*I'm not about to recap two games, what with having to shower and be out the door in less than an hour. So let's just get to the news.
*We'll start with the Big One: Gerrit Cole's late scratch. Hinch:
Right before the game, as he was warming up, [bullpen coach] Josh Miller called down and told the dugout [Cole's] hammy wasn't feeling very good, and he didn't feel like he could continue. Devenski was on his way out to the 'pen. He's usually the first reliever out there anyway, so we raced him to get ready.
The Astros are hopeful that it's a minimal issue. Cole got treatment during the game. More Hinch:
We'll get him tested even further and see where this takes us. He doesn't think it's that serious. I'm glad he told us, and we hope that it's mild. It was literally a couple of minutes before the game.
Houston can afford to give Cole some rest. Houston has 42 regular season games left, Oakland has 43. Let's just say the Astros go 21-21 down the stretch (which should absolutely not happen). Here's what has to happen in order for the other AL West teams to win the division outright:
Anaheim: 41-0, but would tie the Astros at 99 wins.
Seattle: 42-0, but would still be seven games behind the Astros.
Joe Biagini threw 3IP, the most he's thrown in an outing since August 19, 2018. Biagini was optioned to Round Rock following the game in order to bring up more fresh arms. Roberto Osuna was the only pitcher who didn't pitch in either game. Hinch:
A doubleheader will do that to you in general, and then you lose your starter five minutes before the game. Biagini picked us up, Devo started and got a couple of innings in. We didn't play particularly well in the second game, but we used a lot of pitching.
Chandler Rome writes that Rogelio Armenteros could be on his way, but Cy Sneed is the freshest viable arm at Round Rock.
Only three pitchers have thrown a complete game against the Astros this season: Mike Leake, Lucas Giolito, and Ivan Nova. Giolito and Nova are obviously on the White Sox, and obviously they need to be erased from the league.
*Shoutout to this British Astros fan, who flew to Chicago to see his first Astros game in person, and caught Jose Altuve's home run ball:
Altuveeeee pic.twitter.com/xOOCA29mgT— James (@james_db12) August 13, 2019
*Other news: after getting plunked with a 97mph fastball in the shoulder blade, Alex Bregman was out of the lineup for both games yesterday, but Hinch hopes he's back today.
*The White Sox have already extended their netting at Whatever It's Called Field, but that didn't stop these fans from getting autographs [side-eyes the entire internet].
*Also, the White Sox are trash:
Sox trolling pic.twitter.com/9tPiU0CV0l— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) August 14, 2019
*White Sox catcher Beef Wellington Castillo - who couldn't catch a ball to save his literal wretched life - absolutely trucked Robinson Chirinos. I'm sure that MLB will take this very seriously and issue Castillo a two-game suspension while Brad Ausmus calls down the thunder.
*In Tags' Notebook, we learn a few things:
-Brad Peacock will need one or two more rehab outings at Round Rock before he can be activated.
-The aforementioned Armenteros or Framber Valdez, fresh off a 13K game, are candidates to start on Saturday.
*Josh James threw 20 pitches off the mound in West Palm Beach, and felt good.
*Richard Justice has your Nicest Surprise for all 30 teams. Yordan is the Astros' nicest surprise, and I would agree. Via FOAC Baseball Savant, the closest comp hitter to Mike Trout this season is...Yordan Alvarez.
*39th Round pick Colton Shaver hit his 13th home run in 39 games for Corpus.
*The Astros are going to start offering Thirsty Thursdays at Minute Maid Park.
*FiveThirtyEight: When is it safe to leave a baseball game early?
*Outside: We tried to do #Vanlife right. It broke us down.
*A Musical Selection: