Getting kind of tired of the HomeStros. Houston drops another one-run game to the Yankees to fall a game behind Seattle, who won last night. The Rangers lost, so there's something there, I guess. Houston is 77-60.
AL Playoff Picture, going into September 3:
1. Baltimore (84-51)
2. Seattle (77-58)
3. Minnesota (71-65)
4. Tampa (82-54)
5. Houston (77-60)
6. West Mesquite (75-60)
7. Toronto (74-62) +1.5
8. Boston (70-66) +5.5
*AL West Odds, FanGraphs (change from yesterday):
Seattle: 44.1% (+11.0%)
Houston: 43.4% (-9.0%)
West Mesquite: 12.5% (-2.0%)
AL West Odds, Baseball-Reference (change from yesterday):
Seattle: 48.2% (+11.6%)
Houston: 36.8% (-7.1%)
West Mesquite: 15.0% (-4.5%)
The Game, sort of
*Houston is now 35-33 at Minute Maid Park, getting outscored 311-309.
They're 10-11 at Minute Maid Park since the All-Star Break, with a 2-4 record in one-run games at home in that span. I cannot explain this.
*Record in One-Run Games, recent years:
*The Astros did not have a single solitary AB with a runner in scoring position all night. I'm not about to go find out the last time that happened.
*Houston GIDPd three times in a game for the 5th time this season.
*Michael Brantley was 2x4 with a home run - his first since June 17, 2022.
*The Astros fouled off 41 of Severino's 104 pitches. Severino:
I haven't seen something like this in my whole career. They made me work really hard.
*Hunter Brown: 4IP, 5H/5R (3ER), 5K:4BB. He has failed to record 13 outs in three of his last four starts.
My Dude UltimateGringo made a really good point in the Group Chat last night: Hunter Brown is a facsimile of his childhood idol Justin Verlander. His delivery is virtually the same as Verlander's. So it's almost rotation construction malpractice to throw them back-to-back because the opponent is getting another look at Verlander, but Brown (and it's not his fault) just isn't as good as Verlander.
I put us in a tough spot, and it wasn't my best performance. I felt like they spit on some good pitches, and the uncompetitive ones, I didn't have a chance to get a swing.
*Astros starters threw back-to-back Sub-40 Game Score starts for the first time since August 23-24.
*Houston's bullpen: 5IP, 3H/0ER, 8K:2BB. Only Neris and Stanek threw clean innings.
*Yainer Diaz is the 204th player in MLB history, and the 14th catcher in MLB history, to hit 20 Home Runs in their rookie season. He's the 7th Astro rookie to hit 20+ Home Runs in a season. Astros Rookie HR Leaderboard:
1. Yordan - 27 (2019)
2. Correa - 22 (2015)
2. Pena - 22 (2022)
4. Berkman - 21 (2000)
5. Yainer/Glenn Davis/Springer - 20 (2023, 1985, 2014, respectively)
Yainer Diaz got his 10th start of the season on May 6. Since May 14 (the date of his first home run of 2023), Diaz (75 games, 63 starts) is hitting .293/.315/.570. His .570 SLG is 10th among all batters with 250 ABs since May 14.
The Athletic: Can Diaz finally crack the Astros' everyday lineup?
*Kyle Tucker has not gone three straight games without a hit since June 19-21.
*Let's take a second and wonder why in the af was Mauricio Dubon leading off the game.
Dubon, leading off (71 games, 61 starts): 293 PAs, .248/.270/.351, 46K:7BB, .282 BABIP, 62 sOPS+.
I got nothing.
*Dusty said he pinch-hit Jon Singleton for Jon Singleton because their projections showed that there was a 27.5% chance he would get a hit, over the 22% chance that Chas would get a hit. Do with that whatever you will. I'd like to know what the projections show about hitting Abreu and his .295 OBP 5th. Or Dubon in the leadoff spot.
*Oh man another Russian tycoon critical of Putin fell out of a window. They should start getting rooms with really high balconies.
*25 Days, 9 Countries, 1959 Miles: Seeing Europe by Train.
My daughter and I have really gotten into travel videos on YouTube, but the hosts (Trek Trendy and Jeb Brooks, to name just a couple) are smarmy. I want someone to subsidize this for me - paying for me to travel and make videos about it. I won't show my ass. I'll make you a ton of money. Hit me up.
*TorontoLife: The Death Cheaters.
*Substack Subscribers: You'll have a new post no later than tomorrow evening in your inbox.
What To Watch, September 3:
*Arsenal / Manchester United: 10:30am Central
Mariners @ Yankees: 12:40pm.
Twins @ Rangers: 1:35pm
Blue Jays @ Rockies: 2:10pm
Yankees @ Astros: 6pm (ESPN)
LSU @ Florida State: 6:30pm (ABC)
*A Musical Selection: