The Astros curb-stomped the Orioles. It was fun at first. Then I felt badly about the damage done to those 25 Orioles, to the actual structure of Camden Yards. This game was so one-sided that I wanted it to just end. Do what my alma mater did to A&M in 2003 (I was there) and just bunt for the last five innings. It was depressing. But the Astros were in the same position from 2011-2013. Still, I take no pleasure in announcing that the 77-40 Astros did, in fact, do it again. They beat Baltimore 23-2. Every other AL West team lost. Houston is 11 games up on Oakland. There are 45 regular season games remaining.
The win gives the Astros the best record in baseball by percentage points (.658 to the Dodgers' .655). They have a one-game lead on New York for the best record in the AL.
The Astros won their 34th away game of the season. The Orioles have half as many home wins (17, if you want to check my math).
Houston has won eight in a row, 11 of their last 12, and 18 of their last 21 games.
Houston runs vs. Baltimore in four games before last night: 12 (3-1)
Houston runs vs. Baltimore last night: 23
It was obviously a pretty explosive night from the beginning. From top to bottom just incredible at-bats, productive at-bats, explosive at-bats and ultimately a comfortable win.
It's really hard to explain what happened today.
*The Astros have scored 20+ runs in a single solitary game only once before in franchise history: October 2, 2015 against Arizona.
It was the first 20-run margin game in franchise history. The previous high for margin of victory was 18 runs, in a 19-1 win over Toronto on July 9, 2017.
The 25 hits tie a franchise record, set twice in 1976 (May 30 and July 2). It's the 24th time in franchise history they've recorded 20+ hits.
*On September 9, 2000 the Astros recorded 11 extra-base hits (four doubles, seven homers) in a 14-4 win against the Cubs. Last night the Astros set a franchise record with 13 extra-base hits (seven doubles, six home runs).
*It's the 6th time in Orioles history they've allowed 20+ runs, and the most since West Forney beat them 30-3 on August 22, 2007.
*17 of the Astros runs came with two outs.
*Yordan hit three home runs, his 15th-17th home runs of the year. He's the first Astro to hit three home runs in a game since Carlos Lee did it on April 13, 2007. Yordan joins Astros lore as one of ten Astros to hit 3HR in a game. He joins Carlos Lee, Morgan Ensberg, Richard Hidalgo, Lance Berkman, Vinny Castilla, Jeff Bagwell (three times), Glenn Davis (twice), Lee May, and Jimmy Wynn.
Yordan has an OPS of 1.175. It's the 3rd time this season an MLB player has had 3HR/7RBI in the same game (Josh Bell, Christian Yelich). He has now caught Brandon Lowe and Mike Tauchman on the AL Rookie fWAR leaderboard. All three have posted 2.5 fWAR.
Yordan has already posted the 10th-highest fWAR by an Astros rookie in franchise history, joining Luke Scott for 10th. Again, Yordan has played in 45 games. The record is 4.9 fWAR, set by Joe Morgan and Bill Doran.
Yordan just became the quickest player in MLB history to post 50 RBI, beating Joe Freaking DiMaggio by one game. Joe DiMaggio. Yordan has 51 RBI in his first 45 games, breaking Ted Williams' 1939 record for most RBI in his first 45 games (Williams had 47).
Aaron Sanchez, on Yordan:
Yordan is special, watching from afar. And now I get to see him every night...To follow this guy's career is going to be something special, for sure.
When something goes well for one of us, it goes well for all of us.
The Astros came into last Wednesday having had six instances of a player recording 7+ RBI in franchise history. Between Yuli and Yordan, they've gotten two more in the last four days.
*Altuve hit his 20th home run. It's his third season with 20+ HR, and his previous career high was 24, set in 2016 and 2017.
*Carlos Correa - the Astros' #6 hitter (let that sink in) - hit the longest home run that anyone who regularly goes to Camden Yards can remember. Statcast says it went 474' - his career-longest. Devenski:
A few guys scattered to try and catch it. Then we realized it was going way over us.
*Gurriel got the 4th 4-hit game of his career. Since June 9, Gurriel: .359/.395/.733.
*Bregman's heating up. After going hitless in four straight games from July 22-26, Bregman is hitting .439/.511/.829 in his last eleven games, including a six-game hitting streak in which he has 12 hits.
*Aaron Sanchez pitched well, though you may have forgotten the Orioles even held a bat. 5IP, 3H/1ER, 6K:3BB. Sanchez's last four starts: 21.2IP, 14H/6ER, 28K:5BB, 2.49 ERA / 0.88 WHIP.
*Check this MLB.com story on how Hinch manages a lefty-less bullpen. Hinch, on Will Harris:
I trust him as much as I trust anybody in my managerial career so far. He's been really good for us over the last five years or so.
Harris, 2012-2014: 99.1IP, 104H/47ER, 107K:30BB, 4.26 ERA / 1.35 WHIP.
Harris, 2015-2019: 280IP, 215H/76ER, 292K:69BB, 2.44 ERA / 1.01 WHIP.
*Gerrit Cole, on his impending free agency:
If I'm just being honest with you, we hold each other accountable so well here to stay focused on what we've got to do. When we get a guy like Greinke, my mind goes to being better equipped to win the World Series. I kind of leave the financial stuff for another day. We'll see how free agency plays out and see how it goes.
*The Astros plan to continue to develop Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez at 1B. Luhnow:
We'd like that to be options for next year. It would be helpful if both of those guys were playable at first base, it gives A.J. some more options and gives us several more options in trying to form the team next year.
On Tucker, specifically:
I'm impressed by how he has just continued to go out there, compete, and played well. He hasn't had his agent call me, ask 'When am I getting called up?' He knows our situation our situation. He knows this team is playing well and we have a full outfield. He also knows September is right around the corner.
Tucker was 1x4 with a strikeout and played 1B in a 13-3 loss to Albuquerque last night. Abraham Toro was 2x4 and has a 1.144 OPS in his first eight games at Round Rock.
*Jeff Luhnow commented on Reymin Guduan's season-long suspension in that it ends when the minor-league season ended. Guduan was suspended for violating team policy and it broke early last week. I don't know what Guduan did (the couple of Sources I have weren't talking) but I can't imagine that getting suspended for the final month of the season and it not being PED-related or domestic violence-related is the result of a good thing. I also can't imagine that Guduan would be brought up for mop-up innings in September in Houston when they won't let him get mop-up innings in August in Round Rock.
*The Astros released Akeem Bostick yesterday. Brought over from Aren'tlington in the 2015 Carlos Corporan trade, Bostick has a career 4.62 ERA / 1.40 WHIP in seven minor-league seasons. He got two seasons at Triple-A (one in Fresno - granted, for only 5IP - and one in Round Rock) and in 85.1IP allowed 103H/69ER, 81K:44BB, for a 7.28 ERA / 1.72 WHIP. Guess RamgerFan69 won that trade.
*I don't know what's crazier: that Mike Trout just turned 28 or that, with a home run at Fenway last night, he has now homered in every single AL ballpark, or that it took him 22 career games at Fenway to hit a home run.
Related, the number of AL ballparks in which the Astros have hit a home run:
Springer: 15. Haha Springer > Trout.
Altuve: 15. Haha Springer and Altuve > Trout.
Bregman: 15. Haha Springer and Altuve and Bregman > Trout.
Correa: 15. Haha-
Reddick: 15. Hah-
*NY Post: Brodie Van Wagenen's trade for J.D. Davis is looking like a winner. In 100 games for New York, Davis is hitting .308/.373/.525.
Apropos of nothing: Tyler White is 1x21 with the Dodgers, hitting .048/.200/.048. Since the Astros traded White on July 25 Houston is hitting .310/.380/.589 as a team.
*The 1994 Strike went into effect 25 years ago today. From Yahoo: August 11, 1994: Scenes from a lost MLB season.
*The Illegal Ramen Vendors of Post-War Tokyo.
*A Musical Selection: