The Astros managed to beat the South Euless Rangers 4-1 last night. Houston is now 24-24, 17-6 at home / 7-18 on the road. Jose Urquidy pitched well, Springer hit a lead-off homer, Maldonado homered, and Carlos Correa might be looking at some time off after fouling a pitch off his foot. Why not. Houston is 5.5 back of Oakland - and 2.0 ahead of Seattle - with 12 to play.
*Houston is 40-21 against North Waxahachie since the beginning of the 2017 season.
*Urquidy: 7IP, 3H/1ER, 7K:0BB. 63 of his 90 pitches were for strikes. Urquidy:
I felt really good out there. Even when they took me out, I felt I had a little left to give. Obviously, it's the manager's decision and I respect that. I didn't get tired today. I didn't feel like I did the last couple of outings. I felt I had something left in the tank.
*It's just the sixth game this season that Astros pitchers did not issue a walk. It's the first time since the Astros beat the Mariners 21-1 (the only hit was a Shed Long home run off Gerrit Cole) on Sept 8, 2019 that Houston pitchers have allowed four or fewer hits and zero walks. They did it seven times in 2019.
That was a good step in the right direction. We need to start a good streak of playing well. We haven't had the best last week or two weeks, so hopefully we can build on this.
*X-Rays on Correa's ankle were negative, so the Astros are hoping it's just a bad bone bruise.
*George Springer hit his 39th career lead-off home run. He needs 14 more to tie Craig Biggio's franchise record, and I guess he has 12 games to do it before he catches a case of Free Agency. Kyle Tucker broke an 0x16 slide with a single.
*Jose Altuve was activated from the IL and Humberto Castellanos was optioned to the alternate training site. Last night was the first time since August 6 that the Astros had Springer, Altuve, Bregman, and Brantley in the lineup at the same time. Altuve:
I think we have a lot of confidence. We know the kind of players we have, and we've just got to go game by game and win a game at a time, and I know we'll be fine.
From that link we also find that Justin Verlander will face live hitters today at Minute Maid Park.
*The Postseason schedule was released yesterday, should the Astros manage to hold off Seattle. The ALDS will be held in San Diego and Los Angeles (NLDS in Houston and Arlington). The ALCS will be in San Diego and the World Series will be held in Arlington. My little heart simply will not be able to take the possibility of the Astros winning a World Series in Arlington.
There will be no off-days for the first round, the Division Series, and the League Championship Series.
The expanded postseason might be here to stay.
*Last night's Mariners/Giants game was postponed due to poor air quality, and it will be played in San Francisco today and tomorrow.
*Both of these things can be true: Dave Roberts is a fantastic manager and the right guy to lead the Dodgers, and Dave Roberts will absolutely whine about everything.
*Former Astros Great Ronald Torreyes was DFAd by Philadelphia.
*Hurricane Sally made landfall in Alabama overnight, moving 2mph with 105mph winds.
*FanGraphs: SABR CEO Scott Bush on the business of minor-league contraction.
*This ESPN story about A.J. and Kate Pollock's premature daughter as A.J. tested positive for COVID is heart-wrenching. It also means I can never deploy my "Never Mind The Pollocks" joke headline.
*Noel Le Graet - that's his actual name (with umlauts that I don't know how to add) - is a complete moron.
*Ars Technica: Artificial Intelligence ruined chess, now it's making the game beautiful again.
*A Musical Selection: