The Astros put it on the Pirates, getting help in multiple innings for the first time in quite a while. Gerrit Cole beat his former team with six strong innings, and the bullpen shut it down. Houston is 50-30 with 82 games remaining. They're 28-11 at home.
*Houston has scored 5+ runs in three straight games for the first time since May 11-14, when they did it in four straight games.
*The win against Pittsburgh snapped a four-game losing streak to NL Central teams.
*Former Pirates Great Gerrit Cole threw 6IP, 7H/1ER, 3K:2BB. It's the fewest number of strikeouts for Cole in an Astros uniform, and his fewest since June 13, 2017, when the Pirates beat Colorado. Cole's teams are 13-7 when he gets three or fewer strikeouts in a game.
*The Pirates did not hit a home run in the game. It's Cole's 5th start of the season in which he didn't allow a home run, and overall it's the Astros' 17th game in which the pitchers didn't allow a ball to leave the yard (see Reddick, Josh below). Cole:
It was unique. I remember facing these guys in Spring Training and throwing live BPs and throwing (simulated) games and coming up with some of them. There's just a lot of memories that you have.
*The bullpen of Josh James, Will Harris, and Collin McHugh combined for 3IP, 1H/0ER, 3K:0BB. McHugh made his first appearance since going on the IL. Hinch, on McHugh:
We're going to need a bridge. I'm looking for somebody to step up - not necessarily be a right-handed specialist - but to be really good against right-handed hitters and be a weapon. We put him in the bullpen, and as much as it felt like a demotion for him, it was more about using him as a weapon in the right spots with the right hitters.
*The Astros got things started offensively with Yuli Gurriel's 2-run home run. Gurriel has now homered in back-to-back appearances for the first time since September 3/4, 2018. Gurriel had hit two home runs in his previous 162 Plate Appearances combined. Hinch, on Gurriel's homer:
Yuli's homer was a very good approach on a fastball pitcher who was pitching a little differently than he does in the National League. He threw us a lot more breaking balls than he's throwing those guys over in the National League. We had to make some adjustments because we didn't have a lot of experience facing him. Yuli hunted fastball, got fastball and kept it fair.
*Alex Bregman was a [wink] triple shy of the cycle, going 3x4 with his 22nd home run of the season. It's his first game with a double and a homer in the same game since September 5, 2018. It's his 5th 3-hit game of the year. I have a feeling that Bregman is about to go on a tear.
*Josh Reddick was 2x3 - his 25th multi-hit game of the season, matching his total of 2+ hit games in 2018. He also pulled back a home run in the 4th inning. Reddick, on the catch:
At the very last second it took a hard right turn. Kind of unexpected for me because I thought I had a good shot at it and all of the sudden I had to quick jump. And it wasn't the prettiest, cleanest of catches, but I caught it. That's all that matters.
*Yordan Alvarez hit a double. He has ten extra-base hits in his first 13 games, and has at least one XBH in nine games.
*Tyler White was 0x4, including an 0x2 w/RISP.
*Carlos Correa said that he would play if the fans voted him in to the All-Star Game. Less than five minutes later Hinch threw cold water all over that piece of bullcrap:
Unfortunately for him, I don't think it's that realistic, given the time he's had off and he hasn't played a rehab game yet. Maybe by then he's active, but unfortunately with the timing, I don't see how that's a possibility.
Within that link we find that:
-Correa is running on the field.
-Forrest Whitley - who hasn't pitched since May 23 - should begin throwing again in the next couple of weeks.
*Corbin Martin is back in Houston after experiencing what was described as a "potentially serious" elbow injury. He last pitched on Sunday.
*JJ Matijevic has been back for a few days after getting suspended for 50 games on April 30 for testing positive for a 2nd time for a drug of abuse. He hit a home run last night in a 3-2 walk-off loss for Fayetteville.
*The Astros are continuing to look at extended netting along the baselines.
*Kevin Youkilis has opened a brewery in California and, by God, if it's not called the Greek God of Hops then what are we even doing here?
*Astroball's Ben Reiter takes a look at the improbable transformation of Alex Rodriguez.
*Looking back at the last 50 years of history between Honduras and El Salvador, and the origins of "The Soccer War."
*A Musical Selection: