Scoreboard watching: New York was off, Los Angeles beat San Diego 1-0.
Houston (104-55): -
Los Angeles (103-56): -1
New York (102-57): -2
A Houston win or a New York loss tonight clinches home field advantage through the ALCS. World Series home field is going to go down to the wire. A Houston / Los Angeles tie would result in the Astros winning the tiebreaker, thanks to their better intra-division record.
*Since the Trade Deadline, AL Standings:
New York: 34-18
*The Astros are 7-4 in their last 11 games against Anaheim. The Angels' walkoff came in the bottom of the 12th when Kyle Tucker sorta misplayed a ground ball after going 1x6 with a home run and 4Ks. Not exactly a Dear Diary kind of day for Kyle. Houston was 1x13 w/RISP (Anaheim was 1x12). Houston loaded the bases three times in the final five innings and did not score a run.
Top 7: Runners on 1st and 2nd, 1 out. Bregman K, Tucker K.
Top 8: Bases loaded, 1 out. Springer GIDP.
Top 10: Runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 out. Stubbs K.
Top 11: Bases loaded, 1 out. Tucker K, Diaz fielder's choice
Top 12: Bases loaded, 2 out. Marisnick K.
Houston left 17 runners on base. Hinch:
Especially in a one-run game, that's a lot. We had our chances. A lot of at-bats, contact even to the outfield would have been good for us. Couldn't come up with the big swing, or even the small swing to get someone across. They did at the end.
*Wade Miley needed 93 pitches to get through 4IP, allowing 5H/3ER, 2K:2BB. 54 of his 93 pitches were for strikes and he only threw a first pitch strike to eight of the 19 batters he faced. Miley:
A lot more positives than I've been getting. I felt a lot better tonight. I felt I attacked the zone a lot better. The first inning, I gave up the double on a mistake up and over, but for the most part, I felt like I made some really good pitches in and got some swings.
On Miley's postseason roster spot, Hinch:
We have a long time before we have to make any sort of decision. So after a walk-off loss, it's not going to be a time where I assess anything.
*Josh Reddick was 5x6 with a double and his first stolen base since June 14, six games after the first 5-hit game of his career. In between he was 1x14 with 2K:2BB.
*Myles Straw was 3x6, getting three hits for the third time this season.
Reddick and Straw: 8x12, 1K:1BB
Rest of Team: 4x34, 10K:8BB
*Jack Mayfield hit the 2nd home run of his career, tying the game at 3-3. Mayfield's eight hits with the Astros:
Double, Home Run, Double, Double, Double, Single, Double, Home Run.
*Carlos Correa was not in the lineup, nor was Altuve or Springer or Gurriel or Yordan. Carlos Correa, unlike Altuve and Springer and Gurriel and Yordan, will not be in the lineup the rest of the weekend. Correa saw a doctor on Thursday in Los Angeles and "nothing more or serious" was found in his back, which is good, I guess. Correa will have gotten 11 PAs between August 19 and October 4. Add "airplane rides" to the list of things that make Litos' back hurt. Reminder that Correa's latest 6-week back rehab occurred after he swung a bat. He turned 25 on Sunday. This is all very exhausting. Hinch:
Given that he's been off for a couple of days, we could need a full day of baseball activity anyway. That's pushed to tomorrow, and then if there's any sort of movement or activity over the weekend, it doesn't look like we're going to have enough time to get him a lot of game action....We saw him come out of this with one rehab game and hit two home runs. He's an excellent player. He's a former All-Star. He'll be just fine when we get him back here.
We do have workouts prior to the division series where we'll have some live (batting practices), some (simulated) games and stuff like that. That's going to be what we're going to have to judge him on.
*Aaron Sanchez, who once had two arms, had a capsule tear in his right shoulder and will be out "into next season." This paper said the average recovery time in MLB pitchers is 13 months. That's October 2020. Aaron Sanchez went from throwing a no-hitter to being out for most of 2020 in less than a month.
*Better go ahead and put in for a half-day next Friday.
*MLB.com gave the Astros' team MVP to Alex Bregman.
*SI's Jon Tayler makes the case for the Astros winning the 2019 World Series. Talyer:
That is, with no qualifiers or doubts, the best rotation in baseball and the postseason, and that's with Literally Wade Miley as the fourth starter, only Literally Wade Miley has actually been good this year (3.91 ERA, 119 ERA+) because the Astros are dark wizards.
*MLB.com's Andrew Simon has the weakness of every playoff team. For the Astros? Baserunning.
*Jayson Stark gave out his end-of-season awards. Click the link, but the relevant notes are Trout for AL MVP, Verlander for AL Cy Young, Yordan for AL Rookie of the Year. A.J. Hinch didn't even finish in Stark's AL Manager of the Year top five.
*Check out the Wall Street Journal's write-up of a Luhnow/Morey lunch conversation. It's fascinating. They throw shade at pretty much all of Astros Twitter, and we deserve it. When it comes to their jobs, they're literally smarter than all of us combined (I still think I could take Luhnow in a Pub Trivia night, but only because I've filled my brain with useless information...unless that information becomes valuable in a Pub Trivia setting, for which Luhnow did not plan.)
*The 1952 Tigers are the last team to throw two no-hitters and have another one broken up in the 9th.
*This Levi Weaver account of the Red Sox swinging at three straight pitches to try to prevent West Forney's Mike Minor from getting to 200 strikeouts on the season, which resulted in the Ramgers dropping a pop-up in foul territory with two strikes in order to give Minor another shot at it...is hilariously petty and worth it.
The Rangers intentionally let a popup drop in the 9th inning so Mike Minor could have another shot at notching his 200th strikeout of the season.— ESPN (@espn) September 26, 2019
Minor recorded that strikeout on the next pitch he threw. pic.twitter.com/nMqeTa2PJo
*Former Astros Great Tyler Heineman got his first MLB hit Thursday night against Jacob DeGrom.
*Over on the AL Wild Card side, the Indians lost to the White Sox, so they're two games back with three to play. Since trading Tyler Bauer, Cleveland is 30-22 while Bauer threw 56.1IP for the Reds, posting a 6.39 ERA / 1.35 WHIP. File this under See, Things You Just Hate To.
*The Cubs' dreams of a dynasty appear to be over. Place this in the previous file.
*Your DoorDash account probably just got Got.
*NPR: How the U.S. hacked ISIS.
*A Musical Selection: