*Happy birthday (yesterday) to A.J. Hinch and Michael F. Brantley.
*The Astros won, again, 5-1. What's wrong with this offense? Houston is 29-15 and has won eight in a row and eleven out of their last 12 games. They've allowed 17 runs in the W8. The Astros' +87 run differential is the best in baseball, 25 runs better than Tampa.
*Justin Verlander threw 7IP, 2H/1ER, 9K:2BB before 15,940 announced fans. Verlander, on the crowd:
It's kind of sad. I think most of my memories here, this ballpark was packed and fans were rowdy, and it's obviously a bit different now. But that comes with winning.
When he's landing both breaking balls and the fastball where he wanted to...He's tough to his as is, but when he's able to command the strike zone, it's nearly impossible to hit him nowadays.
*Pressly and Osuna combined for 2IP, 0H/0ER, 5K:0BB.
*Alex Bregman hit his 14th home run of the season, and his 9th in May. Jimmy Wynn has the franchise record for home runs in May with 12. I bet that falls.
*7-8-9 (Reddick-Chirinos-Marisnick) in the lineup combined for a 5x9 2RBI night.
*Tyler White is struggling at the plate. This is known. He came into Wednesday night with a -0.3 bWAR and a 71 OPS+. He has two hits in his last 21 PAs and more GIDPs (1) than Extra-Base Hits (0). Hinch indicated that his playing time is going to get cut. He can hear Yordan's footsteps.
I just slapped together my first high-level prospective ASG rosters (w/ req of 1 per team, and no i'm not showing them to you yet) and it seems that 35% of my AL roster are Astros.— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) May 15, 2019
That doesn't include Reddick or Chirinos or Harris. This team is ridiculously good and deep.
*With yesterday being the 78th anniversary of the beginning of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak, SI staff wonders who could break it. Hint: Altuve, Jose.
*Corpus' Opening Day starter Jose Urquidy, formerly known as Jose Hernandez, got promoted to Round Rock.
*Bryan Abreu got his first Double-A win last night over Frisco.
Cristian Javier, who had 40 strikeouts and an 0.94 ERA at Fayetteville, got promoted to Corpus.
*While I hate the Rangers and everything about them (except for Eric Nadel, who is a Got Dang National Treasure), I do love reading anything The Athletic DFW's Levi Weaver writes. His piece on Hunter Pence's new/old swing is definitely worth your time, and your subscription, even if they have jettisoned me into the sun.
*SI's Emma Baccellieri on why there's been a jump in MLB strikeouts this year.
For what it's worth:
2019 Astros Ks through 44 games: 317, and 83 home runs
2018 Astros Ks through 44 games: 368, and 46 home runs
*Dang. Former Astros Great Ben Zobrist hasn't been with the Cubs since May 8 due to apparently contentious divorce proceedings.
*Former Rangers Great Derek Holland admitted that he's on the IL with a "fake injury."
*Philly starter Zach Eflin has overcome tragedy to become one of baseball's biggest surprises.
*Texas Monthly on Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey into the World of a Man Gone Wild.
*UEFA is trying to ban Manchester City from the Champions League for a year.
*My beloved Leeds United, once the Houston Astros of the Football Association, at one point near the end of the 1st Half - up 2-0 - of the 2nd leg of the Championship Playoff with a chance to make it to the Premier League, did a Leeds and allowed four goals to lose. Season is over. 16 straight years without the Premier League. I am heartbroken. I've always hated Frank Lampard.
*A Musical Selection: