With all that has gone on in the last few days in baseball, I had no idea that one of baseball’s most unique ballpark physical features was making it’s final appearance today.
The Astros closed out their park today in a 12-4 loss to the Mariners. None of us will ever see the weird slope with the flag pole in play known as Tal’s Hill ever again. And that’s a damn shame. Too many parks are too normal and symmetrical. Tal’s Hill had character that only a baseball stadium can offer. It had personality!
The Houston Chronicle had an article of the most memorable moments of Tal’s Hill. Check it out.
I can’t think of another ballpark landmark in play that is as unique.
Everyone was watching football today when just past the 4:00 hour on the east coast, Carlos Correa hit his 20th home run of the season at Safeco Field, a moonshot to dead center in the Astros loss.
The Astros’ season is probably over, barring a two-week miracle. You step back and look at Correa’s season: 20 home runs, 92 RBI, 13 steals, 70+ runs, .270ish; and he’s really done fine. Huge things coming for both him, and the loaded Astros in 2017. I can’t wait already. They simply ran out of pitching in 2016. They’ve been throwing Larry, Curly, and Moe for the last three weeks.
It’s been plenty of fun watching this team, and more specifically this player develop this season. Two more weeks and it’s winter for most.
I went with my buddy Justin to Cleveland on an almost 90-degree humid night to see the first place Cleveland Indians take on the Houston Astros on Roberto Clemente Day.
I wanted to see Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. I was about 20 miles from the stadium when inevitably I got a text about Carlos Correa being sent back to Houston for shoulder inflammation. Of course.
It was still a great game and a great night. And I can say I was part of the Napoli experience in Cleveland in the summer of 2016.
Continue reading Dispatch to Cleveland for a Party at Napoli’s – the Wildest Party of the Summer
This is one of those I am sad to say I didn’t see. The Astros tried to lose it; a game they desperately needed. Mike Mahtook for shits sake homered to give Tampa a 4-3 lead late. The Astros have lost this type of game all season.
Tampa closer Alex Colome has been so solid this season, but to lead off the ninth he drew a tough assignment in facing Carlos Correa. Correa didn’t have a hit on the night, but blasted his 19th home run of the season. This was a textbook Correa home run, and it tied the game for greater things to come:
The very next hitter? Evan Gattis. Grinding his hooves in the box and hands around the bat, just looking for something straight and he got it. The ballgame ended on this swing:
The Astros are nestled in the thick of the Wildcard race in the American League as we’ve been saying all season. We’re rooting hard for them to make it because of that nucleus of talent. They’re three games out with a lot of teams to leapfrog. But their roster kept them a little more alive last night.
Yulieski Gurriel also got his first hit in Houston in this game.
There is NOTHING more dangerous in sports than a team that has been granted second life.
On Wednesday evening – the Astros gave up five quick runs – and then the monsoon rains came down and saved them by postponing the game before it was a game.
This lead to the ever-popular doubleheader on Thursday beginning in the early afternoon. And man, did the Astros take the opportunity to get healthy in the stat columns.
Carlos Correa had another huge day. He homered twice, drove in four, had four hits and four runs on the day. And here they are, with the second one being a certified moonshot.
Home Run 17:
Home Run 18:
Whenever a team takes two in a day, they just seem like they’ve got serious momentum. The Astros are now just two games out in the AL Wildcard race. So, not completely dead in the water.
The Astros really aren’t good. You look up and down their lineup, and it’s a bunch of guys hitting in the mid-to-low .200’s. But they have Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Carlos Correa within their first four hitters. That’s why you tune in each night at this point with Lance McCullers on the shelf.
Last night I went ahead and bet them because I just figured they were due. Carlos Correa came through with this big home run, his 16th of the season in the first inning to kick off scoring; and then nearly hit a grand slam later in the game to total four RBI.
They tried to give this away a few times – Miguel Sano went yard as did those pains in the asses Robbie Grossman and Brian Dozier – but Jose Altuve simply wouldn’t let them fail. He had four hits and his average is up to an astounding .361 on the year. He stole his 26th bag as well.
Credit Ken Giles the save and Mike Fiers (who can’t really get anyone out this year) with his eighth win.
Dallas Keuchel has been a real mess this year. Even at his best, he’s been pedestrian; stringing together some quality starts but being mostly underwhelming. The Astros have had a hard time getting it going this season because their Ace from last season simply hasn’t been present.
Last night, he shut out the Rangers to open the Astros’ biggest series of the season, striking out seven.
Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve had big knocks in this one. The Astros took the game 5-0 and moved to within five and a half games of first place in the AL West which is probably out of reach, and three and a half games of the AL Wildcard.
So I ran across a Fangraphs article from just last month that talks about Carlos Correa still appearing to be on a historic track. You read this article, and you realize Correa is going to be just fine despite a slow and steady 2016.
Correa’s ZiPS projections over the next five years, starting at 7.9 WAR next season and totaling more than 40 wins from ages 22 to 26.
Uh, wow. That can’t be right, can it?
I was shocked by the Correa forecast myself, and asked Dan to double check that there wasn’t an error in the code or something, given how bullish it is on Correa’s future. But Dan said the system just loves Correa, as the history of guys who can hit like this at 20/21 in the big leagues is almost universally fantastic. The age really is the key thing to keep in mind here; it’s easy to forget how big of a leap guys can make early on, and at 21, there’s still a lot of room for growth.
Carlos Correa is historically good, is approaching a number of plate appearances before age 22 that many Hall of Famers have already; and is on track to be A-Rod at age 22 and an inner-circle Hall of Famer possibly when it’s all said and done.
That said, he’s just been pretty good in his age-21 season. So you know, just projections and stuff. And injuries can happen. But it’s fun to watch him pile up the fWAR along the way.
The Houston Astros have called up Alex Bregman to make his Major League Debut tonight. He’s batting sixth and playing third base against the New York Yankees and Michael Pineda.
It’s nice to see one team with a huge nucleus of young talent all on the same field at once. It never really seems to happen this way.
I read this post at FanGraphs that has some scouting talk. But as tradition, we always post the debut prospect’s scouting report from Baseball Prospectus. So here is Bregman’s:
Scouting Report: There are very few players who can legitimately impact the game in every (possible) facet of the game. Bregman is one of those guys. Let’s start with the hit tool. Bregman’s swing stays in the zone with very little wasted movement. His above-average bat speed and ability to keep his hands in allows him to hit the ball with authority everywhere. He’s an assertive hitter who will jump on pitches early in the count, but isn’t afraid to wait for his pitch and will draw his fair share of walks as well.
The big development—and the one that makes him one of the best prospects in baseball now—is the power. Bregman has added some strength, incorporated more of his lower half, and with some increased loft has turned what was once an average tool at best now into one that could be above-average, maybe even plus. It’s mostly to the pull side, but he can take the ball out to right-center, and he’ll hit plenty of doubles that way. He hasn’t run as much as a pro as he did in college, but he’s a smart runner with good enough wheels to give you double-digit steals, and he won’t be anything close to a baseclogger.
Talking about Bregman’s defense is difficult, because the sample sizes at the positions he’ll be playing is miniscule. Most believed that he was going to have to move off shortstop, but the reason he’s leaving has less to do with Bregman and more to do with some guy named Carlos Correa. He’s a good athlete with excellent instincts, so whether he’s playing third or left or anything but center, he should be adequate there. A defensive star he is not, but a guy who will provide more good than bad is likely, if not a foregone conclusion.
Oh man, oh man, oh man. I’m excited for this one. I’ve got the Bagel Bites in the oven and I’m ready to go. Here’s to 15 years of Bregman/Altuve/Correa wrecking things on that infield!
This win was marked by the Astros getting to a season high nine wins over the .500 mark, and they’re now just 2.5 games behind those rotten Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West, with the record now sitting at 53-44.
Carlos Correa had a nice game, a couple of hits and a walk; one of the hits being this backside shot he covets so much. This is his 15th home run of the season:
It’s good to see Correa offering steady while not superstar production, and the Astros have really made a season of things despite folks like me having them left for dead in April.
Evan Gattis also hit two home runs and drove in four on the night.
With Alex Bregman right on the horizon, I was surprised to learn that the Houston Astros had signed 32-year old Cuban defector Yulieski Gurrielto a five-year deal. So when I saw this Fangraphs article, I wanted to drill down on the ‘why’.
The ‘just of it’:
What we know for sure: the Houston Astros just acquired a premium talent near the trade deadline and they didn’t have to give up any talent of their own, present or future, to do so.
Also, they may dangle Bregman as a trade chip if they want to go for it all this year. They obviously have some type of plan in mind what to do with everyone: Correa, Altuve, Valbuena, A.J. Reed, Gurriel, Bregman, etc. We just have to wait and see what that is.
I don’t necessarily think that’s true. I think the plan unfolds based on what happens with Gurriel at the MLB level, and Reed, and Bregman. I don’t think the plan they have today with all these names necessarily is the one that ends up playing out. How often in baseball does that actually happen? The situation dictates the plan. And things will work themselves out.
But I surely hope to see Correa, Bregman, Springer, Reed, and Altuve all on the same field.
It looked in doubt a couple times, but Carlos Correa and Luis Valbuena would not let Houston lose this game. The Athletics got five runs in the top of the 9th (four coming off closer Will Harris), and took a 9-7 lead.
But in the bottom of the ninth, Valbuena’s three-run homer off Ryan Madson would walk the Astros off a winner by a score of 10-9.
Correa touched up Daniel Mengden earlier in the game, and he got all of this one:
Correa had two hits and drove in three. Valbuena knocked in four. Jose Altuve had two hits because that’s what Altuve always seems to do. Give the win to Michael Feliz who is now an unlikely 6-1. The Astros trail the Boston Red Sox by one game in the Wildcard race.
The Houston Astros were on FOX Saturday baseball last evening taking on the World Champs. It’s been high time to extract a little revenge.
I didn’t get to see the game because I was at a wedding. The Astros hung nine runs on the Royals in the first inning on Friday evening and won 13-4. Once you click through the jump, you’ll see that George Springer had a triple AND a grand slam in the first inning alone. Then on Saturday with much of the nation watching, they put seven on the board in the second inning and won 13-5.
Continue reading The Astros are bludgeoning teams to death
I sat in my mom’s 90 degree house last night and watched the entirety of this one – the Astros have been red hot – and they’ve pulled back to .500 for the first time since they were at 1-1 the first two games of the season. The story obviously is Carlos Correa. He’s getting his season back on track and he had another big night last night.
Correa hit his 11th home run of the season, an impressive bomb; off a decent Hector Santiago to make it 2-1.
By the time Huston Street had loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth for Correa again, you knew they were going to get theirs. Correa had a nice at-bat to battle the count full and then used right field as he loves to do. It was down for a two-run game winning single that won Houston the game 3-2.
Correa drove in all three Astros runs. He’s up to .263 on the season with 11 homers and 39 RBI. Houston is three games out of the AL Wildcard with a 36-36 even record.