Ah, the Fourth of July.
Every year this holiday marks a time of celebration for Americans in our country and around the globe. It inspires visions of sun and trees, of pastimes both old and new as families celebrate what it means to be a member of our great nation. Backyards will be filled with the sights and sounds of food being grilled on an open flame, children laughing and playing, and baseball. Whether on the radio or enjoyed at the ballpark itself, baseball has come to be an integral part of celebrating our country’s birthday for a lot of us. The crack of the bat and the roar of a crowd has become a soundtrack for our nation’s pastime.
Unless you’re an Astros fan. Because they don’t play today. Because the baseball schedule is dumb.
Oh well. I guess you should try and enjoy the day anyways. In the meantime, here are some links to get you through what is now one of the worst Independence Days in living memory:
The Astros did just enough to leave Colorado with a 2-game mini-sweep and 5-game winning streak (Houston Chronicle)
And that game featured Wade Miley wrapping up what’s been an excellent first half for him (Texas Sports Nation)
It was an even better month for Cole and Alvarez however, who respectively nabbed AL Pitcher and Rookie of the Month honors for June (Mission Control)
Speaking of honors, Alex Bregman will once again compete in the home run derby at the ASG (Astros.com)
Here’s a breakdown of Yuli’s two walk off hits in back-to-back games against the Mariners (Twitter - Jomboy)
Please show a little appreciation for Tyler “the Great” White (Astros County)
If the Astros need bullpen answers, why not look internally at rising prospect Willy Collado? (The Runner Sports)
Around the League
Hunter Pence may not be able to play in the ASG due to injury, and he’s got a much better attitude about it than I ever would (Twitter - Mike Leslie)
Jayson Stark handed out cheers and jeers as he determined the best and worst players of the first half of 2019 (The Athletic, $$$)
Bryce Harper made baseball history by logging his 1,000th career hit and 200th career homer on the same swing (MLB.com)
Meanwhile, his former teammate Stephen Strasburg was logging an immaculate inning during a dominant 14 K night (MLB.com)
Sonny Gray seems to be on the path to redemption after being left for dead by the Yankees in the offseason (Sporting News)
The Red Sox are considering placing Nathan Eovaldi in the bullpen to shore up their shaky relief corps (FanGraphs)
Nelson Cruz will get to experience the Fourth of July for the first time as an actual US Citizen (La Vida Baseball)
A recent $2.00 ticket promotion at the Trop gave a view into what could have been if the Rays had maybe taken a fan-first approach (Tampa Bay Times)