Is it the Beard?
Is it the hoodie?
Is it the home run hugs?
I don’t know what it is, but whatever it is, order me one of whatever it is he’s having.
The week of the White Bear continues. Evan Gattis, MLB player of the week. Bet that one in Vegas. Don’t even wait for the voting.
With his team down 3-2, against an opposing pitcher who had him all tied up earlier with two strike outs, comes to the plate El Oso Blanco, the Gnome, the Lumberjack, to get another shot in the top of the sixth, this time with the bases loaded.
Royals pitcher Jacob Junis, with two strikes, threw a fastball in the high outside part of the strike zone.
Really? Are you kidding?
We call him the Bear, but on a pitch like that he’s more like a cat. His bat pounced so fast at that pitch you could barely see it. Before you could blink that baseball was 405 feet into left center field, and four Astros runners were making the victory trot across home plate.
Regicide in KC. Evan Gattis, guilty as charged.
Screw player of the week. Maybe Evan Gattis should be considered for player of the month. Since May 12th he has 13 home runs, 38 RBI, a .716 slugging percentage, and a 1.062 OPS. In his last four games he has four home runs and 14 RBI. His 46 RBI now lead the Astros, even though before May 12th he only had 8.
Keep wearing that hoodie in the +90 heat, even if you are a polar bear.
Hey, Gattis didn’t do it alone. In the fourth Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa got to Junis with solo home runs, for Bregman his 9th, and for Correa his 12th. His home run traveled 455 feet at 112.8 mph.
Charlie Morton had a nice bounce back game after the recent fiasco in Arlington, where he walked six and hit four in 3.1 innings. It was a quality start for Morton, now 8-1, but he again suffered some control issues, although in this game mostly missing on close pitches. In the fourth he gave up a single and a walk before floating a fat curve up to Mike Moustakis, who doubled in both base runners.
In the sixth he walked in a run after his third straight walk, but got Salvador Perez to ground into a double play started by third baseman Alex Bregman.
Then the Bear started dancing.
Except for the walks, and it did seem he got squeezed at times, Morton had good stuff tonight, recording 9 K’s and 17 whiffs in 98 pitches, 65 for strikes. Welcome back Charlie.
Tony Sipp, Brad Peacock, and Collin McHugh finished the pitching chores, each recording a scoreless inning.
It was the Astros’ ninth straight win, and guarantees they remain in first place ahead of the Seattle Mariners, who are playing the Red Sox as I write.
It was the ninth straight game in which the Astros had nine or more hits. Josh Reddick, Correa, Gattis and Tony Kemp all had two hits tonight, and this is the third straight game in which Tony Kemp has had at least 2 hits in a game.
Tomorrow the Astros play a day game in Kansas City at 1:15 CDT. Dallas Keuchel, who will try to regain his mojo, faces Danny Duffy.
Box Score and videos here.