The Astros beat the Rockies, 4-2. Houston is 55-32, winners of five straight games, with an eight-game lead on Oakland. The Astros have allowed two or fewer runs in three of their last five games. In games decided by a margin of 1-2 runs, the Astros are 24-14. Seven years ago today Jeff Luhnow traded Carlos Lee to Miami for Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen. Five years after that the Astros won the World Series.
*Today is July 4. The Astros are off. They start a home series tomorrow with Anaheim, who is wrapping up a series with West Terrell tonight. There are 12 MLB games scheduled, which means that six teams do not play on the 4th of July, and three of those teams are missing out on a holiday crowd. Also not playing today: the Mets, Giants, Orioles, Diamondbacks, Rockies. Freaking Toronto (in Canadia!) gets a home game. Hinch:
It's going to be the first 4th of July where I don't have a reason to go to the ballpark. It will be weird. Having a number of teams having the off day, I don't think many of us know what to do. We're just so used to coming here and letting the game be our celebration.
*It's the 5th time this season the Rockies have been held to two or fewer runs at Coors Field. The Rockies were held to 0HR in consecutive home games for just the 2nd time this season (May 4/5 vs. Arizona).
*Alex Bregman was 1x2 with his 23rd home run of the season and two more walks. It's the 5th time in his career - and the 3rd time in 2019 - that Bregman has homered and drawn two walks in the same game.
Bregman walked a career-high 96 times in 705 PAs in 2018, once every 7.34 PAs. In 2019, Bregs has 63 walks in 380 PAs, once every 6.03 PAs. At this pace he would draw 117 walks in 2019, which would be 6th all-time in franchise history.
*Yuli Gurriel was 2x4 with another home run, his 11th of the season. Yuli has six home runs in his last eight games (35 PAs), after hitting five home runs in his previous 71 games (304 PAs)
*Wade Miley: 6IP, 5H/1ER, 6K:2BB, and settled in after walking the first two batters of the game (and falling behind 3-0 to the third), retiring eleven of the last twelve batters he faced. Miley:
I felt lost on an island out there in the first inning. I couldn't throw a strike. I was just trying to throw it over the plate and just let them hit it. The last thing I wanted to do was walk guys around the basepaths. But I was able to get through it and found some traction in the third and fourth and felt back to myself.
Nothing like almost getting a guy up in the first inning and then you go six strong. I stayed patient with him, he got better as the game went on. He felt better at the end than he did at the beginning.
Chanandler Rahm has a breakdown of Wade Miley's first half.
*Since returning from the IL, Collin McHugh: 4.1IP, 2H/0ER, 4K:1BB.
*A.J. Hinch, at 429 wins, is six shy of Larry Dierker for 2nd-most in franchise history.
*Gerrit Cole and Yordan Alvarez won the AL Pitcher of the Month and Rookie of the Month for June, respectively.
*The County Mountie goes on one and has a pretty valid assessment of what Tyler White is to this team.
*Alex Bregman will face off against Joc Pederson in the 1st Round of the Home Run Derby. Bregman:
It's a lot of fun and something I watched as a little kid. I had a lot of fun doing it last year, and hopefully can have a better showing than last year and make it a lot further.
*The Astros will donate all proceeds during Friday's game against Anaheim from the Share2Care 50/50 Raffle to the Angels Baseball Foundation, in honor of Tyler Skaggs.
*Round Rock was down 8-1 to Omaha in the middle of the 5th...and won 9-8. Taylor Jones hit a 3-run home run, his 15th of the year.
*Cristian Javier started for Corpus against Frisco last night, throwing 5IP, 1H/0ER, 8K:3BB. J.B. Bukauskas came in and allowed 5H/6R (3ER), 0K:1BB in 0.2IP. Layne Henderson allowed 5H/5ER in 1.1IP. Corpus scored four in the top of the 9th, but lost 11-10. Seth Beer was 4x5 with his 9th home run as a Hook, and his 18th on the season.
*Fayetteville lost to Salem, 2-1. Astros County Pitcher To Watch Brett Conine (11th Round - 2018) threw 5IP, 2H/0ER, 7K:1BB. He has 91K:12BB in 73IP in 2019.
*Quad Cities is 52-26 after beating Wisconsin 4-0. Felipe Tejada threw 7IP, 2H/0ER, 8K:3BB.
*Tri-City lost to Staten Island 5-2. Nathan Perry was 2x2 with 2BB. Juan Pablo Lopez struck out eight batters in 4.1IP.
*Check out the crazy box score from the DSL Yankees 38-2 win over the DSL Twins.
*Joe Posnanski wrote about Nolan Ryan.
*SI's Tim Rohan: Byung-Hyun Kim is at peace after years of being misunderstood.
*Yahoo's Hannah Keyser: The collective delusion that winning matters.
*Sunday will be fun: USWNT play The Netherlands in the World Cup Final at 10am (Central) and the USMNT play in the Gold Cup Final against Mexico at 8pm.
*Watch a bunch of fireworks shows go horribly wrong.
*A Musical Selection: