Category Archives: Houston Astros

The Astros scored a ton at Minute Maid on Wednesday

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[Box Score]

The Astros got six runs off Phil Hughes in two innings, and then just kept going.

All of this highlighted by Carlos Correa, who had three hits; an RBI single, an RBI double, and then a home run on a line drive just out to right field.

It was Correa’s fourth home run of the season. Jose Altuve hit his 8th home run of the year in the first to kick things off the right way.

The Astros finished with a 16-4 win, and one cannot help but think this gets Houston going a little bit. This was the high-octane, fun team that everyone expected to see since the season started. We caught our first glimpse on the fourth of May.

Man, the Houston Astros are Scuffling

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Gah, these guys were supposed to be one of the most exciting teams in baseball. You are looking at one of baseball’s biggest letdowns in the 2016, in the making. If you watch them on a nightly basis, they’re a terrible watch. No timely hitting (outside of Colby Rasmus), when they do get pitching they don’t get any hitting, when they do decide to hit a little bit their starter or bullpen gets hit a little more. There’s just no flow and a lynchpin seems to be missing. There are base-running blunders and mental errors and mindless at-bats by Carlos Gomez. You get those things until the cows come home with this bunch.

Last night, after Carlos Correa’s rocket double off Craig Kimbrel and Colby Rasmus’ dinger that was straight out of The Natural; I figured that this was a game they were destined to win. Instead, they played 12 long innings in front of their home crowd and lost their first showing on Sunday Night Baseball in over three years 7-5.

It’s quite possible that the Astros find their way this season. I have no way to tell you how the next five months will go in a game that humbles me nightly. But about three weeks in; these guys look like they’re in deep trobule. And that’s a real shame. Just when we retired the F–k the Astros tag upon their move to the American League.

Carlos Correa with another incredible, two home-run game in the Bronx

[Box Score
[Deadspin] [ESPN SweetSpot] [NY Daily News] [Houston Chronicle]

It was a wild, whacky game in the Bronx last night; where Colin McHugh didn’t give the Astros much a chance to win the game from the bottom of the first inning; but if you stuck around you still saw some real fireworks from the young Astros in the lineup (who were probably who you tuned in to see if your curiosity is peaked by these Astros anyways).

George Springer hit a grand slam, the hottest thing going in the game right now; Carlos Correa, homered twice off Michael Pineda.

The first one came in the top of the first, which was his second of the year. It was impressive in it’s own right:

But I think the second one is the one that has everyone buzzing. This one lands off Mohegan Sun Sports bar’s black window in center field. You may have to watch it a few times to truly see it.

The end result was it was a 468 foot home run, and Correa’s third of the season already in just two games.

In the end, the Yankees slugged the Astros into submission 16-6. It was an ugly, long game. But Correa wound up with four total hits, just abusing Yankees pitching while using every part of the field.

And I forgot how nice it is to watch a game played at Yankee Stadium. I do it about 10 times a year, and I checked it out listening to YES. Michael Kay and company do a good job calling a game for the viewer. So all-in-all, enjoyable night of early baseball watching despite the Astros whom I took as a +122 dog losing.

Carlos Correa gets the combo meal on Opening Day in the Bronx

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[Box Score]
[Fox Sports] [Houston Chronicle]

I almost expected something special tuning in today to see Carlos Correa and the Houston Astros take on the Yankees in the Bronx on a cold weather sunny day, but Masahiro Tanaka seemed like he had his A-game early and the Yankees were staked to a 2-0 lead on a double by Starlin Castro.

But then it happened, the signature moment that anyone tuning in wanted to see. Correa appeared to catch a slider from Tanaka and the ball kept carrying to the jet stream in right field; and ended up a backside home run. One of the most beautiful pieces of hitting that I’ve seen yet in the 2016 season:

With this, he became the youngest Astro to homer on opening day, and with his 23rd career regular season home run, he tied George Springer for the Astros franchise record of most home runs within his first 100 career games played.

Correa also stole TWO bags today on the day, and added another RBI groundout. The Astros would rally for the win for Dallas Keuchel, and newly named closer Luke Gregerson nailed down his first save without threat. All was right with the world on Opening Day for the highly-touted Astros.

Major League Baseball made sure this was the only Altuve or Correa we all saw today

I lost a lot of respect for the dolts running the show at MLB offices today. The whole scheduling gadget and weather in the Bronx, Baltimore, and Cleveland partnered up to ruin Opening Day. I’ve spent the afternoon halfway watching the Brewers and the Giants. This is not really what I had envisioned when I thought about Opening Day 2016.

Worst Opening Day. Ever.

Sports Illustrated Picks Houston to win the World Series

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It’s a time honored tradition that every year I get the Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview edition, and I put way too much stock to who is on the cover and picked to win it all. I’ve done this ever since that 2000 season when the Reds ‘stole’ Griffey and were picked to roll to a title. I’m not sure SI has had one champion picked correctly in that time.

Today, the Houston Astros land on the cover; which I’m completely fine with. They’re picked by SI to defeat the Chicago Cubs in the World Series, which would be an absolutely amazing series for the fans of the greatest sport on earth to see. I agree that the Cubs will get to the series – but I can’t sign off on Houston. I do love that the cover features three of my favorite non-Reds in all of baseball with Dallas Kuechel, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa.

For me, the sizzle in this steak is the 36 PAGES OF SCOUT TALK! I love scout-speak. I could read 3600 pages of it and I would read every word, twice. That’s the real reason I need to buy this issue.

ESPN: Carlos Correa is MLB’s most surplus-friendly asset

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Dan Szymborski recently did an ESPN Insider post on baseball’s most team friendly contracted players. Because we have access behind the paywall, we’ll give you a look.

Szymborski says Correa is the tops in baseball, with the Astros controlling Correa until after the 2021 season and him already adding a 2016 surplus value of +26.2 wins.

This 2015 American League Rookie of the Year posted a .279/.345/.512 line after his midseason call-up while playing solid defense at a key defensive position, and he wasn’t even the legal drinking age until September. Impressive, but what makes him No. 1? Because the Houston Astros control Correa for the next six seasons.

The truly scary thing for the rest of the league is that, given his age and how quickly he advanced through the minors, he could actually improve. ZiPS projects Correa to be a 6-7 WAR player in his prime, and he’s years away from the Astros having to pay him anything close to what that level of performance merits. Correa is the most exciting young shortstop in baseball sinceAlex Rodriguez, who, as you might remember, turned out to be a pretty decent player. The sooner the Astros make him filthy rich and lock him up long term, the better it is for the franchise. On a related note, anyone still wish the Astros had signed a bunch of mediocre free agents and tried to win 75 games in 2011 rather than finishing with the worst record in baseball, earning them the first pick in the 2012 draft? That’s what I thought.

So who follows up Correa?

Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Anthony Rizzo, and Chris Sale.

Syndergaard, Buxton, Archer, Jose Fernandez, Sano, J.P. Crawford, Schwarber, Addison Russell, Orlando Arcia, Sonny Gray, Luis Severino, Kevin Kiermaier, Starling Marte, Carlos Carrasco, and Bumgarner round out the top 25.

Carlos Correa reminds me of young Alex Rodriguez

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So, nothing earth shattering here – a lot of people have said for a while that Carlos Correa reminds them of Alex Rodriguez.

But it was 1996 and I was in Florida for Spring Break staying at my late grandparents home and reading their morning paper while eating my cereal. There was a nice article about this young shortstop who I had a few rookie cards of, wondering if he could break spring training with the Mariners big club and hit enough to stay in the lineup.

Rodriguez was coming off a partial season in 1995 in which he hit .232 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 142 at bats. He was entering his age 20 season and all of the talk was surrounding his sound glove but the pundits continually said he was ‘light hitting’.

I remember when Correa got called up last year a lot of folks on Sirius talking about how he’s going to be good, but temper expectations on his bat. They said he wouldn’t hit quite as much as people would like to see.

Obviously, the parallels aren’t perfect here. Correa came up in a different era and in his age 20 season, won rookie of the year. He hit 22 home runs, drove in 68, and had an astounding .857 OPS. He did this in a era that was not known for it’s use of PEDs and with league-wide pitching being MUCH stronger than it was back in the mid-90’s.

Rodriguez went on to post one of the best age-20 seasons ever in 1996; shortly after that spring break at my grandparents wrapped up. He had 36 home runs, 141 runs scored, 123 RBI, 54 doubles, and a 1.045 OPS. Again, different era.

The build is very similar on both of these guys at age 20, and the ability to use all of the field with some power has some real similarities.

While Correa lacks being surrounded by a few Hall of Fame caliber threats in his same lineup (Rodriguez had Griffey and Edgar Martinez among others) there is enough firepower in the Houston lineup to really protect Correa and allow him to develop without the sense that he has to do too much.

I think before any of the steroid use; Rodriguez was a sure-fire Hall of Famer; if we can just erase from our memory what has happened since time spanned forward. I very rarely say this, but I believe if he stays healthy you’re looking at a Hall of Fame player in Correa who will deliver some very special seasons on the back of his baseball cards in the present day. I am really excited to see how he develops his game to build on an exceptional 4.1 bWAR rookie season in just 99 games (extrapolate that to 150+).

I felt something had to go up about the guy, as I went back through the archives there just wasn’t enough written about a guy who could unseat Trout and Harper as the face of baseball in the near future.

Betting on Baseball

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This one hurts a little bit to write.

It looked like the Houston Astros were going to move on to a freaking LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES for crying out loud. And then, things fell apart. That ball took an unlikely hop over Carlos Correa’s head in the best game of his career. And those upstart, pest, Royals are once again fixin’ to spoil everyone’s fun. It sucks, because Correa dropped two bombs in the 9-6 collapse.

We had dreams man; dreams of the Astros making the World Series and playing the Cubs in something that would be totally fresh for the game of baseball. Something so different than what we’ve seen before.

And I’m here to tell you that today, that all went away.

You know how it goes in this column. Whether we’re letting someone else pay the juice or we’re paying a little bit to win the Ben Franklin, we’re just simply picking the winner. Wednesday night at 8:05 PM, Johnny Cueto opposes Collin McHugh in game five of the LDS. The game will be in Kansas City. The Royals are a -131 favorite at the current moment with the Astros hanging around at +121.

It really sucks, but the Astros are going to lose game five in Kansas City. And I’m sorry if that makes me a bad person in that I don’t really like the Royals; but they don’t do much for me. They cease at entertaining me. They just don’t. I realize they’re a small-market who is ‘all-in’ and went out to get Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist and look how cute they are because they’re this close to getting back and avenging game seven from last year and look how fast they run the bases! But I don’t care. I don’t like them.

It’s just the way it is. You want a winner, and we’re feeding you one. We are totally surprised the Royals don’t check in as a bit higher favorite right now to steer you away from the winning side. But that will probably happen by game time. Get to the best online sportsbooks while you can and grab the Kansas City Royals -131 to make a little side dough.

We’re sorry Astros; leave the party kicking and screaming!

The Houston Astros close down Yankee Stadium to open the 2015 MLB Playoffs

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[Box Score]

Dallas Kuechel on three days rest was no problem.

For the first time since this blog has been in operation, and the first time since they were an American League team, the Astros are in the playoffs and have won a game, sending the Yankees home with a 3-0 win at Yankee Stadium. This loss comes a day after CC Sabathia announced he was entering a treatment facility for alcohol addiction. While distractions in baseball are often overblown, you have to wonder if this didn’t play a role in the Yankees coming out a bit flat.

Houston collected just five hits, two of them home runs from Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez. Another an RBI single by Jose Altuve. And now they’ll move on to continue their season in Kansas City against the reigning American League Champions.

It’s a pretty great story that this group of kids have risen from the ashes of a near 100-loss team to become one of the finest Cinderella stories in the game a year later. Phenomenal job by the Astros front office to put the pieces in place to get this done.

Mike Fiers No-Hits the Dodgers in Houston

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[Box Score]

Mike Fiers has shown before that he has pretty nasty stuff, but he had never thrown a no-hitter until last night.

Fiers struck out ten Dodgers on an impressive 134 pitchers for the first Astros no-hitter in over 12 years last night. The Astros also equaled the Dodgers in win total (67) with that win, and overtook them with a 3-1 victory tonight.

Clearly, one of the best stories in baseball this season. When a guy you traded for around the deadline throws a no-no a few starts into his tenure, you know it’s a magical year in the making. Another hard to believe fact: this was the first no-hitter in Minute Maid Park History.

Video: Fiers’ no-hitter highlights. [MLB.com]

This Miguel Cabrera untucking Altuve’s jersey is the greatest thing in the internet’s history

Well, Miguel Cabrera is back. And since he doesn’t have the thrill of a pennant race to entertain him, he’ll need to finds other means of amusement. Like untucking Jose Altuve’s jersey on first base. Look at how pissed that little Altuve gets at him, complaining to the ump like it’s his mother! Miggy always gets away with this!

This is one of the treasures of the internet.

Carlos Correa is proving to be a generational talent just like they said he would be

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[Astros 9, DBacks 2]

[Houston Chronicle – Ultimate Astros]

Carlos Correa is proving to be one of the best players in baseball already, and hitting in the middle of the order for a 59-46 club that is proving to be one of baseball’s most exciting stories of the 2015 season. Correa homered two more times last night, giving him 12 home runs on his partial season and a .916 OPS.

It was the first two-homer game of Correa’s career. The first one he flicked his wrist and a fly ball just kept going and landed in the Crawford boxes. Later in the game with his new teammate Carlos Gomez on first base he threw his hands at a pitch on the outer half and took it out to right center field. This kid is absolutely unbelievable.

Dallas Kuechel went six innings strong striking out eight and allowed only two hits to improve to 13-5 on the season. Carlos Gomez – another aspect that adds to the fun factor of Houston – added three hits in his first game in an Astros uniform.

The Astros are three games up on the Angels in the AL West.

Carlos Correa is on the board

Carlos Correa has had a lot of pundits lately saying he won’t contribute much power. He’s only 20 years old, and in his second career game; he homers for the first time in that offense incubator on the South Side of Chicago.

Everyone says he’s an A-Rod clone. Maybe he will be in time in terms of the stats that pile up on the back of his baseball card. But for right now, his swing to me looks like Torii Hunter. And Torii Hunter, despite never playing shortstop; is a pretty good big league hitter.

The home run accounted for the only Astros runs in a 4-2 loss to the White Sox. Man, we really like Carlos Correa. The crown jewell of an organization flush with young talent. The Astros are a great story right now, even if we hated them when they were in the NL Central.