Saturday, July 1, 2023

Saturday Morning Hot Links

The Astros beat NW Duncanville 5-3 last night. Houston was down 3-1 and scored the last four runs of the game to secure the win. At 45-37, Houston is four games back for the first time since June 16. The Astros have won three straight games, four of their last five, and six of their last nine games.

*Houston went 13-14 in June, playing 27 games in 30 days. It was their first losing record in a calendar month since September 2020. Or, since that season doesn't exist, since August 2017, when they went 11-17. 

*The Astros are 14-6 against the AL West. The Rangers are 15-9 against the AL West.

*Jose Altuve hit the first pitch of the game over the wall. It was the 197th homer of his career, and his 34th career lead-off home run, and moved him past Lance Berkman into sole possession of 3rd in Astros Runs Scored.


If he goes, we go. That's something that's been going on for a while. To hit it on the first pitch of the game, that's his moment.

Altuve, leading off the game, career: .317/.375/.555. 

Altuve in the leadoff spot, career: .304/.366/.485.

*Dusty Baker:

You always want to win that first game because that puts you on a confidence high for the second game...Four-game series are tough. They're very tough. It was very important for us to win that game.

Chas McCormick, who somehow found himself in the lineup and went 2x4 (likely enraging Dusty):

It felt like a playoff game tonight, and Altuve hitting the first pitch dead-center was pretty awesome. For him to be back in the lineup and get us going, that's pretty special for him to do. He's a great player and that's what great players do.

*Mauricio Dubon was 1x4 with a double and 2RBI. It was his 3rd 2RBI game of the season. 


We're a good team. We know what we can do. It's a long year. Just continue doing what we're doing. 

*Last night was Ronel Blanco's fifth start of the season, and he has allowed nine home runs - four straight games with two homers allowed. Blanco has allowed 15 earned runs in those five starts, 11 of them have come via home run. 

*Houston's bullpen: 4IP, 1H/0ER, 5K:0BB.

*Jeremy Pena was out with a stiff neck from sleeping wrong.

*Jose Urquidy threw a 34-pitch bullpen session yesterday, and will face live batters next week.

*In The Ringer's Midseason Power Rankings, the Astros rank spot behind Anaheim.

*Prior to Friday's game the Rangers traded for Aroldis Chapman

Chapman, regular season career vs Houston: 20.1IP, 21H/12ER, 36K:14BB. His 5.31 ERA / 1.72 WHIP vs the Astros in the regular season is the highest of any single opponent in his career. 


*The Rangers loss means that SeattLOLe's 15-4 loss (a game they were leading 4-0) to the Rays keeps them 10 games back. Seattle got booed off the field.

*The Ringer: "Hijack" is Idris Elba at his TV thriller best. Can confirm. I love this show.

*BBC: A culinary archaeologist sets the record straight with the recipe for Pompeii's pizza.

*NY Times: France is on fire.

*The Atlantic: Dave Grohl's monument to mortality.

*A Musical Selection: