The Astros deployed the Full Lineup last night (Springer-Altuve-Brantley-Bregman-Alvarez-Correa-Gurriel-Reddick-Chirinos) and...scored two runs on nine hits. But! The Astros beat Cleveland 2-0 thanks to Justin Verlander. Houston is 69-39 with an eight-game lead on Oakland.
*Justin Verlander went 7IP, 2H/0ER, 13K:0BB.
Running out of ways to proclaim that what we're seeing is not normal.
This was only the 9th time in MLB this season that a pitcher has struck out at least 13 batters without issuing a walk. Verlander has two of them. Gerrit Cole has one.
It's only the 17th start in Astros franchise history in which a pitcher has 13+ K:0BB. Verlander has three of them. Here's the breakdown:
Larry Dierker: 2
J.R. Richard: 2
Mike Scott: 2
Gerrit Cole: 1
Mike Cuellar: 1
Turk Ferrell: 1
Randy Johnson: 1
Shane Reynolds: 1
Nolan Ryan: 1
I exorcised some demons here today. I haven't pitched well in this ballpark, and to do it against a great pitcher in Bieber, that was good.
It was the first time since June 21, 2014 that Verlander's team won at Cleveland when he started. Verlander credited a chat with Nolan Ryan:
It was pretty cool to sit there and have a conversation like that with my idol. Pretty special. He had some really good insights on some stuff that I hadn't really thought of, and I took it out there and pretty much right away started having some better results.
*It's the 7th time this season the Astros have held their opponent to two or fewer hits. They are [scans Baseball-Reference] 7-0 in those games. Verlander has started three of those seven games.
*The Astros got nine hits, but only three ABs w/RISP. That's a lot of scattered singles.
Biebs pitched terrific. That lineup gives you no...there's no breath. They come at you one through nine. Give the kid credit. We've seen him do that before.
*Jose Altuve got hisself another 3-hit game. Since July 13 (15 games), Altuve has 29 hits in 63 ABs. He has raised his batting average from .235 on June 20 to .301 on July 30.
Jose Altuve's OPS, June 20: .769
Jose Altuve's OPS, Today: .884
Not counting his first game back from the IL (which you can't really do but this is my damn blog), Altuve's last 32 games: .367/.399/.597. He has more Home Runs (7) than he does GIDPs (4).
Altuve's last 69 PAs: .453/.493/.781.
*Robinson Chirinos hit a home run, his first since June 14. Verlander, on Chirinos:
He gets lost a little bit in this dynamic lineup we have. For God sakes, the guy's hitting ninth. He's a special player and I think he should get some more credit.
*Top-6 in the Native Americans' lineup went 0x20 with 11K.
*Czech out the rumors from yesterday, as they relate to the Astros. Czech out the rumors from today, too!
*That's it for today. Too much going on all at once.
*A Musical Selection: