These twats. I swear. Tweeted this out last night but it feels as though the 2023 Astros win most of the games they want to win and just kind of half-ass the games they think they should sail through. Houston loses to the 99-loss A's 4-0. They're 82-63, 37-36 at Minute Maid Park, or "home" as some people would call it. The Mariners lost to the Angels. The Rangers beat the Blue Jays. The 63rd loss of the season ensures the Astros won't win 100 games.
*AL Playoff Picture
1. Baltimore (91-52)
2. Houston (82-63)
3. Minnesota (75-69)
4. Tampa (89-56)
5. Toronto (80-64)
6. Aledo (80-65)
7. Seattle (79-65) -0.5
*AL West Odds (and change from yesterday):
Houston: 78.6% (-3.2%)
Seattle: 14.1% (-0.5%)
Aledo: 7.3% (+3.7%)
Houston: 74.1% (-7.7%)
Aledo: 13.0% (+6.8%)
Seattle: 12.9% (+0.9%)
*Astros teams to win fewer than 100 games, franchise history: 1962-1997, 1999-2016, 2020-2021, 2023.
*The DAMF Astros were shutout for the sixth time this season, and the third time at Minute Maid Park. They've scored two or fewer runs in five of their last eight home games.
*They were held to three hits - all singles, and all at the top of the lineup: Altuve was 1x3 with a walk. Jeremy Pena was 2x4. 3-9 went a combined 0x22 with 5K:1BB.
*It's the 7th time this season Houston has been held to three or fewer hits, and the 7th time (different set of seven, tho) they didn't record an extra-base hit.
*After hitting 16 home runs in three games at Aledo, Houston has two home runs on this four-game homestand.
*Bregman-Tucker-Alvarez went 0x5 w/RISP.
It wasn't necessarily our offense. It could've been their pitching. The first guy, Miller, we hadn't seen him and he was throwing 100. Then they switched to a guy that was completely the opposite. Sometimes that opener works. Waldichuk, he was changing speeds, high fastballs, a lot of changeups. We were in the fourth or fifth inning...before we could spit.
We've had a few good games of late against some playoff-contending teams. But tonight - in terms of on the mound - this was probably the best pitching performance we've had all year.
Oakland has won three of their last five games against a combination of Toronto, Aledo, and Houston. They had not shut anyone out since August 18 - it was their fifth shutout of the year.
Times Oakland has allowed 12+ runs: 8
Times Oakland has shutout their opponent: 5
*14 of the 17 hardest-hit balls in play came off of Oakland bats. The hardest-hit ball was by Yordan Alvarez in the 9th inning, with Altuve on second, Pena on first, Alvarez unleashed a 114.1mph liner with a .770 xBA...right at whatever faceless droid making $2.13/hour + tips plays right field for Oakland.
*Framber got Verlander'd: 7IP, 4H/3ER, 10K:1BB. He's the 8th pitcher in 2023 to put up a line like that and still get the loss. It's only the 12th time that an Astros pitcher has gotten 21+ outs, allowed four or fewer hits, struck out 10, and walked 1 and lost. Verlander has five of the other eleven, no kidding.
*It was the first time in MLB history that a team 50+ games below .500 shutout the "defending" World Series champion on the road. This needs to be taped to every single locker in the clubhouse.
*Jose Altuve was the AL Player of the Week.
*Astros Notes from Chandler Rome include: Dana Brown would get it if the Astros hire a President of Baseball Operations, J.P. France as Playoff SP3, Neris staying in Houston in 2024, and Kyle Tucker pricing himself out of an extension (for which the Astros would only have themselves to blame).
*American Sepp Kuss has a 1:37 lead coming out of the last rest day of the 2023 Vuelta a Espana.
*What To Watch, September 12:
Rangers @ Blue Jays: 6:07pm
A's @ Astros: 7:10pm (if you're naughty)
Angels @ Mariners: 8:40pm
*A Musical Selection: