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.
So, if you follow baseball you might have heard. The Cleveland Indians probably had their most “The Magic is Back at Jacob’s Field” (for those of you that are my age) type wins last evening.
Francisco Lindor is the headliner of this roster. The pitching staff gets undue credit – they’re remarkably inconsistent. They have a World class manager in Tito Francona. But the unsung MVP of these Indians just might be little Jose Ramirez. He’s a HELLUVA ballplayer.
The Indians are good. They’re division-winning good. This is the best Indians team since that 2007 group which could have went to the World Series. How does the story end? Who the Hell knows. It’s going to depend on what version of the pitching staff shows up in October and can they get hot in a five game series and then a seven game series.
But these Indians are good, and they’re a lot of fun. They’re not dotted with superstars or anything, just a bunch of grinders and they play the game the right way. Good on them.
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.
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.
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.
We did a podcast Friday afternoon with our buddy M.J. Lloyd, filling in for Mike Hllywa on the Monkeys With a Halo Podcast. During the gratuitous Mike Trout segment – a segment that has become tradition when M.J. and I do a podcast together – we pointed out that with all the amazing talents in baseball today who do a great job taking the spotlight off Mike Trout; he’s still at the top of the mountain.
And about a half hour after your likely midnight….
I like a lot of scoring in my baseball; but it’s always kind of special when there’s a 1-0 game played and the home team wins it with a home run from their star in the bottom of the ninth. Wade Miley allowed just a double to Kole Calhoun in seven innings, and the second hit of the game for those magical Halos won them the game.
The blast was (quietly?) Trout’s 27th of the season, tops among all American Leaguers.
This all follows up of course him giving the American League homefield in the World Series with his second consecutive All Star Game MVP. Mike Trout is king of the baseballers.
“It’s not that I’m hot, it’s just how I hit the ball,” Bryce Harper told Ken Rosenthal shortly after walking off some poor soul named Cody Martin (who looked like he had semi-decent stuff). It doesn’t really matter right now what kind of stuff you have. Bryce Harper is on one of the most incredible hot streaks in modern baseball history.
And we think anyone who has watched the last few days kind of had a feeling after Jayson Werth struck out, runner on first; that Harper was going to put one in the seats to end the game.
No one, will ever forget this Ruthian run that Harper has put together at age 22. No matter what happens from here.
It was Harper’s 11th home run of the season, his 66th of his career. He’s not going to be stuck in the 60’s for too long if he keeps at this pace. He now leads the National league in home runs and walks, is second in runs scored and RBI, and fourth in runs scored.
Unanimous NL MVP selection if he doesn’t get hurt.
This was a lot funnier until I saw the game-time temperature at Wrigley was 43 degrees. Still, by looking at Soler today you would have thought the Cubs were playing in 12 degree weather with some windchill.
This kid is from Havana, Cuba; where those tobacco fields he grew up playing on hit 88 on a cool day.
This was a magical little matinee for the Cubbies, where Kris Bryant was on base five times and collected his first big league hit. He got another key infield hit in the bottom of the 11th off Craig Kimbrel to keep the line moving. Cubbies walk-off with a win 7-6 in a game they blew a 6-2 lead in the top of the ninth. The winning hit came on a Starlin Castro single to left field. Anthony Rizzo stole two bases; baseball is odd.
The cold Soler went 1 for 6. He just wasn’t comfortable today out there. Now he can head across the street and rob the nearest convenience store.
We had just returned home from our local fireworks display when the Angels gridlocked the Astros at 6-6 on a Howie Kendrick double. As the game headed to the bottom of the ninth inning, we saw that Mike Trout would lead off the inning, and said to ourselves wouldn’t it be just like Trout to do something huge on July 4th to win the game for his team, less than an hour that the news broke that their division rivals had acquired two arms in a big trade (including Jeff Samardzija) that probably puts them out of reach of being caught.
Tony Sipp dealt Trout a low 0-2 pitch, a sin that he would never survive. As the ball went flying into the dark night air, the man that some are calling the runaway AL MVP won another game for his team.
Here it is, forever for your enjoyment. Even though forever isn’t enough time to appreciate how good Mike Trout is right now in the year 2014; at the summer’s highest point.
You know that guy named Mike Trout that has been ‘slumping’ oh so badly? Well, last night he somehow managed to do a good thing. He plucked one directly from the loss column and put it in the Angels’ win column by doing this:
Yes, no sooner did the announcer finish saying that ‘the one thing Mike Trout has never done in his illustrious career is a walk off home run’ when Mr. Simon Says arrives on cue to do just that.
I have got to stop going to sleep before the final out is recorded in a Mike Trout game. The lesson here is that if there is still time left on the clock, there is still time for a Mike Trout moment. Do not go to sleep on him you lazy asses!
Last night, Old Man Balls Giambi hit one of the biggest home runs in recent Cleveland sports history, a walk-off job that bailed out Chris Perez and kept the Indians in sole possession of that precious second Wildcard spot in the American League. I also want to add that our resident Indians homer (Justin) told me via phone call that the shot went off the facing of the upper deck. That’s amazing because when I watched the replay of what I’m sure is the same home run, it landed in the bullpen in right. Perhaps he was just a little excited.
Here is the text exchange from our golden boy last evening:
You gotta love the guy. It was emotional for him. He almost cried. It’s a special year. He was hunting during the birth of two of his three children – I have never seen him cry – but Jason Giambi brings out his sensitive side.
In all seriousness, the Indians are a great story and I hope they hang on this weekend. I don’t want to be on suicide watch for my friend just yet.
This one’s for my buddy Justin – my friend who served as the best man in my wedding. My friend who; inevitably every year calls me during my workday to tell me that ‘the Indians are going to the World Series this year’ when they’re hot, and doesn’t watch them because he’s in his deer stand or some shit when they’re losing.
This is the same friend of mine who dead serious walked out of Cleveland Browns Stadium crying in his beer feeling sorry for himself mumbling about how “his football team sucks (Browns), his baseball team sucks (Indians), and his driver (Dale Jr.) sucks”. He thought the world owed him a pat on the back after the Browns screwed up a fake field goal that made all of our heads spin.
Last time I was at a baseball game with him, I was calling Giambi old and telling everyone about his old man balls. Justin took it serious and started getting hot under the collar about it. He’s sensitive about criticism to his Indians. For some reason, he loves Giambi – I assume because he does not realize you cannot build long-term around a player like Jason Giambi. It’s alright. We will let him have his dream for now. A pitch or two on that day, Giambi hit a monster home run off the hitter’s backdrop in Cincinnati and Justin began to gloat like he was Giambi’s nephew. He rubbed it in my face until Joey Votto hit a walk-off home run that day, and then Justin did not talk for the two hour car ride home.
But tonight, Justin is surprisingly nowhere to be heard from. This is mildly concerning because; normally I would have received nothing short of a dozen texts or voxers from Justin until I responded back with “your Indians are good” or “Giambi is a star” text back to him that met his approval. It would allow him to sleep soundly while still having his dream. He’s probably shooting his bow at fake deer or killing something.
Justin if you’re out there, I’m happy for you and your old man balls favorite player Giambles. I’m just happy you’re still interested in baseball season in nearly August and not already calling me up telling me how good the Buckeyes are going to be this year (he’s had them winning the national title for the past twenty years, you are not allowed to present argument).
UPDATE (11:06 AM ET) (He’s Fine):
LOL, look at those cocky responses. This is perfect.
Yasiel Puig hits a walk-off home run against my favorite team to give the Dodgers a 1-0 win in extra innings, and he slides into home plate feet first to the arms of his awaiting teammates. I should hate this guy with every inch of my soul. But I don’t.
Puig is quickly becoming one of my favorite non-Reds players in baseball. He’s a flashy Cuban with a killer instinct that is too dumb to be fearless and too cocky to ever think he’s going to fail. The game is not too big for him. I think he’s going to be one of those few athletes in baseball who makes his arrogance work in his favor.
Here’s that walk-off that just went down at Chavez Ravine:
And there’s this, so you can get a good look at the bat flip. Curtis Partch never knew what hit him.
Manny-esque. This guy was meant to play near Hollywood. The Wild Horse. Indeed.
With his team in as dire straits as they’ve been in since his big league career began, Bryce Harper answered the bell.
And right now is an easy time to be critical of Bryce Harper. He’s missed a ton of time this year. He’s hitting .200 since May 1st. He’s had a rough year in a lot of respects. But today, he put his team on his back and got them a win in a game they should have lost.
Bottom of the ninth, game tied 7-7 after Rafael Soriano blew up on the Nationals. Washington fans at the park had to be thinking this was probably going to be the team’s seventh straight loss AT HOME. And it probably would have been.
But Bryce Harper took a cut and said goodnight and drive home safe. Nationals win 9-7. Sorry you were there, Bryan Morris, but you’ve been added to the list of victims.
Gotta love the tweet from Harper:
Again: "To the last minute, to the last second, to the last man we fight"-Red Tails
Jay Bruce likes to hit at Great American Ballpark. Jay Bruce has murdered the Brewers through the course of his career. Put it all together, and you get something like we got to end tonight’s ballgame. A walk-off home run off Burke Badenhop (who has owned Bruce throughout his career) just a day after getting four hits in yesterday’s marathon game at Wrigley. It was a pitch that shouldn’t have been hit out of the ballpark. Bruce hit it out the opposite way to win the game 4-3.
Nothing in sports rivals a Jay Bruce hot streak. Nothing.