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Topics - Texifornia

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Talk Zone / ALCS Rotation
« on: October 10, 2019, 11:11:16 pm »
My guesses are:

Game 1: Saturday, 10-12: Greinke
Game 2: Sunday, 10-13:  Verlander
Game 3: Tuesday, 10-15: Cole
Game 4: Wednesday, 10-16: Urquidy / James / Johnny Allstaff
Game 5: Thursday, 10-17: Greinke
Game 6: Saturday, 10-19: Verlander
Game 7: Sunday, 10-20: Cole

I've liked Urquidy's stuff the last couple of times out, so I hope he'll start Game 4, but it could be anybody.

Talk Zone / Historical and horticultural...
« on: October 04, 2019, 09:33:05 pm »
When I look at video of old World Series from the '40s through at least the '60s I notice how poor the field conditions are. In front of the plate it is often all hard pan and there are dead spots in the outfield. After a full season of wear, the groundskeepers of the day were hard pressed to provide a playable surface.

Contrast that to today's postseason with virtually perfect playing surfaces regardless of climate or number of games played.

Historically, baseball's horticulture has never been better.

Talk Zone / Miley's Last Chance
« on: September 26, 2019, 10:07:31 am »
Wade's last start of the regular season might be his last start of the year. Can he and Strom fix whatever it is that has made him so ineffectual over his last four starts? If not, he probably won't be on the 25 man roster next week.

Talk Zone / Milestones
« on: September 18, 2019, 11:32:46 pm »
I've been following this team since I was a wee tyke during the Colt .45 days. As the team and I grew older, I started paying more attention to the standings and statistics.

Around 1969 or 1970 I started making note of the team's 82nd win, or 82nd loss. A winning record was a victory in those days and I always wanted the team to get that 82nd win. Years later, sometime after the All Star break, I started estimating the number of wins needed to win the division. Usually the Astros weren't the one to get it, but I was right in 1980 and again in 1999.

Then came The Troubles and the 63rd win became an annual milestone marked with solemnity.

At last came The Great Redemption and the Crane / Luhnow era. We have seen the greatest milestone of them all: 100 wins for three straight years!

I fuckin' love this team!

Talk Zone / I MUST HAVE IT!
« on: July 21, 2019, 08:53:51 pm »
I am not a fan of all the special hats that almost all teams issue for seemingly everything theses days...

However, these Astros-Apollo 11 hats are freakin' awesome!


Game Zone 2019 / Rangers @ Astros July 20, 2019
« on: July 20, 2019, 07:43:35 pm »
Urquidy has pitched six innings of one-hit, one-run ball. Now 5-1 Astros in the bottom of the sixth.

Talk Zone / World Class Selig Fluffing by Pinwheel
« on: July 10, 2019, 12:07:01 pm »

I've got to run to the vomitorium now...

Beer and Queso / NCAA Div. I Baseball Tournament
« on: May 27, 2019, 08:22:58 pm »
The field of 64 is set. The Big XII is well represented with five of the league's nine teams making the field: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, West Virginia are all regional hosts and Baylor and TCU are regional #2 and #3 seeds respectively.

UCLA is the overall #1 and will have Baylor along with LMU and Omaha in their regional with only Baylor likely to put up much fight. Texas Tech is the overall #8 with Army, Florida, and Dallas Baptist in their Regional to be played in Lubbock. Oklahoma State is the overall #9 and has Harvard, Nebraska, and U Conn. in their regional in Stillwater. Arkansas is an overall #5 seed and has Cal, Central Conn. State, and TCU in their regional in Fayetteville. Finally for the Big XII, West Virginia hosts a regional for the first time. The Mountaineers are a #15 overall seed and have Fordham, Duke, and Texas A&M in their regional in Morgantown.

There are 16 overall seeds each hosting a regional. The first eight overall seeds will host a super-regional if they win their regional.

There are too many SEC teams for my taste and I'm not happy about Texas Tech and Oklahoma State being paired in the same super-regional assuring only one can possibly get into the College World Series. Nevertheless, it is a great field and promises to be some of the most entertaining baseball to be seen all year.

Beer and Queso / Big XII Tournament
« on: May 22, 2019, 02:23:35 pm »
Bricktown OKC:

West Va. beats Kansas in the first game 12-8.

Texas Tech leads 5-1 through 4 innings.

University of Texas did not qualify for the tournament. shakes head

Tech is looking to solidify a top 8 seed in the NCAA; West Va. and Baylor are looking to host a regional, even though I think they've already earned it; TCU just trying to salvage something from the season with an outside shot at making the NCAA tournament.

D1 Baseball has Tech and OKS in the tournament at overall seeds of 7 and 10 with Baylor and WV at regional 2 seeds.

Talk Zone / Corbin Martin
« on: May 11, 2019, 10:59:53 pm » has him listed as the starter on Sunday. He's only got 24.1 innings at AAA, although he's pitched well, and the RR website doesn't even have him on the 40 man roster.

Does anyone have more detail or perhaps have seen him pitch? Presumably he takes Altuve's place on the 40 and 25 man roster and the team goes forward with 13 pitchers, but does this mean McHugh is back to the pen?

Game Zone 2019 / Astros @ Twins - May 2, 2019
« on: May 02, 2019, 12:47:50 pm »
Bregman solo shot only score through 2 innings.

Talk Zone / 1st Place, Fish-slingers, and the schedule so far...
« on: April 25, 2019, 06:06:12 pm »
I've wondered a little about the Fish-slingers and if they have the team to continue to compete for the ALW even though this year was thought to be a rebuild.

Last night after the games I took a look at the extended standings at and noticed that the Astros have played every single game against winning teams. In contrast, Seattle has played only ten games against teams over .500 and are a measly 2-8 in those games. The Angels have the same schedule anomaly as Houston, but are 9-16 while the Astros are 15-9.

I like the Astros' chances.


Talk Zone / ALCS Roster
« on: October 13, 2018, 12:50:39 am »
Astros will carry 12 pitchers. Rondon and Smith are in, Straw and Harris are out.

Talk Zone / The next home game will be...
« on: October 07, 2018, 11:45:37 am »
Thursday, October 11 in a decisive Game 5 against Cleveland or
Saturday, October 13 in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Yankees or
Tuesday, October 16 in Game 3 of the ALCS against Boston.

Planning challenges for players, coaches, team personnel, and fans alike.

Game Zone 2018 / Astros @ Fishslingers August 22, 2018
« on: August 22, 2018, 03:32:08 pm »
Tyler White triples in the first and drives in Correa. Yes, THAT Tyler White. He later scores on a wild pitch.

Charlie Morton demonstrates what to do when your team scores in the top of an inning and shuts down the Fishslingers in the first 1-2-3.

Game Zone 2018 / Astros @ Athletics, Aug. 19, 2018
« on: August 19, 2018, 02:57:20 pm »
Let's go elephant huntin'!

Springer CF
Bregman 3B
Gurriel 2B
Correa SS
White 1B
Marwin LF
Gattis DH
Reddick RF
Maldonado C
Verlander P

Martini LF
Chapman 3B
Lowrie 2B
Davis DH
Olson 1B
Piscotty RF
Semien SS
Canha CF
Lucroy C
Manaea P

Talk Zone / This is Kind of Cool
« on: July 27, 2018, 12:29:40 pm »

Game Zone 2018 / Blue Jays at Astros: June 27, 2018
« on: June 27, 2018, 01:18:57 pm »
Keuchel struggling in the first again.

Talk Zone / The New "Comedy Central"
« on: May 18, 2018, 11:12:07 pm »
After losing to the Astros this evening, the AL Central leading Cleveland Indians are below .500.

Game Zone 2018 / Astros @ White Sox, April 20, 2018
« on: April 20, 2018, 07:42:50 pm »
Astros leave the bases loaded in the 2nd.

Mid 2: 0-0

Game Zone 2018 / Astros @ Fishslingers, April 18, 2018
« on: April 18, 2018, 09:49:09 pm »
Astros score 1 in the top of the 2nd. McCann drives in Marwin from first.

Cole pitching well.

1-0 Astros after 2

Game Zone 2018 / Astros @ Twins April 11, 2018
« on: April 11, 2018, 12:37:03 pm »
1-0 Astros after one.

McCullers struggled with control and left the bases loaded in the first. Bregman with the game's only hit so far.

Talk Zone / The only Western Grapefruit
« on: February 22, 2018, 01:46:15 pm »
I was perusing earlier and it, for the first time, occurred to me that the Astros are alone in the Grapefruit League. No other team from the AL West has ST in Fla.; nor the NL West for that matter.

I wonder if this is a help or hindrance. Division rivals don't get much look at the Astros, but then the converse is true.

Beer and Queso / Big XII Baseball
« on: February 11, 2018, 11:35:07 pm »
Right on the heels of a tremendous Big XII basketball season will follow what looks to be a tremendous Big XII baseball season.

As a Red Raider I'm particularly jacked by what looks like a good shot at another conference title for Texas Tech in a league that will possibly send five teams to the tournament. Tech and TCU look to be the favorites with Tech leaning on their two aces: Gingery and Martin and the Frogs with a potent office lead by Luken Baker. UT will, as always, put a very good team on the field and Baylor, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma are solid programs with good players. Even Kansas State will be competitive in the nine team league (Iowa State does not field a baseball team).

I find the college game very entertaining and it's always fun when your school has a top team. So: Wreck 'em Tech and play ball!

Talk Zone / Beltran Interviews for Yankee Skipper
« on: November 29, 2017, 08:04:47 am »
It seems a bit much to go from player to MLB manager in one year...

...but Beltran may pull it off.

Talk Zone / An Excellent Interview With Justin Verlander
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:58:14 pm »
I was looking for the "Condensed Game Five" on YouTube and ran across this interview with Verlander. I'm not familiar with the show or interviewer but he did a great job.

Talk Zone / Shohei Ohtani
« on: November 14, 2017, 11:47:13 am »
If he were to come to an American League team, the general thinking seems to be that he would pitch in the rotation and DH much of the rest of the time. I've been watching some video and it seems to me he absolutely has Major League stuff. His slider is ridiculous and he has a 100 mph four seam fastball when needed. I'm not entirely sure he can hit at a ML level, but it certainly seems possible.

If he were to come to an AL team, would he bat on the nights he pitches?

If he were to come to an NL team, would he pinch hit on nights he doesn't pitch?

Would you want him on the Astros?

These are questions.

Talk Zone / Charlie Morton Statue: Bronze or Marble?
« on: November 02, 2017, 12:59:51 am »
Humble, focused, unflappable, the calm eye of the storm. Charlie Morton had the most significant pitching performance in the only World Series the franchise has ever won.

So: bronze or marble?

Talk Zone / Colin McHugh
« on: October 20, 2017, 10:52:45 pm »
Start him!
He's got a great attitude and a clear head to go with good stuff and a well-rested arm. Also, the Yankees haven't seen him.

Talk Zone / Which 25?
« on: October 02, 2017, 12:58:03 am »
NLALDS line-up will be interesting. If the Astros win, it can change for the LCS and again for the WS, but the LDS is only best of five series so that may influence the thinking of the Astros' "Brain Trust".

Here's my guess:

13 Players:

12 Pitchers

My prediction is that Keuchel starts game 1. That means he will be the one who will have to pitch on three days rest if there's a game 4, but it also means Verlander would be ready for a Game 5 if necessary on four days rest. Verlander gets the ball in game 2 and McHugh in Game 3 with Peacock / Morton / Musgrove waiting in the wings for the first sign of trouble.

Marwin gives the Brain Trust the flexibility to put 12 instead of 11 pitchers and that helps in any extra inning games or possibly in Game 3.

McCullers is a tough call, but who instead? Sipp? Feliz? Martes? Clippard?

The Championship Season Game Zone 2017 / Astros at LAA of A
« on: September 12, 2017, 09:17:27 pm »
Bottom first. Nothing doing. I'm at the game, perfect weather. V for Verlander and victory.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

McCullers can't find the plate with a map and a lantern.

B2 0 out, bases loaded, 1-0 B'More.

Quick summary:
Astros' dick-stepping gives 'Slingers a run in the 1st. A couple of hits and a sac fly gets the run back in the bottom of the 1st. McCullers settles the fuck down and retires the side in order in the 2nd.

Astros at the plate 1-1 in the 2nd.

Carlitos is not starting....

Talk Zone / Colby Jacks are Coming Back
« on: November 12, 2015, 11:05:08 pm »
Colby Rasmus accepted the Qualifying Offer. I believe it may be the first time ever.

I loved Playoff Colby; how great would it be to have that production all season? I hope he has a great year!

Talk Zone / An Exceptional Pitching Staff
« on: August 23, 2015, 11:49:20 pm »
I've been watching the last few games on the Yahoo Sports quick complete game thing and something that struck me: Every Astro pitcher I saw had wicked breaking stuff; electric even.

I see a roster with six, if not seven legitimate ML starters: Keuchel, Kazmir, McCullers, McHugh, Fiers, Feldman and probably VV. The way all of those guys, including VV are pitching right now, there's not much fall off from #1 to #7 and I can't even try to rank them at this point in the season.

The bully has been every bit as good as the starters. Will Harris has been superb since July; I've never seen Qualls pitch as well as he is currently, and the one-two  punch of Neshak and Gregerson has been solid all year long. VV out of the pen is nasty too and T. Sipp and Perez have been reliable contributors.

The Astros have a very young, but championship caliber pitching staff. I don't know if the line-up can consistently produce against championship caliber pitching, but with this staff they may be able to produce just enough, as they have recently.

Of course, Minute Maid's a pitcher's park...  ;)

Talk Zone / Biggio's Speech
« on: July 26, 2015, 01:54:51 pm »
Craig Biggio's speech was, unsurprisingly, a lead off home run.

One of, if not the best, acceptance speeches I've ever heard.

Talk Zone / FYB Gear
« on: September 26, 2012, 11:31:09 pm »
If there were such a thing available I would certainly be a customer. It's not really my area of expertise, but a decent design and an internet connection is pretty much all that is required.

Talk Zone / Bags does a Winehouse?
« on: May 15, 2012, 11:40:09 pm »
Seems as though Bags went to re-hab but then said no, no, no.

The very last sentence:

She (Rachael Brown) confirmed that she accompanied Bagwell when he recently left a rehabilitation facility where he was being treated for alcohol abuse before he completed the program.

I hope he gets help if he needs it.

Talk Zone / Lil' Andy and the Drama Queen
« on: May 01, 2012, 03:53:19 pm »
When you've got the law, pound the law.
When you've got the facts, pound the facts.
When you've got neither, pound the table.

It appears DQ's lawyers are doing a lot of table pounding.

Talk Zone / Is Crane showing backbone?
« on: March 08, 2012, 12:32:52 pm »
...or is this a result of fan flak?

Over the past few months, the club has been in discussion with Major League Baseball (MLB) about whether to wear the authentic Colt .45s jersey. The original logo features the Colts name and a pistol. The alternative jersey would only have the Colts name on the front of the jersey. This week, MLB informed the Astros that the decision would be left to the ballclub. The Astros organization continues to value fan input, therefore the Astros have been reaching out to fans the past week to get their opinion on this issue.

I've always thought this issue had more to do with Selig trying to assert the same pattern of dominance over Crane that he had over McClane than with any notion of "political correctness".

Talk Zone / The Joust
« on: May 29, 2011, 12:43:06 am »

Talk Zone / 21st Century Snake Oil...
« on: May 03, 2010, 11:37:31 pm »
...and the Astros that buy it:

Allison Footer has a story about some necklaces and bracelets that have become popular with the team:

The company, EFX, makes the claim:
"EFX's holographic technology contains algorithms and frequencies that interact positively with this energy field in both humans and animals at the cellular level. When placed near the body, especially at key energy centers such as the hands and feet, EFX's products will harmonize with the body's naturally occurring bioelectric frequencies."

I'm guessing there are no double blind studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Berkman, among others are big believers. A Rice education is not what it once was.

Talk Zone / The thing I like most about last night's win...
« on: September 28, 2006, 01:59:14 am »
Other than the W itself, is that six pitchers from the pen pitched 10 innings of three-hit shutout baseball, including two innings from Lidge and three from Wheeler.

I don't like it so much that they got used as much as they did (in a 15 inning game a lot of pitchers get used) but if the Astros do advance, they will need this kind of "Bullpen by Committee" thing working. Tonight it worked very well.

I wonder if Sampson was due to get some bullpen work tonight anyway ahead of his start and if so, might that mitigate the effects of his 2.3 innings (27 pitches). I am choosing to believe so in absence of better information.

Talk Zone / What is to become of Lidge?
« on: September 16, 2006, 09:15:46 pm »
His nearly season long nightmare of ineffectiveness seeems to show no signs of abatement.

His trade value must be at or near its low. His contract is fairly substantial (just under $4 million this season, I'm not sure of the escalation for next year).

My guess is that they will give him every opportunity to get right in 2007. If he's not back to being a major league closer caliber pitcher by around the All-Star break, then I believe that the Astros will trade him for anything they can and probably eat a large portion of his salary. By then they will want the roster spot for someone else.

Talk Zone / What Happened to Ensberg?
« on: June 09, 2006, 11:55:41 pm »
I didn't see the game but I noticed on the Gameday that he left the game with 2 out in the top of the 9th with a neck injury. doesn't have anything, does anybody know?

Talk Zone / Wild-Assed Speculation on Lidge
« on: May 04, 2006, 12:23:46 pm »
I have only seen him pitch once on TV this year, so this speculation (not yet upgraded to an opinion) is based on GZ / TZ commentary, and highlights, but I wonder is LIdge tipping his pitches?

His fastball velocity looks good, and although I can't comment on movement, it seems to get hit a lot more than a 97 mph FB should. Sometimes it seems as though hitters are sitting on it. It also seems as though the slider in the dirt for a swinging strikeout has been absent. Perhaps hitters know to lay off of it.

Either by tipping his pitches or perhaps a predictable pitch selection pattern, it seems the hitters know what's coming.

Talk Zone / ESPN Rocket Rumor
« on: December 11, 2005, 11:14:05 pm »
Boston is said to be interested. Clemens said to also be  interested.

I can't say anything's impossible with Clemens, so why not?

Talk Zone / I found my ticket
« on: October 21, 2005, 04:26:18 pm »
Not a game ticket, although my left nut remains on offer for one of them, my betting slip.

Every year for at least the last decade I make a bet on the Astros to win the World Series whenever I visit Vegas close to the beginning of the baseball season. Usually the betting slip disintegrates in my wallet or is lost for year until found during a cleaning binge.

Well, this time I have it. I got 25:1 odds on March 19th, and I made my normal $50 bet.

It's worth $1,250 if the Astros win, but I might be tempted to frame it and hang it on the wall next to other Astro artifacts instead.

It would be a nice decision to have to make.

Talk Zone / Papaw sat down in his easy chair...
« on: October 20, 2005, 01:24:28 pm »
Papaw sat down in his easy chair and turned on his little transistor radio. Papaw took my cousin and I to the Dome so many times to see the Astros, I couldn't count them. We used to sit in the Pavillion, $0.50 tickets for kids, and get there early to get the front row next to the tunnel. Papaw loved going to the games, but when he couldn't he would prefer to listen on radio rather than watch on TV. "I can see the whole field on the radio" he said.

Dad came into the room next, "listenin' to the Astros, Daddy?"."Hey Bubba", said Papaw, "no score yet." Dad sat down in a heap on the sofa and picked up a newspaper. "How they playin' tonight, Daddy?", said Dad. "So far pretty good, pretty good".

Mamaw came in next, "hey Bubba, give me some suge" she said as she kissed my dad on the cheek. "Oh ya'll are listenin' to the Astros" she said, "what's the score?". "We're up 2-0 said Papaw." "That's good," said Mamaw, "Put you ear plug in so I can read my paper". Mamaw loves the Astros but doesn't like the cacaphony of the radio. She prefers to get her game-time reports from Papaw. Dad smiled, "make sure he keeps us up-to-date momma".

"What's the score?"
"What's the score?". "Bubba, ask your daddy what the score is". Papaw had put the earplug into his "good" ear and couldn't hear Mamaw, or so he always maintained. "Daddy, what's the score?", Dad asked, "Huh?" "What's the score?". "It's 3-1 Astros", said Papaw, slightly annoyed at the interruption.

My Aunt B. was the last one to come into the room. We lost her only a few weeks ago to heart failure, after it looked like she was on the mend. "Hi baby, give me some suge" Mamaw said as she came into the room. "Hey sis!", Dad said as he gave her a hug, Papaw blew her a kiss as he listened intently to the game. "Oh y'all are listenin' to the Astros" Aunt B. said, "how they doin'?".

Just then Papaw slapped his knee hard and let out a big "hot dang!". "I TOLD y'all they'd do it some day!"

"What, Daddy?" Dad and Aunt B. asked in unison. "They won!" Papaw said, "The Astros are going to the World Series" he said in that deliberate tone he uses when he's serious.

"Oh that's wonderful," said Mamaw. "Do you think the young'uns know?". "Huh?". "Bubba, ask your daddy if he thinks the young'uns know".

"Momma", Dad said, "don't worry, they know."

Don't worry, Mamaw, we know.

Talk Zone / Andy Pettitte's Vision
« on: October 17, 2005, 02:26:35 pm »
After the 2003 season, Andy Pettitte didn't get the instant love that he expected from the NY Yankees and cast his eye around to other suitable teams. The extraordinarily talented lefty was coveted by virtually every team in baseball. Pettitte looked over the landscape of opportunity and uncertainty and did what many of us would do: he went home.

He came home because he could do something in Houston he could not do anywhere else: pitch his hometown team into the World Series for the first time in history. Pettite's vision was so strong that he convinced his buddy, Roger Clemens, to come out of retirement and come home with him. Together they could do it. They could take the Astros into the World Series.

In 2004 the vision was unrealized. Pettitte went down early with a season ending injury. The team, however, mounted an epic comeback and came within an eyelash of the World Series without Andy. So very, so excrutiatingly, close.

Andy's buddy, Roger, encouraged by the near run in '04 decides to come back one more year to help Andy fulfill his vision. Indeed, pitching the Astros into the World Series is now as much Roger's vision as Andy's.

After game 1 of the 2005 NLCS, there was only one way Andy Pettitte was going to fulfill his vision of pitching his hometown Houston Astros into the World Series in Houston:  great pitching by Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemens, and the rest of the Astro staff.

It has all happened the only way it could have.

Today, October 17, 2005 Andy Pettitte will see his vision with absolute clarity. He will be handed a baseball, the only tool he needs to achieve it.

Talk Zone / Jacob Luft
« on: October 14, 2005, 09:14:09 pm »
Can toss my salad. This self-absorbed tub of goo give the 'Stros the most backhanded compliment I think I've ever read.
The Link

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