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Houston Astros 2017 season

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  • #16
    Thickie Don @AstrosCounty
    Since 2012, 21 of 25 AL playoff teams were at .500 or better after 20 games astroscounty.com/2017/04/how-imů

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    • #17
      Astros were 7-17 last April.

      They went 16-9 this April.

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      • #18



        Benches clear in Rangers-Astros game

        The Rangers were unhappy that Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. threw behind Mike Napoli with two outs and nobody on in the sixth. The pitch was perceived as payback for Rangers pitcher Andrew Cashner hitting Jose Altuvein the first and Yuli Gurriel in the second.

        "They threw at Napoli on purpose," Cashner said. "I hit two guys on the elbow and they threw behind Napoli's head."

        Napoli also had a single and a home run in his first two at-bats against McCullers. Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he did not condone throwing behind an opposing hitter but. ...

        "I don't condone Altuve getting hit or Yuli getting hit, either," Hinch said. "The inside of the plate when we're on defense is ours, too. Obviously, he's not going to let him get extended again. You don't want balls going behind any hitter, namely your own. But they're going to get away from time to time, especially when you're trying to drive a ball inside."

        The pitch was the first one of the at-bat.

        "Obviously, I didn't like it," Napoli said. "I've been in the game a long time. I understand how things work. Two of their guys get hit, but all he has to do is put it in my hip and I run down to first base. No one likes 95 [mph] behind their back."

        Napoli started walking toward the mound and yelling at McCullers. Home plate umpire Gerry Davis tried to head off Napoli and other crew members tried to keep the teams from rushing into the field. They did not succeed and tempers flared among a number of players in a tussle in front of the pitcher's mound.

        "He said I smell good," McCullers said. "I said, 'I got some new cologne. Do you want to come smell it? You can smell it.' That was as it."

        Hardly. Carlos Gomez and Shin-Soo Choo appeared especially animated on the Rangers side. McCullers was barking right back at Napoli and his catcher Brian McCann was also irate about the situation.

        "I was trying to go in hard," McCullers said. "I threw in all game, whether they were lefties or righties. I came in a lot Gomez, a lot on Choo. I threw Napoli a heater on the outer half earlier in the game and he hit it out. So Mac and I kind of said, 'Hey we're going to try to go in for effect, for a strike, open up that outer-half of the plate.'

        "I was just trying to go inside and it got away. He took some exception to it. It is what it is."

        There was some pushing and shouting, but nothing seriously physical. Nobody was ejected and McCullers ended up striking out Napoli to end the inning.

        "I think anytime somebody throws behind a hitter's head it's going to create some tension," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said "I get that we're playing baseball and it's hard baseball. They had two guys diving and get hit on pads and he gave up a home run to Napoli and then throw behind his head. Yeah, I think that deserves a little anxiety and anger."

        Napoli admitted the incident will only heat up the Rangers-Astros rivalry.

        "Yeah, but what's not fun about that?" Napoli said. "That's how it should be. There's too much, people that are friends, and talking before the game, buddy-buddy. I remember coming up, if we were playing that night, it was time to get down and play a tough game and do what you have to do to win. It's what it should be."

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        • #19
          Brian McTaggart @brianmctaggart
          Astros have three come-from-behind wins when down by 5.

          Prior to this season, they hadn't come back from a 5-run deficit since 5/15/08 at SF

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          • #20
            Jake Kaplan @jakemkaplan
            The Astros' 19-9 start matches their best in franchise history through 28 games. They were also 19-9 in 2006, a season they finished 82-80.

            Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
            Last year, the Astros went 4-15 vs. TEX and lost the AL West by 11 games. This year: 3-0 vs. TEX, and have outscored the Rangers 24-10.

            Steve Grande @AstrosGrande
            Per @EliasSports, Marwin Gonzalez is the 1st player in the modern era (since 1901) to HR in 4 straight starts, each at a different position.

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            • #21
              Brian McTaggart @brianmctaggart
              Jose Altuve on 27th birthday:1,079 hits in 3,775 plate appearances
              Pete Rose on 27th birthday: 903 hits in 3,379 plate appearances

              Correa is hitting .370 with eight extra base hits and nine runs in his last 11 games

              Trout is just 1-for-15 in his career against McCullers, but the hit was a home run.

              Altuve is hitting 410 in road games; Yuli Gurriel at .395

              Astros are second in MLB with 69 runs scored from the seventh inning on this year (Nats have 71).

              Astros have scored 42 runs (7 per game) on 64 hits in their last six games (five wins). The Astros have hit 11 home runs during that span.

              Astros lea.d the AL in average with RISP (.300)

              Correa's RBI single last night was his 7th game-winning RBI in extra innings. No other player has more than 5 since Correa's debut.

              Astros lead MLB in comeback wins (13).

              Jose Atluve has a 16-game game hitting streak at Angel Stadium (since June 22, 2015).

              McCullers' strikeouts per nine innings (10.45) ranks third in AL since 2015 behind Sale (10.67) and Archer (10.46).

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              • #22
                Astros lead the AL in team batting average at .275...

                They were 13th (out of 15) in team BA in 2016 at .247.

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                • #23
                  By defeating the Yankees in New York, the Astros now have the best record in baseball by winning 24 out of 35 games to begin this season including three victories after being down by 5.
                  https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.M...0&h=300Adopter of #98 D. J. Reader

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                  • #24
                    The Astros are definitely a lot of fun to follow this year. I am going to do my best to catch a game or two this summer.

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                    • #25
                      Julia Morales @JuliaMorales
                      It's Derek Jeter Day.
                      Doubleheader, too.




                      Derek Jeter's influence echoes through Astros clubhouse

                      NEW YORK — Growing up in New Mexico, the only major league team Alex Bregman consistently rooted for was whichever happened to be playing against the Yankees.

                      His mother, Jackie, a native of Long Island, N.Y., loved the Bronx Bombers, so Bregman and his younger siblings, sister Jessie and brother A.J., teased her by being contrarians. Their father, Sam, was in on the fun, too — he was raised in Maryland as a fan of the Baltimore Orioles, a longtime Yankees' American League East foe.

                      But there was one important exception to Bregman's anti-Yankees sentiment — Derek Jeter. Like countless others playing at all levels today, the 23-year-old Astros third baseman idolized "The Captain," drawn in by his knack for performing in the clutch and incredible track record of winning. It's no coincidence Bregman wears No. 2.

                      When the Yankees retire that uniform number and unveil Jeter's plaque in the hallowed Monument Park on Sunday night, the home team and those in an expected raucous crowd will be far from the only ones in the building entranced by the moment. Jeter's impact will be felt on the visitors' side, too, as former teammates and former opponents but most of all as fans.

                      Astros shortstop Carlos Correa grew up trying to emulate the iconic Yankee shortstop's signature jump throw. Bregman, a natural shortstop, did the same. First baseman and former middle infielder Yuli Gurriel, a Cuban defector, still cherishes his selection to the same all-tournament team as Jeter at the end of the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic. Jeter is his idol, too, he said.

                      Twelve members of the Astros' active roster played against Jeter before his retirement, as did two on their coaching staff — manager A.J. Hinch and bench coach Alex Cora. Outfielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Brian McCann were teammates of Jeter in 2014, the last of the 14-time All-Star's 20 seasons in pinstripes. McCann will always be able to say he was on deck for Jeter's walk-off single in his final at-bat at Yankee Stadium.

                      "He was a role model for I feel like every kid that played shortstop growing up," Correa said. "He played the game the right away and obviously off the field he was a great guy, as well. He never got into trouble. Your parents want you to follow a guy like him. You watched him play and you fell in love with the way he played the game."

                      The Bregman family is so fond of Jeter that seven or eight years ago they named their white labrador retriever after him. (Their brown lab is named Koufax.) As an LSU freshman Bregman actually met Jeter a tailgate before an LSU-Alabama football game but only for a quick hello. He came into this weekend hoping Beltran would introduce him again Sunday.

                      Correa also hoped to meet the Yankees' all-time hits leader. Relief pitcher Chris Devenski, a shortstop through his junior college days, said he "wouldn't even know what to say" if lucky enough to meet his favorite player on the team he grew up supporting.

                      Outfielder Josh Reddick will never forget the first time he reached second base in a game at Yankee Stadium as a rookie for the Boston Red Sox in 2009. He was just days removed from his debut, his first hit and his first home run. Jeter tapped the 22-year-old Reddick on the back and congratulated him, adding that he had been watching.

                      "I was speechless," Reddick recalled this week.

                      For all his fandom, Bregman saw Jeter play live in person only once, at Arizona's Chase Field against the Diamondbacks years ago when in the area for travel ball. He remembers watching Jeter's dramatic final at-bat at Yankee Stadium on television surrounded by about two dozen friends who had packed into his LSU dorm room.

                      "He was the captain on the field," said Bregman, who regards the famous "flip play" in the 2001 ALDS at Oakland as Jeter's best. "He went about his business the right away and he was a winner."

                      Hinch, the third-year Astros' manager, has long held a personal affection for Jeter. The 42-year-old former major league catcher is the same age as the Yankees legend and graduated high school the same year. Their fathers became friendly while traveling the country to watch their sons play in high school all-star games and showcase events leading to the 1992 draft.

                      Jeter signed out of high school that year — he was drafted sixth, five slots after the Astros took Phil Nevin, as has been well documented — while Hinch bypassed signing as a second-round pick to attend Stanford. They didn't encounter each other again until April 1998 when in Hinch's second series as a big leaguer his A's hosted the Yankees at Oakland's Coliseum.

                      By that point Jeter had already become a superstar, having been the AL's rookie of the year in 1996 and also won the first of his five World Series titles. But during practice he went out of his way to seek out Hinch and offer sympathy for the passing of Hinch's father, who had died of a heart attack when Hinch was a college freshman five years earlier.

                      That's just class and respect for people," Hinch said. "My dad and his dad weren't best of friends. They were in touch a little bit. But it was a meaningful moment in my life as I was watching him grow into a superstar in our game and I was breaking in."

                      Although Hinch admittedly isn't much of a collector, he keeps a bat autographed by Jeter in a case at his home. In Sept. 2014, between when he left the San Diego Padres' front office and joined the Astros as manager, he flew to New York and went to Yankee Stadium to watch Jeter against the Tampa Bay Rays in one of the final home games of the shortstop's career.

                      Early Sunday evening before the second game of a doubleheader, Hinch will have his Astros out in the third base dugout to witness the Jeter Day festivities. After the ceremony, no Yankee will ever be able to wear a single digit uniform number again.

                      "There's not a player on our team that won't have respect for him based on what he did and how he did it," Hinch said. "We'll be on the top step tipping our hat to him."

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                      • #26
                        I believe Jeter was a great shortstop, but primarily because he could Hit well. Defensively, I always felt Adam Everett was much better. Unfortunately he hit near the Mendoza line. The difference defensively was that Jeter made easy plays look spectacular and Everett made spectacular plays look easy.

                        I salute Jeter as a great overall shortstop, but I wince when his defense is called great.

                        ps Two of my favorite players were Roger Metzger and Adam Everett. Both were great shortstops who struggled at the plate. And yeah, they were Astros.
                        Last edited by Marshall; 6 days ago.
                        https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.M...0&h=300Adopter of #98 D. J. Reader

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                        • #27
                          MLB Stat of the Day‏ @MLBStatoftheDay
                          With a win today, the Astros have won 70% of their first 40 games.

                          3 of the last 4 teams to do so have won the World Series.

                          Originally posted by Marshall View Post
                          Two of my favorite players were Roger Metzger and Adam Everett. Both were great shortstops who struggled at the plate. And yeah, they were Astros.
                          Denis Menke(loved that name) was my first SS memory and Dickie Thon was my guy. I was crushed that he was knocked out of the game just as he began to really shine.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by H2O4me View Post
                            MLB Stat of the Day‏ @MLBStatoftheDay





                            Denis Menke(loved that name) was my first SS memory and Dickie Thon was my guy. I was crushed that he was knocked out of the game just as he began to really shine.
                            I don't remember Menke as a player and Thon was there for far too brief a time. He probably would have been a favorite given time.
                            Last edited by Marshall; 4 days ago.
                            https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.M...0&h=300Adopter of #98 D. J. Reader

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Marshall View Post
                              ps Two of my favorite players were Roger Metzger and Adam Everett. Both were great shortstops who struggled at the plate. And yeah, they were Astros.
                              You probably knew this, but I typically turn the TV on for the game and then turn it off... but I just saw that Adam Everett is a coach in our system:

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                              • #30
                                I didn't know that. Thanks for the heads up. I'm glad he's still with us.
                                https://tse3.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.M...0&h=300Adopter of #98 D. J. Reader

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