*The Astros gave up three unearned runs in a 4-2 loss to the Rays on Charlie Morton Night. Houston is 1-1. The Astros have played 1.23% of the regular season.
*Three of the Rays' runs came with two outs (both of the Astros' runs came with two outs).
*Aledmys Diaz was 0x3 with two strikeouts and an error. Through this 1.23% stretch, Diaz is 0x7 with three strikeouts and two errors.
*The Astros were 1x7 w/RISP.
*Michael Brantley opened scoring with a 2-run double, giving him 3RBI on the year. He had 7RBI total in 2016.
*Yuli Gurriel drew a walk! He had one walk in his first 36 PAs in 2018.
*Alex Bregman was 0x4 with a strikeout, ending his franchise-record road on-base streak at 56 games, the longest in MLB since Jeter had a 59-game road on-base streak in 2006-2007
*Gerrit Cole threw 6IP, 5H/4R (1ER), 10K:0BB. It's his 5th 10+ strikeout/ 0BB game as an Astro. The Astros are 3-2 in those games. Cole:
They put some good swings on some good pitches and they found some holes. It got a bit challenging there and I wasn't able to put my foot down.
(Cole) had a little bit of a hard-luck loss tonight. I thought he pitched fine...They did a good job of getting some two-strike hits with two outs after we gave them an extra out. He battled, he did everything he could. We had a couple of different situations that put him in a tougher spot than he needed to be in, but that's part of the game.
*Astros Legend and Former Pirates Great Charlie Morton admitted that it was "weird" to face the Astros. Morton:
It was the fact I was out there against my former team. I was a little emotional, and it was the first start of the season. To get it out of the way and come out with a great team win, it was a big deal.
*The Astros are targeting tomorrow (Sunday) for Correa's regular season debut. Correa:
(Friday) is the best I've felt ever since the injury happened. I made great progress through the day today. I'm really close to being back out there. We're excited. It's a good step forward, the way I woke up today.
*Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman are MLBShop.com's #16- and #17 top-selling jerseys.
*Jayson Stark says the Astros have "the look" of the Best Team in Baseball, with the stats to back it up.
*MLB.com ranked 30 impact call-ups - one for each team. Forrest Whitley is the Astros'. Former Astros Great Daz Cameron is the Tigers' impact call-up. Franklin Perez - the other major prospect sent to Detroit for Justin Verlander - will miss the next 4-6 weeks rehabbing from shoulder tendinitis.
*This Marc Carig story in The Athletic details how MLB hands out a championship belt to the team that either won the most arbitration cases, or saved the most money. MLB is a $10 billion industry. Astros Player Rep Collin McHugh says the belt is "embarrassing." It's, uh, it's not going over well with the rest of the MLBPA.
*Hardball Times: Brewers TV statistician Mike Falkner and the evolution of baseball broadcasts.
*SI's Tom Verducci says the tech boom is fundamentally altering baseball.
*Collin McHugh faces Tyler Glasnow tonight at 5:10pm Central.
*While my high school's soccer team got bounced in the first round of the 6A UIL Soccer playoffs, Elsik (whose head coach is one of my best friends) did Elsik Things.
*Long-suspected, it is now proven that Winston Churchill caused a famine in India that killed three million people.
*Competitive Slapping? Competitive Slapping.
*Two of my favorite writers - Dave Eggers and Nick Hornby - are teaming up to auction off setlists for charity.
*From LA Mag: The best California vanity plates of 2018.
*A Musical Selection:
*You can subscribe to the Hot Links Music Spotify playlist here. It currently runs 75 songs and almost five hours of delicious Hot Links music.