*Zack Greinke lasted just 58 pitches, throwing 3.1IP and allowed 4H/3ER, 2K:2BB. It was his shortest outing since March 28, 2019, when he got 11 outs and allowed 7ER. That was also his first start of the season. The last time Greinke recorded fewer outs in a start was August 14, 2016 (1.2IP).
Make of it what you will, but Zack Greinke averaged 87.7 mph with his fastball today. He averaged 89.9 mph in 2019.— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) July 26, 2020
Not too happy with anything. Command wasn't great, stuff wasn't great, endurance wasn't even good at all.
*The four runs allowed by the bullpen (one to Biagini, three to Devenski) were the first runs allowed by the Astros' bullpen this season. Blake Taylor, who was acquired from New York for Jake Marisnick: 1.1IP, 0H/0ER, 2K:0BB.
*Chris Devenski, 2016-2017: 189IP, 129H/50ER, 204K:46BB, 2.38 ERA / 0.93 WHIP.
Chris Devenski, since: 118.1IP, 115H/62ER, 127K:35BB, 4.72 ERA / 1.27 WHIP.
*Brandon Bailey, who was acquired from Oakland for Ramon Laureano, made his MLB debut. So did Taylor Jones, who GIDPd and then struck out on three pitches with the bases loaded.
*Bryan Abreu faced nine batters: two HBPs, two walks, 13 of 31 pitches for strikes.
*Jose Altuve drew two walks for the second game in a row, which only happened once in 2019 (April 25-26, 2019), once in 2018, once in 2017. He had five walks in 57 games in 2011.
*Josh Reddick tripled to lead off the 6th, and then the Astros couldn't get him another 90 feet. They were 3x13 w/RISP in Sunday's game. It's the first time as an Astro that Reddick got a triple and the Astros lost the game (they were previously 9-0 when Reddick tripled).
*Thanks to Our Dude Chris Peixoto we find that Martin Maldonado's six RBIs over the first three games are the most by an MLB catcher since Brian McCann did it in 2007. Maldonado has never had 2+ RsBI in three straight games before.
*Alright, on to it, I guess. Let's recap the events:
Friday: Justin Verlander threw 6IP, 3H/2ER, 7K:1BB. 73 pitches. He told the Astros his arm was tender.
Saturday: Verlander had an MRI.
Sunday: Chandler Rome reported that Verlander was shut down for the year with an elbow issue. Dusty said after Sunday's game that it's a forearm strain and Verlander will be shut down for two weeks and re-evaluated.
It's not a pleasant situation to think about Verlander or to think about how many young players we have in the bullpen and organization but we'll go back to the drawing board.
The report that I’m currently missing the rest of the season is not accurate. There is a forearm strain... I’m hopeful that with some rest it will heal and I’ll be able to return soon. Thank you for all the well wishes. 🙏🏻— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) July 26, 2020
"Currently missing the rest of the season." Losing Verlander long-term is obviously one of the worst-case scenarios coming into the 2020 season, an entire team outbreak of COVID aside. But let's hold off on doom-and-gloom on the baseball front for two more weeks, or just bottle it up and assume the worst privately, like an adult. We did this already with Lance McCullers (or pretty much every pitcher), where a forearm strain was a precursor to Tommy John surgery. Maybe this isn't it. But it probably is.
Jake Kaplan: What now for the rotation?
*In McTaggart's pre-game Notes we find that Blake Taylor and Enoli Paredes were the first Astros pitchers to make their MLB debut on Opening Day since Wesley Wright in 2008 and Josh James' backyard MLB-regulation mound.
*There are no updates on Austin Pruitt or Brad Peacock. RIP.
*Basically MLB's worst-case scenario is playing out with the Miami Marlins. Honestly, if you had to pick a team to be the Plague Rat Team, it would be Miami. It's bad. Jayson Stark and Ken Rosenthal: Why did the Marlins play on Sunday?
*Also with elbow soreness: Former Astros Great Ken Giles.
*Congratulations to the Houston Dash after winning their first NWSL Cup.
*A recipe for chewy chocolate almond cookies.
*The Tale of John and Ann Bender and Their Quest for Paradise.
*The Sly Psychology Behind Magicians' Card Tricks.
*A Musical Selection, warranting of the times: