So, a quick programming note before we get amongst it: many of you know that I'm a teacher. If you didn't, now you do. I actually had to report back to school yesterday, and that's pretty much how it's going to be for the next [squints] ten months. It may take me a while to find my groove as far as morning schedules go. Also, next week is my 20th wedding anniversary and we're going to go out of town for a little bit. While I'm a morning person and my wife has Sleep as her Number One vacation goal, posting these every day may not be too big of an issue, as I can work while she sleeps, because God knows I'm incapable of sleeping in. So, in summary and in summation, Hot Links may become a little sporadic. Apologies in advance. But since this is a free service, I'm not going to feel all that bad about it.
The Houston MF Astros beat Colorado 4-1 and held the Rockies to just two hits. One left the yard. The Astros are 53-43, 4.5 back of the Rangers, who will never lose again. Houston is 3-2 since the All-Star Break, 8-6 in July.
*It's the third time Astros pitchers have held their opponents to two or fewer hits. They're 3-0 in those games.
*Colorado scored 10 runs in the four games in which they played Houston. It was the 6th time this season they've been held to 0-1 runs at home.
*The Astros are now 28-21 on the road in 2023.
*Brandon Bielak: 5.2IP, 1H/0ER, 4K:3BB. It's his third straight start of allowing two or fewer earned runs, and the 8th out of 12 starts in 2023. Bielak's last three starts (which includes two vs Colorado): 17.2IP, 7H/3R (2ER), 13K:8BB. Bielak has started 19 games in his career, and in three of those did he not allow an earned run. One in 2020, and his last two starts against Colorado.
*Chas McCormick was 2x4 with a 2-run homer, his 12th of the season. His career high is 14. On June 9 (the day after Yordan went down with an Oblique), Chas was hitting .227/.315/.427. Since then (24 games, 95 PAs): .361/.442/.675. McCormick:
Just wait till we get some firepower back. We're going to be a dangerous team. And we are right now. We've got a lot of younger guys picking up the slack, but that's what we're here for.
It's a perfect example (of next man up), because every day when we do win, we have different heroes.
*Kyle Tucker was 1x3 with a double and a walk. Tucker's OPS bottomed out at .775 on May 31, since then (40 games, 176 PAs) he's hitting .338/.417/.563 - a .980 OPS.
*Jose Abreu was 2x4 with an RBI, his 5th multi-hit game in July.
*Alex Bregman went 0x4 for the first time since the All-Star Break.
*Jake Meyers was 2x4 and has a three-game hit streak, his 3rd-longest of the season.
*Ryne Stanek and Rafael Montero each threw a hitless/scoreless inning for the first time since May 28 and the second time this season.
*Yordan Alvarez finally made his first rehab start for Sugar Land, going 1x3 with a walk. Jose Urquidy threw 29 of his 45 pitches for strikes, throwing 3IP, 4H/2ER, 2K:1BB in an 8-2 Space Cowboys win.
*Chron: What Dusty wants to see from Yordan's rehab outings.
*Chandler Rome: How Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers are dealing with Trade Deadline SZN...again.
*The Astros Youth Academy has had thousands of kids come through, Brice Matthews is the first one to get drafted in the 1st Round.
*2023 Tampa Bay Rays: 3-6 vs Houston/Arlington. 57-33 vs everybody else.
*ESPN: What you need to know about the Women's World Cup.
*Texas Monthly: The McNay Art Museum's "unhinged" Threads account is their favorite thing right now.
*A Musical Selection: