My dear friends and fellow Houston Astros fans. After our beloved team got swept at home by the Seattle Mariners, and saw the AL West lead shrink to only one game over the Oakland A’s, how many of you felt a little bit like this:
The long night of the soul is over. Looks like it’s gonna be a lovely day. (Bill Withers)
You see, when you’re the World Champions there is only so much humiliation you can take. And then you kick ass. And maybe a little face too.
After losing five straight games at home, and only scoring 8 runs in the last four of them, the Astros finally said ENOUGH! We are not docile prey. We are predators. And what they left of the Rockies tonight was just a dry carcass
After hitting no home runs in the last four games, the Astros exploded for five tonight. Two of them were by the Shark, two others by the Bear.
They had 11 hits in all, including four doubles. That’s thirty total bases. A dry carcass? The Astros left only two runners on base, so hungry were they for every run they could score. The famished Astros had a feeding frenzy tonight.
Here’s Tyler White’s second home run. It was his fourth in his last 24 plate appearances.
Shark Fact No. 38: A Great White Shark has a bite force of 4,000 psi, that is 10 times the bite force of a lion. pic.twitter.com/HFvCS8ds2C— Houston Astros (@astros) August 16, 2018
Here’s the White Bear, Evan Gattis, perhaps the hungriest Astro of all, breaking his recent 0-20 slump with two dingers.
One for the fans in left, one for the fans in right. pic.twitter.com/3B9Mwzy4vv— Houston Astros (@astros) August 16, 2018
And who got the scoring started tonight? The white cold, just back from DL Captain, Carlos Correa. Here is his three run double from the clean up position in the first inning.
#Astros strike first!#NeverSettle pic.twitter.com/sRsmHQ5p3Y— Houston Astros (@astros) August 16, 2018
Add a home run from Yuli Gurriel, doubles by Alex Bregman, Gurriel, Tony Kemp, and a smash single by Kyle Tucker and you see, almost everyone got their teeth into the prey tonight.
What about the pitching you ask. Well they’re pretty frickin frustrated too. They’ve been doing their job, but all they’ve got to show for it over the last five days is an L after their names.
On a night when he didn’t need to, Gerrit Cole had one of his best nights in a season full of remarkable performances. He allowed one run in six innings and got 12 strikeouts and no walks. (Last night Justin Verlander in a losing performance had 11 K’s and no walks) Cole had a 23% whiff rate and a 70 game score. He was both overpowering and precise, throwing 64 strikes out of 84 pitches.
Cole now has 219 strikeouts for the season, which ties him with Chris Sale for the AL lead, two K’s ahead of Justin Verlander. Charlie Morton is seventh in the AL just behind Corey Kluber and Luis Severino.
You don’t think these Astros starters aren’t just a little hungry too. Try this.
Let's do this. #NeverSettle pic.twitter.com/JxZtGnJVWA— Houston Astros (@astros) August 16, 2018
The bullpen added five K’s to Cole’s 12 totaling 17 strikeouts for the combined Astros pitching staff.
It was even a night of defensive brilliance. Watch Carlos Correa operating out of the shift in the ninth inning
...how? @TeamCJCorrea pic.twitter.com/OjHKmrCYqo— Houston Astros (@astros) August 16, 2018
And you know what else? The A’s lost today in extra innings. Confidence renewed, the Astros, probably with George Springer back, are going to Oakland this Friday to show the pretenders who the champions are.
Box score and videos here.