There has been much discussion lately of the proper approach to the Baseball Gods (BBGs). Let us be clear: one’s attitude toward the BBGs must always default to humility, trepidation, and respect.
With that being said: Folks… enjoy this.
Yes, there are mistakes made. No, not every single game will be a win. Of course, every team finds a whipping boy (hi, Mike Fiers!) But the bigger picture is that this team is enjoying a run that we haven’t seen since the late summer of 2005 – and that’s about right; if you’re lucky, you get to experience this kind of baseball maybe once a decade.
Speaking from a personal place – this run could not come at a better time. My son is 7, and turning 8 this summer. That’s a great age, and for me (and, I am guessing, for many of you readers), that is the age when you really start coming to understand baseball – how the game works, what you should be watching, and maybe even how much one (or both) of your parents love it. So when you have a special run (or BBGs willing, a special season) come a long at that perfect age when you could absolutely fall in love with the sport… well, you just thank your lucky stars, and you enjoy the ride.
What happened in the last series?
The Astros set a franchise record for series of any length by scoring 40 runs in only 3 games. Poor Twins… they averaged scoring over 5 runs per game, and still managed to lose by 8 runs a game.
The Rangers dropped 2 of 3 at home to the Rays, as their bullpen continues to make Minnesota’s look like the Nasty Boys reborn.
Friday, June 2 – 7:10 PM CDT
Keuchel (8-0, 1.81) at Darvish (5-3, 2.97)
Don’t blink, or you could miss this one; it could easily finish in under 2 hours. You know the deal with Darvish. He owns the Astros. Current Astros are only 25/120 (.208) with 38 strikeouts against Yu. Springer has somehow managed 5/12 with 2 HR, but the rest of the team… yikes. The Astros missed Yu last time around.
Fortunately, the Rangers aren’t much better against Keuchel. Current Rangers are 57/242 (.236) with 50 K and only 3 HR for Keuchel’s career. Beltre and Napoli have been decent, but the Bearded One has kept Odor in his place, at 2 for 25 with 6 strikeouts. Keuchel’s turn did not come up in the earlier series this year.
Saturday, June 3 – 6:15 PM CDT
McCullers (6-1, 2.48) at Cashner (2-4, 2.92)
LMJ has not found success against the Rangers; they are 19/55 (.345) with 3 HR against the youngster. Andrus has gone 4/8, and Napoli 5/8 (with 2 HR)… but again, Odor is only 2/9 with 2 strikeouts. McCullers seems to have figured out how to pitch on the road, so let us hope that he overcomes his Rangers issues as well. McCullers did go 6 1/3 with 6 hits and 2 runs allowed in his first start against Texas this year.
Cashner has pitched well but with zero run support. Current Astros sport a 15/61 (.246) line with no homers against Cashner. Aoki (5/16) and McCann (3/8) have found success, so look for Hinch to stack all the lefties he can for this lineup. Cashner pitched into the 7th, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) and taking the loss in a 3-0 Astros win on May 1.
Sunday, June 4 – 2:05 PM CDT
Peacock (2-0, 2.13) at Perez (2-5, 4.19)
I thought the Rangers played Sunday nights because they couldn’t figure out how roofs or air conditioning work?
Anyways, the Rangers have hit Peacock pretty hard, with a 21/65 (.323) line that includes 4 homers. On the other hand, they’ve had a .395 BABIP, so there does seem to be a fair bit of luck involved, and Peacock is looking better this year. Look out for Beltre (7/15, 3 HR) and Odor (4/7, 1 HR). Peacock threw 2 innings of 1 run relief earlier this season against Texas.
The Astros will flip to their right handed lineup for the lefty Perez, who holds a 39/147 (.265) line against current Astros – again, no homers in the bunch. Altuve has gone 10/27 (.370) with 6 doubles, and Gattis has a 7/16 (.438) mark with a triple. Also look for Marisnick who has gone 5/14 with 3 doubles. The Astros did not face Perez in the first series.