Weird day, between all the Injury Updates and Bielaking. To the game, the Astros beat the Rockies 4-1 to improve to 48-38. Houston is still three games back of Gun Barrel City, but have managed to move to 16-15 since June 1.
*The Astros are ten games over .500 for the first time since June 14, when they were 39-29.
*Houston has won six of their last seven, and seven of their last nine games.
*Colorado's three hits were the lowest allowed by Astros pitchers since Houston beat the White Sox on May 12. The pitching staff held their opponent to three or fewer runs in four of their last six games.
*Houston's offense produced 13 hits. It's the third straight game - and 7th in their last ten - with 10+ hits. The last time they had a span of three straight games with double-digit hits was September 11-13, 2022.
*Brandon Bielak was nails in a much-needed long start, going 7IP, 2H/0ER, 4K:4BB - the deepest into a game he's ever gone.
*Corey Julks was 4x5 with a double and an RBI. Since June 18 (12 games), Julks is hitting .378/.451/.511 with 8K:6BB.
*Grae Kessinger was 2x4 with his first career MLB home run. The Kessinger Family Home Run Leaderboard:
Don Kessinger: 14
Grae Kessinger: 1
*Alex Bregman was 0x4 with a walk, extending a five-game stretch in which he's 2x19.
*Jake Meyers had his first multi-hit game since going 4x5 at Toronto on June 5. In the 19 games since that outburst, Meyers is hitting .154/.274/.212.
*Chas McCormick has driven in at least one run in three straight games, the first time that's happened since May 12-14, 2022.
*Mauricio Dubon's second triple of the season is a career-high.
*The biggest news of the day is that Jose Altuve was scratched during BP. Dusty:
It's tough to take, but you've got to move on. You have no choice. You feel terrible, especially for the injured player and for the team, but, you just...say, hey, next man up.
Chandler Rome wrote up what he knows about Altuve's injury, which is being described as "left side discomfort" which sounds like an oblique injury, the same that has kept Yordan out since June 8. He deftly notes that Altuve and Yordan have been in the same lineup 13 times out of the 86 games the Astros have played.
*Rough few hours for Anaheim as Mike Trout was put on the IL, and then Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon left last night's loss with injuries. Kyle Tucker will replace Trout on the AL All-Star Game roster.
*Jeremy Pena will be in the lineup today, having missed the last five games with a stiff neck. Yordan tracked live pitches during BP from Jose Urquidy (who threw 20 pitches and hit 94-95mph), but did not swing, and will likely head out on a rehab assignment after the All-Star Break.
*The Astros announced that Michael Brantley has been shut down from baseball activities for 3-4 days. Dusty:
They shut him down for a while to calm that shoulder down. We're going to give him three or four days where we don't want him to do anything apart from run and keep his legs sharp.
It's been 373 days since Michael Brantley last played in an MLB game.
*Today will be the Astros' fifth straight day game, a streak we don't usually see until the ALDS.
*This runner made a wrong turn meters from the finish line, costing her a repeat win and $7000 in prize money.
*The WHAM! documentary is out today, on Netflix.
*Texas Monthly: An Artist's Guide to the Hidden-Gem Painted Churches of Texas.
*Leeds United have, finally, appointed former Norwich boss Daniel Farke as their new head coach.
*A Musical Selection: