WEEK IN REVIEW – APRIL 30 – MAY 6
ASTROS (2-5, 21-15 overall)
Monday, April 30 – Astros 2, Yankees 1
Tuesday, May 1 – Yankees 4, Astros 0
Wednesday, May 2 – Yankees 4, Astros 0
Thursday, May 3 – Yankees 6, Astros 5
Friday, May 4 – Astros 8, D’Backs 0
Saturday, May 5 – D’Backs 4, Astros 3
Sunday, May 6 – D’Backs 3, Astros 1
More solid-to-brilliant starting pitching, solid-to-bad relief work, and the same old hot-and-cold-but-mostly-cold shit from the offense. Not gonna bore you with much more than that.
Nods approvingly at… the starters, once again. Houston’s rotation averaged 7+ innings and almost 9 K’s per game, posted a 1.99 ERA, and left each game with the team in a more than winnable position. (Honorable mention: Yuli Gurriel, whose .393/.393/.464 line for the week was the best of precious few individual offensive contributions that weren’t total shitburgers.)
Looks down nose at… the offense. It’s not often that your pitchers’ ABs don’t significantly drag down your team’s batting average, especially on an AL team… and yet! Astros pitchers combined for a batting average (.222) that was almost identical to the rest of the team (.2227) for the week. In fact, Charlie Morton and career American League pitcher/non-hitter Justin Verlander tallied the same number of hits (two) in four plate appearances that Gattis, Stassi, and Fisher did in 24 plate appearances.
ELSEWHERE IN THE AL WEST…
The Angels (21-13) now have a one-game lead in the division after sweeping the Orioles and winning a three-game series against Mariners (19-14). The M’s opened the week by winning two out of three against Oakland (18-16), who also swept the Orioles this week. The Rangers (13-23) were mostly outclassed by first place teams this week, going 2-5 against the Indians and Red Sox.
ELSEWHERE IN MLB…
The Dodgers (15-19) may have thrown a no-no this week, but they’re as good as done with Corey Seager out for the year and Kershaw now headed for the DL. Kershaw’s stint isn’t expected to be disastrous, but it’s still yet another injury piled onto an already banged up Dojer squad. Also, fuck the Dodgers.
The fucking Yankees stayed hot after going to Houston, sweeping the Indians and pulling to within a game of Boston. The Indians have sunk to .500, yet still maintain first place in a sorry AL Central that has a total run differential of -141.
Three divisions (AL West, NL Central/East) have four teams above .500.
Fuck the Cubs, who have lost five straight. And while we’re at it, fuck the NL Central-leading Turds.
THE WEEK AHEAD – MAY 7-13
The Astros get a chance to lick their wounds against teams currently looking up at them in the standings, before beginning a very challenging stretch of games that lasts well into June.
Astros @ A’s – May 7-9
Season series: Astros 2-1
Schedule and Probables
Monday, May 7, 9:05pm CDT
Dallas Keuchel (1-5, 3.98) vs. Brett Anderson (0-0, 2.84)
Tuesday, May 8, 9:05pm CDT
Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1, 3.73) vs. Sean Manaea (4-3, 1.63)
Wednesday, May 9, 1:35pm CDT
Gerrit Cole (3-1, 1.42) vs. Daniel Mengden (2-3, 4.30)
Anderson is a new face this time around, having been called up from the minors within the past week after Kendall Graveman was demoted. His first major league action of the season went well, lasting into the 7th inning and giving up two runs on just 80 pitches. The Astros have very limited work (only 19 AB) against Anderson, but the small sample size is good: .368/.400/.947. Manaea kept the Astros in check for seven innings en route to an 8-1 victory, and since then he gave up four runs to the Mariners over six innings. The Astros
gave Mengden a moustache ride teed off against Mengden, not allowing him to escape the third inning. He held the Orioles to one run in five innings last week.
Keuchel was the losing pitcher against Manaea, allowing six runs in seven innings. McCullers blanked the A’s for seven innings while the bats broke out the lumber, and Cole took a no-decision after three runs and 12 K’s in 6.2 innings.
Rangers @ Astros – May 11-13
Season series: Astros 4-3
Schedule and Probables
Friday, May 11, 7:10pm CDT
Cole Hamels (1-4, 3.94) vs. Charlie Morton (4-0, 2.16)
Saturday, May 12, 6:10pm CDT
Doug Fister (1-3, 4.02) vs. Justin Verlander (4-1, 1.17)
Sunday, May 13, 1:10pm CDT
Matt Moore (1-4, 7.67) vs. Dallas Keuchel (1-5, 3.98)
Hamels has faced the Astros twice now and both starts were decent, at or near quality-start level. His lone win is the only game of his that the Rangers have won. Fister went only five innings against the Astros in the second game of the season but got the win anyway. He spent two weeks on the DL in mid-April, and since coming back he had two decent/good starts before getting lit up by the Red Sox this past weekend. Moore allowed four runs to the Astros over four innings to start the season. In six starts he has pitched past the fifth inning just once and allowed fewer than three earned runs just once (same game). The Indians blasted off against Moore last week, notching ten earned runs on eleven hits in just four innings.
Morton has not seen the Rangers yet this season, but in 2017 he was 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA in two starts against them. Verlander has fucking owned
everyone Arlington this year, allowing just one run on five hits and three walks in 14 innings. Keuchel lost a quality start in his only appearance against the Rangers this year.