Today is July 3rd. Many of you know that I was born in England, and every 3rd of July my wife and I celebrate Dependence Day, in honor of the last day of the Colonies' dependence on England. Newcastle Brown Ale, Harp, Bass, Bangers & Mash, and lots (and lots) of Ocean Colour Scene, Oasis, Blur, Pulp, and Kula Shaker. Happy Dependence Day. Piers Morgan can get stuffed, though.
The Astros won a wild one last night in Colorado and are undefeated when Jose Urquidy starts. Houston is 54-32, 7.0 games up on Oakland and 7.5 up on the 3rd Place North Madisonville Rangers. The Astros have won six of their last eight games. They've scored 6+ runs three games in a row for the first time since May 11-13. Hinch:
I don't come here a lot, and I don't manage here a lot, but it feels like every time I do come here, it's a game that never ends and a game you're never quite in control of and never quite out of. Good team win for us. We had a lot of people step up and do a lot of good things.
Houston is 4-1 at Colorado since 2015, outscoring them 35-21.
*George Springer and Jose Altuve combined for seven of the Astros' 13 hits - Springer going 3x5 and Altuve going 4x5 with a double. Altuve has seven hits in his last ten PAs. If you excuse his first game back from the IL, Altuve is hitting .367/.385/.510 in his last eleven games. He stole two bases in a game for the first time since June 2, 2018. Hinch, on Altuve:
He hasn't forgotten how to play. When he gets these hits in bunches and he starts to run the bases aggressively, I think we all collectively exhale and feel really good for him. People have no idea how hard he's worked and what he's put in and the stress he carries when he doesn't do well.
*Springer is hitting .345/.406/.483 since coming off the IL.
*Yuli Gurriel was 3x5 with two home runs. It's the second 2HR game of his career, first since September 21, 2018. Since June 11, Gurriel is hitting .338/.390/.676. He also struck out last night for the first time since June 20, going 41 PAs between strikeouts. Bum. Hinch, on Gurriel:
He's getting pretty good pitches to hit and he's not missing them.
Gurriel, on how he likes hitting at Coors:
Mucho. Good stadium to hit in and the ball goes far.
Chandler Rome says the story behind Gurriel's resurgence begins with a conversation with Carlos Beltran.
*Jose Urquidy made his MLB debut last night and threw 3.2IP, 6H/2ER, 4K:1BB, throwing 52 of his 81 pitches for strikes. He got dinked (sic) on. Unlucky. He'll get another start Sunday. A.J. Reed was DFA'd to make room on the 40-Man Roster for Urquidy, and Reymin Guduan was optioned back to Round Rock to make room on the 25-Man.
Within that link we find that Correa and Diaz are working out at the team's Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach.
*Josh James kind of crapped the bed, getting four outs and allowing 3H/5R (4ER) with 1K:2BB. It's the second time this season he has allowed 4ER. He has allowed runs in 10 of his 31 appearances, and multiple runs in nine of those.
*Will Harris allowed four hits for the 4th time in his career and the first time in the regular season since July 8, 2016. It happened once in the 2015 ALDS but we do not speak of this. He worked himself out of a bases-loaded jam. Harris:
You know coming in you're just going to have to go out there and find a way to get three outs. You know you're going to give up hits and you just have to keep grinding.
*Chris Devenski, Ryan Pressly, and Roberto Osuna closed the door on the Rockies, combining for 3IP, 1H/0ER, 5K:1BB.
*Holdt up a minute: Baseball-Reference has their own Playoff Odds tracker and they say the Twins (10.3%) have a better chance of winning the World Series than the Astros (9.5%)? And the Dodgers have a 1-in-3 chance? GTFOH. Related from Buster Olney: Can the Twins keep winning?
*The County Mountie has some potential spin rate trade targets for your reading pleasure.
*The Astros signed #14 international prospect Dauri Lorenzo yesterday, and 12 other international players.
*The Athletic's Marc Carig has a good piece on potential trade target Zack Wheeler.
*The Braves just couldn't score enough for Dallas Keuchel.
*The Ringer: The 2019 Orioles might be the 1927 Yankees of awful.
*Wired: A costly reminder that you don't actually own your E-books.
*Cain and Abel and Oil.
*A Musical Selection: