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Astros Crawfish Boil: September 30th, 2015

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A potential return to the Olympics for baseball, the first female coach, playoff positioning and Yogi Berra remembered highlight a busy day in baseball news.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Astros News:

Astros’ Scott Kazmir blames bad month on not executing pitches
Kazmir did brilliantly when he first joined the Astros, furthering the success he had with the A’s as he went on to win the American League Pitcher of the Month award for July. But September has been a sour story, with a 6.20 ERA in five starts, with more earned runs allowed (17) in 24 2/3 innings than strikeouts (15).

Despite no batting title, Jose Altuve enjoying this season more than last
"That was one of the best moments in the big leagues I ever had," Altuve said Tuesday. "That was a pretty cool moment. I would say I’d rather be in this situation that I’m in right now. Like, obviously I’m having another good season, but what makes it even better, we’re chasing October."

Lance McCullers bringing the heat in Seattle
Monday night was the third time in rookie Lance McCullers’ major league career his fastball averaged 96 mph, per BrooksBaseball.net’s data. He’s usually at 95 mph.

Breaking down the Astros’ playoff scenarios
A look at the Astros' various scenarios to make the postseason.

The Playoff Picture:

Yankees path to postseason hits speed bump
Michael Pineda gave up six earned runs in the first frame as the Red Sox batted around. It was too much damage for the Yanks, who scored four runs in the bottom half of the frame, to overcome.

Dodgers defeat Giants to clinch NL West title
Reigning MVP Clayton Kershaw pitched the Dodgers to their third consecutive NL West title Tuesday night, besting Madison Bumgarner with a one-hit masterpiece and 8-0 shutout over the defending world champion and arch-rival Giants. The victory -- ending losing streaks of four games overall and seven games at AT&T Park -- pulled the Dodgers one game behind the Mets for home-field advantage in the playoffs, although the Mets own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Blue Jays-Orioles game postponed by rain
The Blue Jays will have to wait at least one more day to clinch the American League East after their game vs. the Orioles on Tuesday night was postponed because of rain. The game will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader on Wednesday. The first game is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET with the nightcap starting approximately 30 minutes after the final out.

Rangers snap skid, reduce magic number
The Texas Rangers went run for run with the Detroit Tigers for three innings before Cole Hamels turned the game into a pitchers' duel, capped by Drew Stubbs' running catch on former Rangers slugger Ian Kinsler's drive to center field for a wild 7-6 victory on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park. The win ended Texas' three-game losing streak and dropped the Rangers' magic number to four with five games to play.

Jeff Samardzija pitches White Sox past Royals
Right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who tossed a one-hit shutout in his previous outing, came back with seven strong innings allowing just two runs, and Adam Eaton slammed a two-run homer as the White Sox held off the Royals for a 4-2 win on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. The Royals fell 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays, who were rained out, in the race for the American League's best record and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Mariners knock Astros from AL Wild Card spot
Shawn O'Malley's two-out, two-run single off reliever Pat Neshek in the eighth inning broke a tie and lifted the Mariners to a 6-4 win over the Astros on Tuesday night at Safeco Field, dropping Houston out of the second Wild Card spot in the American League. The Astros, who fell to 10-16 in September, are one-half game behind the red-hot Angels, who have won seven in a row. The Astros' AL West chances are slipping away. They trail the first-place Rangers by 2 1/2 games with four remaining.

Twins' game in Cleveland postponed due to rain
The contending Twins caught a tough break on Tuesday, as their scheduled game against the Indians was postponed due to rain, and they'll play a traditional doubleheader on Wednesday starting at 3:10 p.m. CT. The Twins, who are 1.5 games back of the Angels for the second American League Wild Card spot, will start right-hander Kyle Gibson in Game 1 and right-hander Mike Pelfrey in Game 2. The Indians will counter with right-hander Carlos Carrasco in the first game and right-hander Cody Anderson in the second game.

Baseball Legend Yogi Berra Remembered By Family, Friends At NJ Funeral
Berra played in more World Series games than any other major leaguer and was a three-time American League Most Valuable Player.

Other Baseball News:

Baseball May Return To 2020 Olympics; Tokyo Organizers Also Want Surfing : The Two-Way : NPR
Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers would like to see baseball, skateboarding and surfing — but not bowling — when they host the Summer Games.

Baseball Another Step Closer To Olympics Return
Baseball was one of five sports Monday recommended for inclusion at the 2020 Olympic Games, meaning the sport is moving closer to returning to the Games for the first time since 2008 in Beijing. The International Olympic Committee makes the final call next August.

Baseball Legend Yogi Berra Remembered By Family, Friends At NJ Funeral
Berra played in more World Series games than any other major leaguer and was a three-time American League Most Valuable Player.

Person, Not Player, Is the Main Focus at Yogi Berra’s Funeral
Transcendence was an overriding theme in remembering Berra at a service in Montclair, N.J., led by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York.

A's hire first female coach in MLB history
The A's announced on Tuesday that Justine Siegal, who a few years ago became the first woman to throw batting practice for a Major League team, will serve as a guest instructor for the club's 2015 Instructional League. Siegal will work with players Oct. 4-17 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex in Mesa, Ariz.