Hi. I'm James. I'm a teacher and girls soccer coach. I started this blog almost 15 years ago, shut it down a little over two years ago and now it's back? I have a wife, kid, and two dogs. My Christmas Tree is still up. Thanks for reading.
The Houston Astros beat the Chicago F. Cubs 7-3 last night at Minute Maid Park. Houston is now 23-19, four games over .500 for the first time this season. The seven runs scored are the most in a game since May 1, and the Astros posted back-to-back 6+ run games for the third time this season (April 21-22 at Atlanta, March 31-April 1 vs Chicago).
The Astros are now 10-11 at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros have gone 260-145 (.642) since the beginning of the 2017 season (2020 doesn't count. 2020 never counts.)
The game was 2:19 - the fourth-shortest of the season.
Houston scored their runs on the backs of six doubles, a season-high, and the most in a game since September 6, 2021 (7, vs Seattle). The Astros have hit two home runs in five home games in May, and 16 home runs in 21 home games in 2023.
*Cubs starting pitcher lefty Justin Steele gave up a season-high five earned runs. In his first seven starts of the season, Steele threw 43.1IP, 30H/7ER, 36K:11BB. In his last two starts (Cardinals, Astros) 12IP, 12H/8ER, 11K:4BB.
*Mauricio Dubon was 2x4 with two doubles - his second multi-XBH game of the season.
*Alex Bregman had a productive night at the plate, drawing a walk, an HBP, and recording a sac fly. Since April 25 (19 games) Bregman: .162/.266/.279, albeit with an abysmal .145 BABIP.
*Yordan's On-Base Streak to start the season reached 36 games after going 2x4 with 2RBIs, his 38th and 39th RBIs of the season in his 36th game.
The franchise record for RBI in a season is 136, set by Lance Berkman in 2006, which he achieved in 152 games, or 93.8% of the regular season. Yordan has played in 36 of the Astros' 42 games, or 85.7% of the season. At this rate, and assuming - and this is a Big Assumption - that Yordan continues getting a day off per week and doesn't miss any significant amount of time, he is On Pace For playing in 139 games. Considering that Yordan is averaging 1.08 RBI/game, where Berkman averaged 0.89 RBI/game, at this rate Yordan is On Pace For 150 RBI, well above Berkman's 2006 season. And considering that Bregman hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire, and Altuve hasn't played a game for Houston yet, the opportunities should be more plentiful going forward.
*The outfield trio of the Law Offices of Tucker, McCormick, & Julks each hit doubles last night. Cristian Javier, on Chas McCormick's 6th Inning catch on Dansby Swanson:
Definitely one of the best catches and I think one of the most exciting catches that I've seen. He committed there and made that jump and said he was going to catch that ball.
*Oh noes Jose Abreu might not, in fact, be Back, going 0x3 with two strikeouts, and getting replaced by David Hensley (who grounded out to 2B in the 8th). Pinch-hitting Hensley for Abreu feels a little bit like substituting Fun Dip for Pixy Stix when you're in the middle of a diabetic coma.
*Cristian Javier was extremely efficient, needing just 88 pitches to get through six innings. In nine starts, Javier has yet to reach 100 pitches, recording 18+ outs in six of those. Javier's last three starts: 19IP, 8H/6ER, 24K:5BB.
*Something called "Matt Gage" pitched the 8th and 9th in some mop-up duty, allowing 3H/2ER on a two-run homer, striking out three Cubs in the process. One of the fun new things about re-starting Astros County is that I had no recollection of the Astros picking Gage up off waivers from the Blue Jays in February.
*Hot middle-infield prospect Jose Altuve went 0x5 last night for Corpus. He's 1x18 in four rehab games as he works his way towards Houston. I don't know. I still believe in Jose Altuve despite these last four games. The Astros should give him a shot in the lineup.
*Lance McCullers threw 37 pitches in a...rehab? bullpen? outing? And hopes to progress to the mound soon.
*No Framber, no Javier in this early AL Cy Young Favorites poll.
*The Athletic: The Enduring Joy of Jose Lima.
*Justin Verlander got booed in his CitiField debut.
*Kumar Rocker needs Tommy John Surgery.
*A game after Aaron Judge got caught going full Martin McFly into his own dugout, Yankees pitcher Domingo German was ejected for excessively sticky hands. Cheatin' ass organization.
*Jonathan Feigen: How beating the Spurs in a coin toss cost the Rockets the #1 overall pick.
*FIFA allowed Folarin Balogun to change his soccer nationality from England to the USMNT. The Ringer: What does he bring to the USMNT?
*Texas Monthly: The Long Ride of Charley Crockett.
*A Musical Selection: