The Astros opened the second half with a 7-5 win (it's more accurate to say that the Angels lost that game, rather than that the Astros won it) over the Anaheim Ohtanis. The Astros are 51-41, two games behind West Grand Prairie. They are 1-0 since the All-Star Break, 5-4 in July. Houston is 18-10 against the AL West.
*The Angels are 0-5 since Mike Trout went out with a hamate injury. The Astros are 15-14 since Yordan went out with an oblique injury. The Angels and Astros combined to go 7x25 w/RISP last night.
*Shohei Ohtani as a starting pitcher, 2023:
vs. Houston: 0-3, 18IP, 19H/13R (11ER), 20K:6BB. 5.50 ERA.
vs Everybody Else: 7-2, 87.1IP, 53H/30ER, 119K:40BB. 3.09 ERA.
The first one is always a tough one. You came in after four off-days and nobody's seen live pitching in five days and facing one of the best pitchers in the league is kind of tough. Guys showed up and battled through.
*Last night was the 27th game in 2023 in which the Astros didn't hit a home run. They're 12-15 in homerless games. The 2022 World Series Champion Houston Astros had 49 homerless games all season.
*Jose Abreu was 3x4 with a walk and an RBI. It's his third 3-hit game of the season, and his 19th multi-hit game of the year. Ten of those multi-hit games have come since June 8.
*Kyle Tucker was 2x3 with an RBI and a walk, his third multi-hit game in July.
*Alex Bregman was 1x5 with a double and 3Ks. Three+ Strikeout games for Alex Bregman by season:
*Corey Julks was 1x3 with two walks, his first 2BB game since June 17.
*Shoutout to Bligh Madris, who got his 3rd hit as an Astro and then almost immediately got picked off of first base.
*J.P. France on Bastille Day: 4.1IP, 9H/4R (2ER), 2K:0BB. Very French. The nine hits allowed tie his season-high (May 17 vs Chicago) and it snaps a six-game Quality Start streak. After striking out one of every 4.89 batters in his first seven starts, France is now getting one strikeout per 8.33 batters in his last five.
*Ryan Pressly struck out the side for the first time since May 26, and the third time this season. Pressly:
The results were good, but I felt awful. I'm not even going to sugarcoat it. It's one of those things, you haven't played for four days and you try to pick up right where you left off and it's hard to do...Today, it was awful. I hate coming back after the All-Star Break.
*Congratulations to the Angels' Trey Cabbage, who made his major league debut, joining Gene Leek, Hap Collard, Pickles Dillhoefer, Belve Bean, Graig Nettles, Pepper Peploski, Ginger Beaumont, and Yam Yaryan as the only vegetables to reach the Majors.
*The Bastard Anthony Rendon went on the IL again, having played in 200 of the Angels' 476 regular season games (I guess you could include postseason games, as well, lol). The Angels have paid Rendon approximately $553,000 per game in which he has appeared.
*The Astros fell into Tier 2 of the ESPN 2nd-Half Preview piece, under the category of "Expected Threats" for the postseason. ESPN:
Whatever happens, Houston will once again be in the running for another deep playoff run, even if its margin for error seems a little smaller than seasons past.
*Framber, who wasn't allowed to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, also wasn't allowed to pitch in the All-Star Game, and he wasn't exactly happy about it (though he says in this Chandler Rome piece that he understands why they made that call).
I'm very happy and I feel great. I was waiting for this moment for a long time...It was a good outing, physically very good. I'm very anxious and can't wait to throw again.
*Greg Rajan talked with Karl Ravech about the Astros 2023 season.
*The Astros have 0 out of Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects.
*The University of Tennessee's former coaching staff were dumb as hell.
*The Gilgo Beach Serial Killer's life is crazy.
*The guy whose mother-in-law's "What color is it dress" was arrested for trying to kill his wife.
*A Musical Selection: