Man, I'm ready for Flick to get back. The Astros made one worse pitch than Oakland did, and lost 7-6. I'm told the game was Weird. I could not stay awake for the whole thing. The Astros are 78-44, 8.5 up on Oakland. They have lost three in a row, and four of five. But they won eight straight before that. It happens.
*I'm having a hard time this morning with only complaining about home runs when the other team hits them.
*There were eleven extra-base hits in last night's game. Ten of them left the yard. Hinch:
They hit the most important one at the right time. We hit some big ones. It was a little bit of 2019 home run derby with the ball flying out of the ballpark everywhere.
*Astros pitchers have allowed 7+ runs in three of their last five games.
*Aaron Sanchez threw 5.1IP, 7H/6ER, 3K:2BB, 4HR. It's the first time this season an Astros starting pitcher has allowed 4HR, and the second time in his career Sanchez has done it (June 12, 2016).
*It's the 6th time in franchise history the Astros have hit five home runs and lost. It's the 2nd time that's happened this season.
*Five of the Astros' seven hits were home runs. As a team in August the Astros are hitting .310/.385/.610. They're 9-4 in August, with a team .995 OPS.
*Michael Brantley was 3x4 with two home runs and a double. Brantley's last nine games dating back to August 3: .500/.537/868. It was the 7th 2HR game of his career.
*Carlos Correa got two jacks himself and became the youngest Astro to hit 100 career home runs, and it's not even close. He's 24 years and 328 days old. Alex Rodriguez and Cal Ripken, Jr. are the only other shortstops in MLB history to hit 100 home runs before turning 25. Correa:
I called my dad and told him, and he was crying. Obviously, it was a lot of work put in to get where we are right now. It was an emotional moment. It's very special.
Astros' all-time home run leaders, by shortstops:
Adam Everett: 35
Dickie Thon: 33
Craig Reynolds: 32
Correa is hitting .290/.366/.579 for a currently-career high OPS of .945. Shut up about Correa. He needs six more home runs to set a career-high, at 25.
*Alex Bregman hit his 29th home run of the season. In August he's hitting .439/.521/.902
*Yordan Alvarez has one hit in his last 18 Plate Appearances. Brett Wallace lookin ass boiiiiiiii.
*On May 19 Josh Reddick went 2x2 with two doubles and 2BB to put his OPS at .860. In the 69 games since, he's hitting .229/.259/.339. Reddick last hit a home run on June 28 - a span of 30 starts. He went 44 games without a home run in 2018, let's see if he can break that streak. Chandler Rome understatedly writes that Reddick is having some trouble shaking off his slump. Hinch:
Reddick has obviously gone through a very slow time. There's a lot of issues that come with that. There's reasons beyond pitch selection, how hard he swings, swing path, all that stuff. There's not one thing that you can pinpoint exactly what's going on. Otherwise, we would have corrected it quite a few at-bats ago.
Dude just looks lost.
*George Springer snapped a 7-game hitting streak with an 0x3, BB night.
*Oakland's Matt Chapman has two straight 2HR games. Chapman:
That was pretty cool. I've never seen the ball carry like that here. It was like we were playing on a normal park. That was a rarity. I've never seen this park play like that. Usually it's pretty cold here and the ball doesn't travel, but that was nice.
It feels like that kind of game, a playoff game. That's a really good team we respect and want to beat. This is the Astros' division until somebody knocks them off. To take the first game of the series like that is huge.
Manfred must have made sure that the Coliseum got the extra-jumpy balls for this division matchup.
Bregman, 2019: .277/.405/.554, 29HR, 152 OPS+
Chapman, 2019: .260/.343/.533, 29 HR, 130 OPS+
*Ralph Bowden reports that Gerrit Cole "should be good to go" next week. And the Astros are confident that Cole will only miss this weekend's start. Hinch:
He's going to rest for the next couple of days. He may do a little throwing while we're here in Oakland and then gear towards a bullpen eventually. A lot of therapy, a lot of conversation, a lot of making sure that he doesn't do anything to irritate his hammy, and get him back on the hill eventually.
*The Astros could start Armenteros or Framber on Saturday. Or they could have another bullpen game, since that worked out so well on Tuesday. It just kind of depends.
*Chandler Rome took a look into Ryan Pressly's outing on Wednesday night and notes that he looked as good as any point since returning from the IL. One bad pitch, man.
*Remember that Colorado game where Bregman couldn't come up with a Daniel Murphy liner, and it was ruled a hit? Yesterday it was changed back to an error, so Greinke's line is now officially 6IP, 6H/5R (2ER). Greinke has now given up 4ER in 12IP as an Astro.
*FanGraphs' Craig Edwards notes that Jose Altuve is returning to health and, as a result, MVP form.
*Andrew Simon asks: Is Yordan is having the best start to a career ever?
*The Astros are trying to become the first team in baseball history to not intentionally walk a batter. The previous low for intentional walks by a team in a season was four, set by the...2018 Astros.
*Two Astros Legends - Lance McCullers and Brent Strom - threw off flat ground yesterday.
*Baseball America published their 2019 Best Tools winners. Click to see where Justin Verlander, Justin Verlander, and Justin Verlander rank on the overall winners, and where Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley, Gerrit Cole, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Ryan Pressly, and A.J. Hinch fall.
*Check out the MLBTR Stock Watch on Wade Miley.
*Some Minor League transactions:
-A.J. Lee (2019 - 34th Round) and C.J. Stubbs (2019 - 10th Round) went from Tri-City to Quad Cities after Lupe Chavez went on the IL and catcher Orlando Marquez was released.
*Hakai Magazine: A tiny Alaskan island faces a threat as deadly as an oil spill - rats.
*How two superstars, four words, and 15 seconds of TV influenced a decade of pop culture.
*The Ringer: Welcome to the world of competitive wiffle ball.
*A Musical Selection: