Wednesday, 10:03am Pacific, 1:03 pm Eastern: Astros outfielder George Springer appears in The Jungle and does a great interview.
Wednesday, roughly 8:00pm ET: Astros at Braves. Following a rain delay, George Springer leads off the game with a single. He advances to third on a Jose Altuve single and scores on a single by Evan Gattis.
Top of the 5th: Springer hits an RBI single, advances to second on a single by Altuve, steals third, and scores on a double by Josh Reddick.
Top of the 7th: Springer hits the go-ahead RBI single, steals second, and scores on a double by, you guessed it, Altuve.
3 for 5, 2 RBI, 3 runs scored, and his first 2 stolen bases of the season. Jungle Karma? You tell me. I’m just presenting the evidence. The guy shows up, does a great interview, and has a great game. And the Astros smash the Braves again.
Beat Atlanta 16-4 Tuesday night and 10-4 last night. Completed a two-game sweep in Atlanta where they outhit the Braves 35-16 and outscored them 26-8.
The Astros are the team everyone thought the Cubs would be – good starting pitching and a lineup that flat-out mashes. Every spot in the order had a hit last night. They had 16 hits in a game where all-star shortstop Carlos Correa didn’t even play. Marwin Gonzalez, the ultra-utility player, filled in for him and went 2 for 5 with 3 RBI.
They’ve had three straight games with 7 doubles. They have the most home runs in the majors and the fewest strikeouts in the majors. And I know that home runs and strikeouts are crude numbers, so let me drop a little analytics on you: the have three of the top five players in the American League in WAR. TAKE THAT FOR DATA.
I’m not going to be the guy who says on July 6th that the race for the best record in the American League is over, but the race for the best record in the American League is over.
Houston’s 31 games over .500. I repeat, 31 games over .500. They’re the first team to be more than 30 games over .500 before the All-Star break in more than a decade. They have a 16-game lead in the AL West. That’s not even competitive. That’s a boat race.
They’re nine games better than the second-best team in the American League. Before yesterday’s game, manager A.J. Hinch was asked how he goes about dealing with a massive division lead this early in the season, he said: “Just watch us play, and we’ll demonstrate that we’re going to play every day to win.”
The Dodgers are playing out of their minds right now and they’re the only ones keeping me from just handing the trophy to the Astros right now. And they’re doing it despite the fact that their ace, Dallas Keuchel, hasn’t pitched in more than a month. Hinch also said: “They have so many elite qualities about themselves as a group that I have zero concern. [This is a] great team to be around. Obviously, we’ve got a long season ahead still, and it’s easy to kind of push things forward when we have some things going that we have.”
Truth. And yes, there are plenty of teams who’ve had great regular seasons and no trophies to show for it. But that’s a conversation for another time. Right now, on July 6th, with just under three full months left in the season, it’s time to admit the regular season is over.