[throws literally everything out on to the curb]
The Houston Astros lost to the Royals yet again, this time 3-2. Houston insists on digging its own grave in the "cushy" part of the schedule. Houston is 18-20 in 1-run games. They are 85-70, 39-41 at Minute Maid Park, clinching a losing home record for the first time since 2014. Today is the last home game of the 2023 season, thank God.
They have lost 12 of 20 in September. They have lost six of their last eight games. They have lost eight of their last eleven games. Since sweeping the Rangers, the "Astros" have lost nine of their last 14 games and have scored two or fewer runs in six of those games. They have lost 10 of their last 14 home games. They are 10-16 at home since August 1.
It's been frustrating, I've never been in this position before. Every team that's come to play us, they want to beat us badly and we just don't want it enough right now...I don't think we're firing on all cylinders and putting a little pressure on ourselves.
Right now, we have to dwell on as many positives as possible and try to delete, negate as many negatives as possible. It brings you down. Brings the town down. We need everybody's thought processes in a positive direction and a positive goal.
*AL Playoff Picture:
1. Baltimore (96-59)
2. Ovilla (86-68)
3. Minnesota (82-73)
4. Tampa (95-61)
5. Toronto (86-69)
6. Houston (85-70)
7. Seattle (84-70)
*AL West Odds:
FanGraphs (Change from yesterday):
Ovilla: 59.3% (+22.9%)
Houston: 25.0% (-14.9%)
Seattle: 15.7% (-7.8%)
*The Astros at home, 2023 compared to previous years:
2023: 39-41, .250/.325/.412, 91 HR, .285 BABIP, 97 sOPS+
2022: 55-26, .257/.330/.449, 116 HR, .283 BABIP, 116 sOPS+
2021: 51-30, .267/.342/.445, 105 HR, .302 BABIP, 112 sOPS+
2019: 60-21, .284/.362/.516, 150 HR, .308 BABIP, 128 sOPS+
2018: 46-35, .248/.328/.403, 92 HR, .282 BABIP, 99 sOPS+
2017: 48-33, .279/.340/.472, 115 HR, .302 BABIP, 110 sOPS+
2016: 43-38, .238/.311/.407, 98 HR, .291 BABIP, 91 sOPS+
2015: 53-28, .253/.321/.462, 128 HR, .292 BABIP, 110 sOPS+
2014: 38-43, .245/.315/.398, 90 HR, .303 BABIP, 100 sOPS+
*Kansas City pitcher and Former Astros Great Jordan Lyles: 5IP, 2H/0ER, 3K:2BB. Lyles came into Saturday's game with a -1.5 bWAR. It was the second time in 30 starts in 2023 that Lyles didn't allow an earned run. He has more 7ER outings (4) than he does scoreless ones (2). 54 pitchers have thrown at least 150IP in the Majors in 2023. Lyles ranks among those 54 pitchers:
fWAR: 0.0 (54th)
ERA: 6.43 (54th)
FIP: 5.73 (54th)
xFIP: 5.38 (54th)
HR/FB: 14.5% (43rd)
K/9: 6.10 (52nd)
HR/9: 2.05 (53rd)
And so the Astros - who apparently thought that yesterday was the time to flip the playoff mode switch - had two singles. It was the first time since July 29 that Lyles made it through a start without allowing a home run. It was the first time since July 17 that Lyles didn't allow an extra-base hit. The defending World Series Champions got absolutely shut down at home against the worst pitcher in baseball. Bregman:
It feels like we're playing terrible. That's it. We're not playing good.
It feels like that because it's true.
*7.5% of the Royals' wins have come against the Astros in the last nine days. Dusty:
It's like Groundhog Day. We're playing hard, they're playing good ball but we're having trouble pushing runs across. You know, hitting with runners in scoring position. When we do good we're going to get a bunch of them for a period of time. I just feel that. We're so close to breaking games open. Just didn't get it done.
Houston is 1.5 games back and the regular season ends a week from today.
*The Astros are 3x20 with runners in scoring position in these last two games. Jose Altuve was 0x2 w/RISP.
*Houston has gone four straight games starting the bottom of the 1st Inning down by at least one run.
*Jose Altuve was 0x4 with a walk. In September: .299/.372/.623.
*Alex Bregman was 0x3 with a walk. Since his 3-hit game on September 16 against Kansas City, Bregman is hitting .056/.393/.222. His one hit in that span was a homer.
*Jose Abreu was 0x3. In his last ten games, Abreu is hitting .184/.238/.447
*Jeremy Pena was 2x4 with 2SB. On August 10, Pena went 0x4 in the final game of the first Baltimore series. Since then, he's hitting .320/.379/.429.
*J.P. France: 5IP, 7H/3R (2ER), 5K:1BB.
*Bullpen: 4IP, 0H/0ER, 6K:0BB. Just completely wasted by this waste of an offense.
*Bryan Abreu hasn't allowed a run since July 15: 24IP, 9H/0ER, 28K:10BB.
*Bennett Sousa: 2IP, 0H/0ER, 1K:0BB.
*The Astros passed 3,000,000 fans for the first time since 2007 and for the 5th time in franchise history. They're 6-16 when playing in foront of a home sellout crowd.
*The Astros see themselves in the 2023 Orioles.
*The Ringer: Outkast's Conscious Uncoupling
*Why Colorado and New Mexico are fighting a hot war over green chile.
*What To Watch, September 24:
Newcastle United @ Sheffield United: 10:30am Central
Teggsuns @ Jaguars: 12pm
Blue Jays @ Rays: 12:10pm
Royals @ Astros: 1:10pm
Mariners @ Rangers: 1:35pm
Women's Soccer: South Africa @ USWNT. 4:30pm
*A Musical Selection: