*McCullers: 6IP, 7H/4R (3ER), 4K:2BB, 2HR. He has thrown a Quality Start (6IP, 3 or fewer ER) in six of his last eight starts. McCullers' last ten starts: 61.1IP, 43H/21ER, 53K:19BB - a 3.08 ERA / 1.01 WHIP - and that includes his 4.1IP, 7ER outing against Cleveland on May 26.
We probably surpassed one of the toughest stretches of our season with the teams we had to play and we came out pretty solid. Guys should feel good about our last 15, 16 games, and now we keep the foot on the gas pedal on the road.
As McTaggart notes, the next time the Astros play a team currently over .500 will be July 20-22, at Anaheim.
*Houston is 17-7 against teams under .500 this season. Four of those losses are against the got dang Ramgers. Arlington is the only AL team to play fewer games against teams under .500 (and they're 9-11 in those games). Meanwhile, here are the Mariners' opponents until the All-Star Break:
@ Tampa (4), Anaheim (3), Boston (4), @ NY Yankees (3), @ Boston (3), @ Baltimore (4), Kansas City (3), Anaheim (3), Colorado (3), @ Anaheim (3), @ Colorado (3).
*The home runs were the first McCullers had allowed at Minute Maid Park since September 24, 2017, against Anaheim.
*Through 63 games the Astros have allowed 62 home runs. The 2017 Astros had allowed 74 home runs through 63 games.
*Hector Rondon got the four-out save, his first save of the season and his first four-out appearance of the year. It's his first four-out save since June 24, 2016. It has now been nine games since Rondon allowed an earned run, a stretch of 7.1IP, 5H/0ER, 10K:1BB. Rondon has lowered his ERA from 2.45 to 1.64.
*Yuli Gurriel extended his hitting streak to 12 games, and is hitting .318/.333/.371 since May 1. 35 of his 42 hits in that span have been for singles, and he has walked three times in his last 135 PAs. Gurriel has one home run, and that came in his second game of the season - 45 games ago.
*The Astros were 4x6 w/RISP last night. They were 4x24 w/RISP in their last three games combined, all losses. The encouraging part about the offense last night was, especially in the 7th, the Astros weren't hitting the ball particularly hard, the ball just found holes and dropped in. Juan Nicasio, who was tasked with holding on to a 4-3 lead (that lasted approximately six minutes):
I know those guys are going to be swinging, and I tried to throw my sliders for balls outside the plate. And they made contact.
Mike Zunino, on Nicasio
He made good pitches with his off-speed stuff. It's just crazy sometimes how the ball goes. (Springer) caps it and finds a hole, (Bregman) reaches out and finds a hole up the middle and then Altuve - all good sliders down.
*Most troublesome news is that Carlos Correa will be evaluated today after experiencing tightness on the right side of his groin while taking a swing, which resulted in him being removed from the game. After the game he told reporters he was "obviously concerned" about the injury. On April 22, Correa was hitting .351/.409/.584. Since then (38 games / 163 PAs) he's hitting .217/.313/.399 with 42K:18BB.
*Here's Our Boy Tyler Stafford in The Athletic on what to make of the Astros' bullpen.
Astros-Rangers pitching matchups— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) June 6, 2018
Thurs: Cole vs. Hamels
Fri: Verlander vs. Fister
Sat: Morton vs. Minor
Sun: Keuchel vs. Moore
*Randy Cesar doubled in last night's Corpus win over Frisco to set a franchise record with a 28-game hitting streak.
Forrest Whitley was in Corpus Christi last night, having rejoined the Astros' Double-A affiliate from extended spring training. He's scheduled to make his season debut Friday against Frisco.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) June 6, 2018
*Of course Mike Elias is "very pleased" with the Astros' 2018 draft class. What else is he gonna say: "These dudes are going to be lucky to be mopping piss in a Major-League clubhouse within three years" ? The Astros did load up on college players. Why? Elias, in something he actually said:
The reality of it is high school players are typically much more expensive than college players because they have college commitments that they have yet to enter into. With our situation, with a smaller bonus pool and picking lower in the rounds, there's just fewer and fewer of them as you go.
*Seth Beer, on what went through his mind as his name was called out:
I had been playing that in my head since I was in the sixth grade of (the commissioner) saying my name. It finally happening was just an incredible experience. I'm just so blessed to be picked by this great organization.
*The Astros picked J.C. Correa, A.J. Bregman, and Antonio Cruz - Jose Cruz's grandson in the later rounds of the concluding day of the 2018 draft. Jake Kaplan has a great read on it. Check out this Hunter Atkins story on Carlos Correa's little brother.
*Some Top 10 Rounds signing news:
1-28 Seth Beer: Looks like he'll sign
2-66 Jayson Schroeder: Says he won't decide until after his high school graduation on June 18.
5-162 Cody Deason: Looks like he'll sign
6-192 R.J. Freure: Looks like he'll sign
7-222 Cesar Salazar: Will sign
9-282 Scott Schreiber: Will sign
10-312 Chandler Taylor: Will sign
Be sure to check the 2018 Draft Page for updates. Y'all know how much I love those page vyoos.
*North Shore grad, Astros Youth Academy standout, and tear-jerking author Drevian Nelson was drafted by Anaheim in the 14th Round.
*41 Houston-area players were drafted. Here's where they got picked.
*Mike Barnicle: What I saw on RFK's funeral train 50 years ago (yesterday).
This is the craziest mashup, yet. And I am totally freaking about how great it is. Bill Withers + Pantera https://t.co/7mp7seW5Wi— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) June 7, 2018