Los Angeles beat San Francisco, he Rays lost to Toronto, Oakland beat Seattle. This clears up a couple of things:
-Houston has Home Field Advantage throughout the playoffs.
-Oakland will host the AL Wild Card game against Tampa, and Houston will host the winner of Friday for ALDS G1.
When 3,000 was getting close, he found ways to get a lot of strikeouts. When 300 got close for the season, he beared down even more. Big night for him. Great night for our team.
*G161 had a lot of potential for stupid. Verlander needed six strikeouts to get to 3000 for his career and 12 to get 300 for the season. Verlander struck out Kole Calhoun to get the 3000th strikeout of his career, but Robinson Chirinos dropped the ball and Calhoun reached first, and Andrelton Simmons hit a home run in the next AB to give Anaheim a 3-0 lead. Later in the 6th Inning, Verlander struck out Kole Calhoun for his 300th strikeout of the season. Thank you, Kole Calhoun. I hate you, Kole Calhoun. Verlander:
Three thousand was something I wanted to accomplish this season. I honestly wrote off 300. I thought it was going to be a lot to ask for since these guys don't strike out much. I got 3,000 and then to look up after five innings and have 11 strikeouts. Talking to AJ, I knew we were only going to go six innings. I had more emotion for 300 than 3,000 because I didn't expect to get there in this game. Very thankful to get both accomplishments. It hasn't set in yet.
The Angels had struck out 12+ times in a game 13 times going into last night. The Astros did it to them three times prior. So Verlander finishes the 2019 regular season with exactly 300 strikeouts, breaking his previous career-high set in 2018 of 290.
Verlander's K:BB ratio, Detroit: 3.10
Verlander's K:BB ratio, Houston: 7.14
He figured a few things out with his grip and a little bit with his mechanics. He was doing a lot of different things to try to get his best stuff toward home plate. And then adapting to their gameplan a little bit. I think he had to pitch to a couple different areas of the strike zone just based on their aggressiveness early.
*It was Verlander's 28th start of 3ER or less. He did not allow more than 4ER in a start in 2019. It's his 6th 12+ strikeout game of the season, and his 13th double-digit strikeout game of the season. Verlander has 21 wins, the most since he posted 24 wins in his 2011 Cy Young/MVP season.
Verlander, 2011: 251IP, 2.40 ERA / 0.92 WHIP, 250K:57BB, 6.2 hits/9, 9.0 K/9, 2.0 BB/9
Verlander, 2019: 223IP, 2.58 ERA / 0.80 WHIP, 300K:53BB, 5.5 hits/9, 12.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9
*Verlander is the second pitcher in MLB history to get his 300th strikeout of the season and 3000th strikeout of his career in the same game. Randy Johnson got his on September 10, 2000 at Florida.
Verlander, 2019: 223IP, 2.58 ERA / 0.80 WHIP, 300K:42BB
Johnson, 2000: 248.2IP, 2.64 ERA / 1.12 WHIP, 347K:76BB
*Verlander ends the 2019 regular season with a 0.803 WHIP, 2nd-best since 1962 among qualified pitchers.
Pedro, 1999: 217IP, 1.74 ERA / 0.74 WHIP, 284K:32BB, .166 average-against, 11.8 K/9
Verlander, 2019: 223IP, 2.58 ERA / 0.80 WHIP, 300K:42BB, .171 average-against, 12.1 K/9
Maddux, 1995: 209.2IP, 1.63 ERA / 0.81 WHIP, 181K:23BB, .194 average-against, 7.8 K/9.
*Verlander's number of pitches, last three starts: 87, 92, 80.
*Verlander's 1st Strikeout victim: Travis Hafner
Verlander's 1000th Strikeout victim: A.J. Pierzynski
Verlander's 2000th Strikeout victim: Manny Machado
Verlander's 3000th Strikeout victim: Kole Calhoun
*Angels pitcher Jose Suarez shut the Astros down, which makes sense when you consider:
Suarez: July 30-September 27: 39IP, 56H/40ER, 23K:16BB, 9.23 ERA / 1.85 WHIP.
Suarez, last night: 5IP, 3H/2ER, 6K:1BB.
*Josh Reddick hit a massive three-run home run, his 14th of the season. Reddick, on who he wants to face in the ALDS:
There's not really a team (of the A's or Rays) I'd prefer to face, so to speak. We're going to be closely watching next week to see what happens. I think we'd all agree we have a really good chance of beating both of them. So we're ready with whoever wants to bring it on.
Please keep in mind that, while the Astros did lose six of their last eight to Oakland, here was the losing pitcher: Verlander, Josh James, Wade Miley, Rogelio Armenteros, Cy Sneed, Chris Devenski.
*Jose Altuve was 3x5 with 3RBI. Altuve's average is now at .298 with 148 hits in 497 ABs.
If Altuve goes:
Astros are the first team in baseball history to win 100-plus games in a season and then improve on their win totals in each of the next two seasons.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) September 28, 2019
*Daily Correa Update:
-Correa feels good!
I should be good to go for the playoffs. I woke up today feeling really good. Today is a great day. A positive day. It gives me a lot of confidence moving forward.
You play to win the game. pic.twitter.com/1VGDF3QVwA— Alex Bregman (@ABREG_1) September 28, 2019
*McTaggart has your postseason FAQ.
*Richard Justice ranks the Astros as the #1 postseason lineup.
*What to watch for today:
-Can Altuve get back to .300?
-Yordan needs 3HR to get to 30
-Gerrit Cole's 20th win
-Will Brad Ausmus cry?
-The Cardinals are 90-71, the Brewers are 89-72.
*An offhand thought: You ever think it's weird that we never hear from bench coach Joe Espada or Don Kelly or Gary Pettis? I can't tell you right at this moment who the Astros' hitting coach is. Strom is a legend, and gets a few words in print every few months. I don't know how much other teams' media asks questions of the coaching staff, but it's weird that none of them actually exist post-game, right?
*Crazy story in The Athletic about how the Phillies tried to change their pitching culture and got it exactly wrong, and it involves Chris Young - who was once an advance scout with the Astros. Today I think I learned that Chris Young was once an advance scout for the Astros.
*Missed this from a couple of weeks ago about Danny Duffy and his battle with anxiety and panic.
*Outside: She was nearly murdered thru-hiking, but that didn't stop her. It would 100% stop me.
*A Musical Selection: