Because it's the All Star Break, we'll lead off with a few recaps of the season thus far from the Chronicle. Don't worry, though, we'll have all the mid-season wrap up stuff soon enough (i.e. we'll give you numbers and stuff to think about ):
- JJO starts us off with his thoughts on what it means for the Astros to be .500 at the All Star Break and gives us a nice little quote from Coop:
- Richard Justice, for the first time that I recall, admits that he through the Astros under the bus at one point, but is now firmly back behind them...unless they suck it up again. All in all though, I think he sums it all nicely:
- The Nats couldn't figure out the enigma that is Brian Moehler (6.1 IP, 7 H, 0 ER) and end the first half with a crisp 26-61 record. I'm more surprised that the Astros are at .500.
- Wandy Rodriguez will get the nod to start Thursday against the Dodgers per McTaggart.
- The Unofficial Scorer digs through some numbers to demonstrate why it would probably be best if Russ Ortiz didn't make a fuss about his spot in the starting rotation (Bud Norris, are you reading?).
- All of the reactions to the Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur trade have provide me a great ab work out from the convulsive laughing, but I think this piece, more than any other, will forever make grateful that Omar Minaya is not our GM.
- Some fascinating work on trying to determine warning signs for starting pitcher injuries from BtB.
- Over at the Dream Shake, they're actually having to defend Daryl Morey. Apparently there aren't a lot of crossover Rockets/Astros fans because I salivate when I consider having a front office and owner like the Rockets have.
"So we're going to have to come out with fire, come out playing consistent baseball. We talked about it a little bit earlier today about details. Taking care of details and being more focused on the little things. That's what we have to do in order to be successful.
From seemingly coming apart at the seams to within shouting distance of first place. All things considered, 44-44 ain't half bad. The Astros have two more losses than the Cardinals and Cubs, one more than the Brewers. The last time the Astros were 3 1/2 games or less out of first was 2003 when they had a one-game lead. This is the same team that was twice nine games under .500, so this has been an impressive turnaround. Before you say it, let me interrupt to say that the Astros are only a .500 team and that they could still lose 118 games.Shyster Ball had this to add:
While we get to digesting the first half, enjoy tonight's Home Run Derby.