Another game of seemingly wasted ace pitching and offensive futility. Tonight the Astros got only one hit in 11 chances with runners in scoring position.
Oh, but what a hit it was.
Bobby Darin, You’re singing our song.
Tyler, the Great White, call him Mack the Knife, “he has such teeth dear. And when that shark bites, ooo, scarlet billows, they start to spread.”
For the second straight night, an Astros late inning, jack knife home run, right in the back, spread scarlet billows in the shallow waters that were once the San Francisco Giants’ meager playoff hopes.
And maybe just a scarlet tinge in the hopes of our AL West rivals as well.
With injuries currently to six present or former All Star players, the wounded Astros themselves know they are travelling some shark infested waters. Hungry enemies are all about, circling. This would be a perfect time for any team in a similar situation to have one of those dog days of August slumps. But instead it is the reigning champs that are still hungry, who still find a way to win, who still have the killer instinct, “who still have such teeth dear, and show them, pearly White.” Great White that is.
And so, down 1-0 in the eighth inning, against a young relief pitcher throwing hundred mile an hour heat, who in his short career has never even allowed a hit to a right handed batter, Tyler White, with 2 strikes, launched a moonshot, at 40 degrees launch angle, 363 feet to left field, scoring himself and last night’s hero, Marwin Gonzalez. It was all the Astros would need.
Oh, they had other chances. Twice they had lead off triples but couldn’t score. In the sixth inning they had two runners thrown out at home. If not for another clutch home run, this story, like last night’s, would be a story of offensive futility. Instead, its another chapter in the story of Clutch City.
And legendary pitching. With a line up full of the Fresno boys, this is how the Stros will have to win for a while. Last night it was Charlie Freakin Morton’s one run performance. Tonight it was Cy Keuchelangelos.’ And in a one run game, let us not forget the masterpieces by the bullpen; Joe Smith, who inherited a runner on third with one out and got two strikeouts. Or the two combined hitless innings by Collin McHugh, Ryan Pressly and Hector Rondon respectively to preserve the lead, and the win.
Let me add errorless play by an almost ad hoc collection of infielders.
Is it time for some of the skeptics to admit that maybe Tyler White, the 33rd round draft pick from Hillbilly College NC, is maybe not just a AAAA player? In this stretch when the Astros face maximum danger, his seven total bases made a big statement today. Since his most recent call up White is hitting .904 OPS, 150 wRC+, with four home runs in 70 plate appearances.
As one of our reluctant commenters put it:
Well said HH.
Box score and videos here.