Congratulations to both the Astros and the Rockets - I literally didn't think you had it in you. The Astros beat the Rangers 2-1 to move to 20-15, and get to 2.5 back of Oakland. The rubber match is today at 1:10pm Central. After getting swept by San Diego, Houston has won five of seven.
*The Astros got three hits...and won. It's the first time since July 8, 2018 that the Astros have had that happen. The 2-1 win means the Astros are 6-7 in 1-run games in 2020, after starting the season 1-5 in 1-run games.
*Michael Brantley hit a 2-run home run in the 1st inning. That's homers in back-to-back games for the firs time since May 4-5, 2019.
*In seven games since enjoying a five-game hit streak, George Springer is 3x25, .120/.241/.280 with a .118 BABIP. Jose Altuve has five hits in his last three games.
*Cristian Javier threw 6.2IP, 2H/1ER, 3K:2BB. It was the best start of his young career. He has thrown at least five innings with four or fewer hits allowed in five of his eight appearances in 2020. Dusty, on Javier:
This was an opportunity that he has seized. We're proud of him. We need him and he's come through when we needed him.
It felt really good to have the confidence in my manager like that and all my teammates, too. All the guys were there telling me, 'We got this,' and, 'You can get this guy out.' It feels really good to have everybody behind you like that in that situation.
More Baker, from Chandler Rome, who notes that Javier's BABIP-allowed is .167, the lowest among all qualified starters.
That's kind of the maturity of a young pitcher. You're watching them grow up and you can't always rescue them...sometimes you have to let them (recover) on their own. That's what he did today.
*Brian McTaggart says we could see the season debut of Game 4 Hero Jose Urquidy as early as Saturday against the Angels.
*This young guy Jose Altuve is MLB.com's Astros player to watch down the stretch.
*Chronicle: Martin Maldonado continues to flourish with the Astros.
*The Astros released Fernando Rodney. And another Former Astros Great is born.
*RIP Tom Seaver. Seaver is 6th all-time on the MLB leaderboard for strikeouts, with 3,640. To put that in perspective, Justin Verlander is 37 years old and is 627 strikeouts behind Seaver. Max Scherzer is 35 and is 887 strikeouts behind Seaver.
*How Chadwick Boseman went from baseball novice to channeling Jackie Robinson.
*Texas Monthly: The history behind Mexico's most patriotic meal, Chile en Nogada.
*Cobra Kai, on Netflix, is an absolute freaking delight. It's like Cracker Barrel for kids who grew up in the 80s.
*Vladimir Putin's rival was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent.
*A Musical Selection: