*The Astros are 8-1 in their last nine games against Arlington and 16-8 since the beginning of the 2017 season.
*Gerrit Cole: 7IP, 3H/2ER, 14K:1BB. The 14 strikeouts are a career-high. Hinch:
That was an incredible performance obviously. A shame that he didn't get the win in that game based on how he pitched.
I'm happy that we've been winning a lot of ballgames. Even with the off-day, the bullpen was stretched in Minnesota a little bit, so it was good to give a couple of guys a rest and get some length. Unfortunately, I couldn't hold the lead, but I'll learn from it.
Dude's been lights-out. He's really kept us in the game every start. He's been everything that we've heard, seen, hoped for, and I'm glad he's on our side.
An Astro pitcher hasn't struck out 14 batters in a game since August 14, 2010, when Bud Norris struck out 14 Pirates in a 3-2 win. Norris' line that day: 7IP, 5H/2ER, 14K:1BB.
*Cole joins Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers to strike out 11+ batters in their first three starts with a new organization. His 36 strikeouts break Randy Johnson's record of 34 strikeouts through three starts with a new team (in Johnson's case, the Astros.)
*Chris Devenski worked around runners on 1st and 2nd with one out and a 3-2 lead to get his first save of the season.
*All three of Springer's 2018 home runs have come off of Cole Hamels. Hamels:
If he's planning on hitting his only home runs off me, I'm only going to face him a certain amount of games.
*Yuli Gurriel singled in his first AB of the season.
*Marwin was 2x3 with a walk and the game-winning RBI. Fisher went first to home once outfielder Drew Robinson bobbled the ball, plating the Astros' 3rd run.
*Brian McCann was 2x3.
*Jake Marisnick was 0x4 with 2Ks.
Marisnick now has 16 strikeouts in his first 36 plate appearances of the season. Springer also has 16 strikeouts (tied with Marisnick for the team lead) but in 65 plate appearances. In his last nine games (six starts) Marisnick has four hits - all singles - for a .148/.148/.148 with 13 Ks in 27 PAs. And a .286 BABIP.
*J.D. Davis will be playing 3B, 1B, LF, and RF for Fresno.
*Did you see Mrs. Hippie Queen's newest Spot the Differences game?
*The Astros rejoiced over the return of Yuli Gurriel. Altuve:
He brings joy to the clubhouse. Everybody likes him, and I'm happy to have him back and healthy. Yuli is not an easy out. He's a great hitter and a great teammate, and the whole team is happy to have Yuli back.
*In The Athletic: Check Our Boy Tyler Stafford breaking down why Gerrit Cole has been so effective for the Astros so far.
*Here's another piece in The Athletic from Cincinnati's Mo Egger, on the Reds, rebuilding, and the erosion of trust between fans and the organization.
*Former Astros Great/Current Rangers catcher Juan Centeno will receive his World Series ring this weekend. Hopefully they put a make a big presentation to Cole Hamels with a Dilly Dog Ring at the same time. Also, congrats to the Rangers on your ring.
*From Hunter Atkins: The Agony of Daryl Morey.
*The gahdang Royals couldn't hold a 4-2 lead in the 7th on the Angels.
*Two wild things to note about this linked tweet:
1. Former Astros Great J.B. Shuck got called up to Miami and went 4x4 with a triple and two runs scored.
2. He and Former Astros Great Mark Melancon are brothers-in-law.
*Freakin' Ronny Torreyes - the Former Astros Great who hit .298/.345/.376 for the 2014 Oklahoma City Somethings (the Triple-A affiliate of the now-Defending World Champion organization) - is now seen as "vital" to the ALCS Silver Medalist Yankees.
*Shakeia Taylor writes about the White Sox hat and Hip-Hop Culture in FanGraphs (and it's excellent).
*I wish you could have heard Clay Travis on the radio in Nashville from 2009-2013. He was great. Super-nuanced points, especially dealing with the intersection of sports and law. Then he went all SEC-Bro on everyone and has become insufferable about his God-given raght (phonetic spelling: intended) to boobz and footbaw vahlence. So I absolutely detest that he and I see eye to eye on this:
Hockey guy and soccer guy are sports fan twins. Complain all the time about people not talking or liking their sport and the minute you do they immediately say you don’t know enough about their sport to talk about it.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 13, 2018
*John Prine's first new-material album in 13 years dropped yesterday.
*How a working class couple amassed a priceless art collection.