*The Astros are currently 4x42 w/RISP, "hitting" .095/.220/.238 on a .103 BABIP. That's stupid. In 2018 Houston hit .285/.362/.499 on a .311 BABIP w/RISP. Had the Astros matched their average from last year, they'd have eight more hits w/RISP, which maybe turns 2-5 into 4-3 or 5-2. Whatever. This level of futility is unsustainable even for the worst teams in baseball.
*It sure looked like the Astros were simply frustrated last night, writes Alyson Footer. Bregman:
We got it shoved hard this road trip. We need to figure it out.
We obviously had a disagreement with the strike zone early in both the top of the first and the bottom of the first. Our dugout will always be involved. [When] Cintron got thrown out - I didn't know what happened, which is why I went out the first time. The next couple pitches later, I'm out of the game. We know when you argue balls and strikes, it's one thing. When you get ejected more aggressively, it's disappointing.
I guess umpires can push players now? Right. https://t.co/K4A7qLCPsc— Josh Reddick (@RealJoshReddick) April 4, 2019
*Be sure to check out a quick look at jackass umpire Ron Kulpa's strike zone, courtesy of the Masked Marvel, making his season debut.
*Crew Chief Jerry Meals answered questions from a pool reporter...while Kulpa was standing right there.
We're not apologists or blaming anybody. We have to hold ourselves accountable for the game and the stretch. It was a bad week.
*Despite a 50% success rate so far, the Astros plan to stay aggressive on the basepaths.
*Alex Bregman pledged to donate $1000 to his AB For Autism foundation for every Astros win in April. Insert joke about a 2-5 start here.
*Get ready to see Aledmys Diaz play first this series, for the first time in his career.
*The Minor-League season kicks off today. Here are the matchups:
Round Rock @ New Orleans
Amarillo @ Corpus. Opening Day SP Jose Hernandez now goes by Jose Urquidy.
Fayetteville @ Potomac
Quad Cities @ Burlington - this was originally a homestand, but has been moved due to flooding in the Midwest.
*MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan has five things we've learned so far about the AL West.
*Former Astros Great Bud Norris has been released by Toronto.
*Uproxx: Bruce Hornsby toured with the Grateful Dead, played Allan Iverson in pickup basketball and won, and now is an indie rocker.
*Outside Magazine: Inside the mind of a hurricane hunter.
*A Musical Selection: