Jiminy Christmas. [slams balls in car door]. Mercifully I was in Austin at a concert with my family, and wasn't subjected to a minute of this sludge. Houston lost to the GDKC Royals 4-2, the most devastating loss to Kansas City in franchise history. This only serves as a reminder of the temporary nature of life itself. Houston is 83-65, prevented from extending their tenuous division lead by the 47-101 Royals. Eat at Arby's. Seattle and East White Settlement lost. Houston has a 0.5-game lead on East White Settlement, and a 1.5-game lead on Seattle.
*AL Playoff Picture:
1. Baltimore (91-56)
2. Houston (83-65)
3. Minnesota (78-70)
4. Tampa Bay (92-57)
5. East White Settlement (82-65)
6. Seattle (81-66)
7. Toronto (81-67) +0.5
Since the Astros/Rangers series wrapped up, Houston is 1-3 while East White Settlement is 4-1.
*AL West Division Odds (Postseason Odds):
Houston: 60.9% (94.9%)
Seattle: 20.0% (72.7%)
East White Settlement: 19.1% (83.8%)
Houston: 53.9% (91.8%)
East White Settlement: 26.4% (82.7%)
Seattle: 19.7% (66.2%)
*Remaining schedule, opponent home/away records factored in, AL West:
Houston: .476 (opponents are 175-193 when playing at home/on road)
East White Settlement: .518 (189-176)
Seattle: .527 (192-172)
All of these projections are predicated on each team's remaining schedule. Houston has the most favorable schedule of the three AL West teams in the race, but it's not going to matter if they continue losing games to the worst teams in the American League - like losing three of their last four to Kansas City and Oakland, the only two 100-loss teams in baseball.
*Houston has played a last-place team seven times in September (Yankees, A's, Royals). They're 1-6 in those games. It would be just swell if the Astros of Houston could figure it out, sooner than later. Dusty:
These clubs can beat you too. They are big league players. These are missed opportunities, but these guys [the Royals, presumably] get up for us, everyone gets up for us. We've got to get even further up for them and we've got five more big games with them.
So I guess I was right.
*Since scoring 12 runs to take the series from the Padres on Sunday, the Astros have scored 10 runs total in four games since. They've scored two or fewer runs in three of their last four games. Maybe it's Kansas City's batter's eye.
*Astros Home Runs, by series, September:
vs NYY (0-3): 3
@ EWS (3-0): 16
v SD (2-1): 2
v OAK (1-2): 3
@ KC (0-1): 1
In other words, Houston hit 16 homers in three games at East White Settlement. They hit 9 homers in the 10 other games this calendar month.
*Last night's loss to Kansas City snapped an eight-game road winning streak.
*Cristian Javier wasn't terrible: 5IP, 5H/3R (2ER), 6K:1BB, 2HR. But the homers are an issue. Cristian Javier gave up nine home runs in his first 15 starts of 2023 (83IP), and 16 homers in his last 13 starts (63.1IP). Dusty:
His outing was pretty good. Other than the home run balls, that's what's been plaguing him all year so we've got to figure that out.
[squints] Yes, please do that.
*After getting at least one hit in 13 of 14 games from August 26-September 10, Alex Bregman is 1x14 in his last four games. The one hit was a home run against Oakland.
Bregman GIDPd twice last night - his 20th and 21st GIDP of the 2023 season. It's the 5th time he GIDPd twice in a game in his career.
*Since going 3x5 with 3HR against East White Settlement on September 5, Jose Altuve is hitting .161/278/.258.
*Since returning from the IL on August 23, Jose Abreu is hitting .254/.329/.540. Eight of his 16 hits have been for extra-bases (three doubles, five homers). It's a welcome turn of events and, while I wouldn't bat him any higher than 7th, having Brantley behind him worked last night.
*How in the hell is Zack Greinke 1-15 this season?
*I have grown weary of thinking about this game.
*Shohei? Ohtani? His locker is empty?
*Why Chaim Bloom is out in Boston, and who's to blame for it.
*Wired: The underground history of Russia's most ingenious hacker group.
*What To Watch, September 16:
LSU @ Miss State: 11am
Newcastle @ Brentford: 11:30am
Red Sox @ Blue Jays: 2:07pm
OU @ Tulsa: 2:30pm
Rangers @ Guardians: 5:10pm
Rays @ Orioles: 6:05pm
Astros @ Royals: 6:10pm
Dodgers @ Mariners: 8:40pm
Colorado State @ Colorado: 9:00pm