Jose Urquidy did the Good Things and the Astros beat Balch Springs 6-1. Houston is 63-37. Oakland doesn't lose anymore (more on them in a minute) but the Astros still have a 5.5-game lead on them, and a 12-game lead on the Rangers and Angels.
*Wins after 100 games, recent Astros history:
The Astros won their third straight Silver Boot, if that's the kind of thing that matters to you. I guess it's better than losing the Silver Boot.
Euless went 53-23 against Houston from 2013-2016. Houston is 34-20 against Irving since.
*Houston has won four straight games, outscoring opponents 27-8 since Noe Ramirez went up and in on Jake Marisnick. They're 6-4 since the All-Star Break.
*It's the 5th time this season the Astros have held their opponent to two or fewer hits. The Rangers are the 8th team to strike out 13+ times and get two or fewer hits in a game in 2019.
*Houston has held their opponent to two or fewer hits and struck out 13+ batters 15 times in franchise history. It has happened three times in 2019.
*Jose Urquidy's first two starts: 6IP, 14H/7ER, 8K:1BB
Jose Urquidy, last night: 7IP, 2H/1ER, 9K:0BB
Urquidy got 17 swinging strikes last night. He had 17 swinging strikes in his first two starts combined. Congratulations to him on his first career MLB win. Urquidy:
I knew that I had to focus on this start, and I'm really happy that I was able to execute what I envisioned.
No walks, one homer - just an incredible, incredible performance. We absolutely needed it. We needed him to go as long as he could, and for him to be effective in that, it's a great day.
There's a creative side he showcased today on why the organization has been high on him. They're not going to sour on him after a couple of bad outings, but it was nice to see him pitch the way we were told he pitches.
*Michael Brantley was 3x4 with an RBI - his 9th 3+ hit game and his 39th multi-hit game of the season. The Astros are 25-14 when Brantley gets 2+ hits.
*Yuli Gurriel hit another home run, his 18th. Ho hum. It's the 11th time in his career he has hit a 3+ run home run. He has 10 home runs in July. He has homered in five straight games at Minute Maid Park, tying Morgan Ensberg's record set in 2006. Gurriel's next home run (which should come here in about seven hours) will set a career-high. Hinch:
When (Gurriel) first got here, he smothered the ball on the ground quite a bit and was one of the lower-trajectory guys off the bat, which is a little bit of a conscious decision but a little bit of pitch selection and what you're trying to hit...Give credit to Alex Cintron and Troy Snitker for unlocking a few keys that have allowed to open up his power.
*Yordan Alvarez was 1x3 with a walk and an RBI. He has played in 28 games and has gotten on base in 24 of them, reaching 2+ times in 16 of them. He is everything I had thought Brett Wallace and Jon Singleton were going to be...combined.
*Tony Kemp had seven career home runs in 470 PAs coming into 2019. He has seven home runs in 183 PAs in 2019. Six of his home runs have come at Minute Maid Park.
*After going through a brutal 18-game stretch from June 17-July 13 in which he "hit" .132/.254/.151, Robinson Chirinos has a hit in three straight games, and four of his last five. Chirinos doubled and walked last night.
*Aledmys Diaz could return to the Astros tomorrow (Monday). Hinch:
For him, it's more of a day-to-day assessment of where he's at and how he's doing...If he needs more time in the Minor Leagues, he can play next week. If he's ready to come back, we'll bring him back.
Diaz was 0x2 with a walk as Corpus fell to Springfield last night. He played 3B and LF.
Hinch, on Correa:
He and I text every day, and we've talked to the coaching staff (in Round Rock). By video, he looks incredible. Sometimes you come off of these injuries and you either catch your rhythm quickly or you need a little bit more time. It looks like Carlos came out looking really, really good. His movements are good. He's playing with freedom. There's no issue whatsoever. It's a good sign for him.
Round Rock beat New Orleans 13-0 last night. Correa was 1x5 with a double and three strikeouts. He's hitting .400/.438/.600 in four rehab appearances.
Chas McCormick hit two home runs and collected 6RBI. Kyle Tucker was 2x5 with his 25th home run of the season and 3RBI. Brandon Bielak threw 7IP, 1H/0ER, 7K:2BB.
*A.J. Hinch described his and Luhnow's conversation with Tyler White "brutal:"
From a 33rd-Round pick to the big leagues to a big splash when he first made the team to outperforming the Minor Leagues to coming back and literally carrying us as a DH last season to being out of a job and off our team, it's a brutal conversation.
I feel badly for Tyler White. White hit .545/.577/1.091 in his first week in the Majors back in 2016, earning AL Player of the Week honors, after climbing up from the Minors beginning in 2013. In 51 games after getting called up for a second time in 2018 White hit .287/.350/.551 from the end of July to the end of the regular season. He went 3x6 with two walks in the 2018 ALDS, which the Astros swept.
2019 was probably the first time in his career that there were any Expectations placed on him, and he had a hard time. It doesn't make him a bad person. He had an opportunity in 2019 to solidify his place on the team, and it didn't work out. I hope he gets another opportunity, whether it be with a different club, or with the Astros again.
Click that link to hear about the time when Hinch was Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen's best man when he married Neil Armstrong's step-daughter.
*Ken Rosenthal reports that the Astros may need to add two starters and a reliever in the next ten days, what with Peacock meeting with team doctors on Monday after "experiencing a setback."
*Richard Justice has your Trade Deadline Urgency Meter. Justice:
...Jeff Luhnow has been steadfast in holding on to his top prospects in previous trades, but that may change as he attempts to acquire at least one starter, and possibly two.
*Jon Heyman: The Tigers want an "established young MLB star" in a return for pitcher Matthew Boyd. Boyd's last six starts: 35.1IP, 39H/26ER, 55K:9BB. 6.62 ERA / 1.36 WHIP.
*SI's Emma Baccellieri: Five under-the-radar relievers that contenders could target.
*Jose Altuve made his MLB debut eight years ago yesterday. Hits leaders since July 20, 2011:
1. Altuve: 1488
2. Robinson Cano: 1355
3. Adam Jones: 1344
4. Nick Markakis: 1334
5. Eric Hosmer: 1328
6. Freddie Freeman: 1294
7. Mike Trout: 1281
8. Andrew McCutchen: 1280
9. Elvis Andrus: 1278
9. Starlin Castro: 1278
10. Paul Goldschmidt: 1272
*On Sunday, June 16 Oakland lost to Seattle, 6-3. They were 36-36, 12 games behind Houston. Since then, the AL West:
Over the last 27 games the A's are tied with the Yankees for the best record in baseball. They have gone 16-4 in their last 20 games against the Cardinals, Angels, Twins, Mariners, White Sox, Mariners, and Twins. I do not understand how the A's keep doing this.
*Buster Olney in NY Mag: Inside the mind of Mariano Rivera.
*Inside the largest launch of a produce item in American history.
*A Musical Selection: