady Rodgers and Jandel Gustave's recovery, we find the Astros are open to using a 4-man outfield on occasion.
*I did a deep dive for The Athletic about players' statistical performances upon their return from PED suspensions.
*The Ringer: Welcome to the temporary era of baseball's superteams.
*If you go to a minor-league game and it goes to extra innings, be prepared to see the inning start with a runner on 2nd.
Pace of play changes is to attract new fans, right? So why would you try to attract new fans by changing a fundamental rule of baseball that only takes effect after the game would normally have been over? This is stupid.