The Astros are guaranteed a season series win over the Cleveland Indians, who allowed a fantastic start from Corey Kluber to go to waste with a complete bullpen meltdown and a special offensive showing. The Astros are 34-18, having won five straight and 13 of their last 16 games.
*The Astros are 34-18. They're 17-9 against the AL West, and 17-9 against everybody else. There are five teams with 30+ wins:
New York: 32
There are seven teams in the American League at .500 or above. Four of them are in the AL West.
*Kluber: 6.1IP, 7H/0ER, 7K:0BB.
Bullpen: 2.2IP, 9H/11ER, 0K:2BB.
Kluber retired nine of the first ten batters he faced. The Astros were 1x3 w/RISP with Kluber on the mound, but no runs scored. They would go 6x12 w/RISP against the Indians bullpen.
*The Astros scored 11 runs. Marwin:
We had a really good energy in the last three innings. We're playing 100 percent baseball. We never give up. They have good pitching and they shut us down for seven innings, but that's what this team is capable of doing, and that's what's special about this team. We can do damage in one or two innings.
It seems like until we see the 27th out against us, we're going to keep playing. We can hit homers with Springer, Bregman, Marwin. We can bunt. We can play defense. That's why this team is special: We do a little bit of everything.
*Seven runs in the 9th inning are the most the Astros have scored in a single inning all season.
Runs scored from the 7th inning on:
NY Yankees: 90
Chicago Cubs: 87
Seattle / NY Mets: 80
West Shreveport: 75
Detroit / Tampa: 73
Los Angeles: 70
San Diego: 63
Arizona / Cleveland: 60
Washington / Cincinnati / Minnesota: 59
St. Louis: 58
Miami / Chicago White Sox: 54
San Francisco / Kansas City: 49
*When trailing going into the 8th inning, the Astros were 1-15. They're now 2-15.
The two-run deficit is still a season-high for comebacks, and this was their 13th comeback win. I guess if you don't really allow more than two runs in a game, it's hard to come back from more.
You're feeling pretty good. It was 2-0 and (Kluber) gets you into the seventh. We got out of that OK. After that, boy, we didn't have an answer of anything.
*The Akron Beacon-Journal's Ryan Lewis:
That's the vintage blueprint. Kluber with a terrific outing, Miller blitzes through an inning or two and Cody Allen nails the door shut. It was all going to plan before the Astros set that blueprint on fire, and the Indians had to frantically and unsuccessfully try to stomp it out.
*George Springer: 3x6, 3RBI, 11th home run of the year. He's hitting .305, the first time his average has been above .300 since August 23, 2017.
*Now at 60 and counting, Carlos Correa set the franchise record for most consecutive games at Shortstop without an error
*Dallas Keuchel threw 6IP, 8H/2ER, 5K:1BB. It's his 6th start (out of 11) in which he has allowed two or fewer runs; it's his 9th with allowing three or fewer runs. He's recorded 18 outs in eight of his eleven starts.
*Jake Marisnick: 1x1, 1RBI.
*Evan Gattis was 3x4 with 2RBI. In May Gattis is hitting .283/.320/.543.
*Because it's the Astros, the basepath is always an adventure.
*Seems obvious to say the Astros have underperformed given their former offensive struggles, but Baseball Prospectus' 3rd-Order Wins says the AL West should look like this:
*Derek Fisher had a "throat reaction" that limited how much he could eat, and is hoping to go on a rehab assignment soon.
*Cionel Perez's 1st pitch of the game last night? 97mph. He would go on to strike out ten batters in 4.2IP as the Hooks lost in extras for the second straight night. Myles Straw stole his 30th base of the season.
*Sam Dykstra has a great look at the evolution of JJ Matijevic.
*Geoff Blum is the Astros' representative at the Hall of Fame Legends Game in Cooperstown today.
*Seattle is obviously hoping to end that postseasonless streak - the longest in professional sports - by acquiring Denard Span and Alex Colome from Tampa yesterday. The Mariners now have three prospects. SI's Emma Baccillieri on whether the Mariners are good, lucky, or both.
*Since starting the season 13-3, Anaheim is 15-20.
*The Seattle Times' Geoff Baker: PEDs and the Dominican Republic
*Here's a really weird story about the Braves firing their pitching coach, and then re-hiring him before news broke.
*From The Atlantic: The Wisdom of Running a 2,189-mile Marathon.