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World Series - Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros - Game Five

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Astros Crawfish Boil: December 27, 2023

It’s Wednesday. Time to make the donuts.

Yimi Garcia
| Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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It’s time for another Crawfish Boil, along with the 57th chapter of Everystros.

Houston Astros News

Merry Christmas Astros’ Fans (Chipalatta)

Veteran catcher Maldonado agrees to 1-year deal with White Sox — we all knew that Martín would find a willing dance partner.

“He might literally be the worst player in the league” (Sportskeeda, on Maldonado, cause there ain’t much out there today)

AL West News

A’s — Oakland Athletics wrap up the holidays without much to show for themselves (White Cleat Beat)

M’s — What the signing of DH Mitch Garver means for the Mariners and what’s to come next (Union Bulletin)

Halos — Multi-time Angels Gold Glover announces his retirement (Larry Brown Sports) — to wit, Andrelton Simmons

Mall Cops — The Rangers’ wild-but-true trade for Josh Sborz that is frozen in franchise history (The Athletic)

MLB News

The Top 10 bloopers of 2023 — the eagerly awaited “top 10 bloopers” of the year.

Yanks acquire righty Morris, send Florial to Guardians

Adam Wainwright Explains the Sweeper: A Close Reading (Fangraphs)

pitchers have been exceeding those slider averages since the days when the Minnesota starter was more Sonny than Gray - Tess Taruskin, in a perfect turn of phrase

Houston Astros Birthdays

CF Michael Bourn (41)

LHP Nate Bland (49)

IF Craig Reynolds (71)

OF Byron Browne (81)

1B Norm Larper (1930-2007)

C Ryan Johnson (23)

Everystros LVII

297. Ron Brand (Bagwell score negative-5.26) is a five-foot-seven catcher and left-side infielder from Los Angeles, CA. Born on January 13, 1980, he made the first of his major league appearances in 1963 with the Pittsburgh Pirates (.288/.390/.364, one home run, seven RBI). On November 30, 1964, the Pirates left Brand exposed in rule 5, and lost him to the Colt .45s.

Between 1965 and 1968, Brand appeared in 300 games for the Houston Astros. Utilized mainly as a catcher (223 games, 182 starts, 1712 13 innings, 1388 putouts, 110 assists, 11 errors, .993 fielding percentage, 36 percent CS-rate, 49 gunned down in 136 attempts), he also played 48 innings at third base, (no errors), 61 innings in left field (no errors), 71 innings at second base (.975 fielding percentage), and one inning in right field (no errors).

As a hitter, Brand went 187-for-810, with 18 doubles, four triples, and two home runs for an ISO of just .039. He drew 60 walks against 75 strikeouts, scoring 68 times and driving in 69 runs. He stole 15 bases in 23 attempts, with 46 multiple-hit games.

On April 14, 1965, Brand hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh inning, then added another two-run single in the 11th, later scoring in a 7-6 win against the New York Mets. On June 4, he hit a three-run go-ahead home run in the ninth inning of a 5-2 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. On July 2, he hit a leadoff single in the fifth and a two-run game-tying single in the eighth, in a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On April 29, 1966, Brand hit a game-tying RBI-single in the ninth inning of an eventual 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves. On July 14, 1968, he reached base on a second-inning error and later scored, drew a walk in the eighth, then drove in Denis Menke on a 10th-inning double with the eventual game-winning run in a 5-4 triumph against the Cincinnati Reds.

On October 14, 1968, the Montreal Expos chose Brand in the expansion draft. He played three seasons with the first non-American team, between 1969 and 1971 (222 games, .247/.308/.290, 30 RBI). After his playing career, Brand eventually went into coaching. In the mid-90s, he joined the New York Yankees as an area scout.

296. Mike Madden (Bagwell score negative-5.21) is a six-foot-one left-handed pitcher from Denver, CO. Born on January 13, 1957, he was a third-round choice in 1976 for the Pittsburgh Pirates out of William J. Palmer High School. Madden didn’t sign with the Bucs, eventually inking a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1979. On September 3, 1982, the Brewers sent Madden, Kevin Bass, and Frank DiPino as PTBNLs to complete an earlier trade to Houston for Don Sutton.

Madden played four seasons with the Astros, totaling 194 innings pitched. He was 12-10 overall with a 3.94 ERA. He gave up 99 runs (85 earned) on 198 hits and 113 walks, also striking out 119 with a 3.89 FIP and a 1.603 WHIP. He went three-for-37 with two RBI and a run scored, and fielded at .971 with one error in 34 chances.

On May 25, 1983, Madden struck out five and allowed just one hit over six shutout innings in a start against the Cubs, in an eventual 1-0 win over Chicago. On August 2, he struck out six and allowed one run on three hits over eight frames, earning no decision in a 4-2 win against the San Diego Padres.

295. Donne Wall (Bagwell score negative-4.66) is a six-foot-one pitcher from Potosi, MO. Born on July 11, 1967, he was an 18th-round selection of Houston in 1989, out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Wall reached the major leagues with the Astros in 1995 and spent three seasons at baseball’s top level. Overall, he was 14-14 with a 5.00 ERA, a 4.54 FIP, and a 1.440 WHIP. He pitched 216 innings and allowed 134 runs (120 earned) on 256 hits and 55 walks, with 140 strikeouts.

On September 18, 1995, Wall struck out seven in 7 23 innings, giving up one run on six hits and no walks for a 70 GameScore, in a 3-1 Houston win against the Chicago Cubs. On May 19, 1996, Wall struck out seven in 8 23 innings, allowing three runs on three hits and somehow earning no decision in a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. On June 5 he went the distance in a 4-1 win against the Colorado Rockies, striking out nine and allowing five hits. On July 20, he gave up one run in eight innings and struck out another seven in a 2-1 victory against the Atlanta Braves.

On June 2, 1997, Wall struck out nine over seven shutout innings, allowing five hits in a 2-0 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He went 12-for-68 as a hitter, with one double and one RBI, and fielded at .942 with three errors in 52 chances over 216 innings.

294. Peter Munro (Bagwell score negative-4.27) is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Flushing, NY. Born on June 14, 1975, he was a sixth-round choice of the Boston Red Sox in 1993 out of Benjamin N. Cardazo High School. By the time he made the majors in 1999, he was with the Toronto Blue Jays. He played two seasons with the team (1-3, 6.00, 81 IP, 54 K).

On November 28, 2001, the Astros signed Munro through free agency. He eventually played three seasons with Houston, as a starter in 2002, a reliever in 2003, and again as a starter in 2004. Overall, he was 12-16 with a 4.49 ERA, a 4.38 FIP, and a 1.481 WHIP. Munro gave up 126 runs (117 earned) on 272 hits and 75 walks, striking out 135 in 234 13 innings in total. He went five-for-55 with four walks and three RBI, fielding at .980 with one error in 49 chances.

On July 13, 2002, Munro kept the Reds to one unearned run on six hits and a walk, striking out a pair of batters in seven innings of a 2-1 win over Cincinnati. On June 18, 2004, he kept the Angels scoreless on three hits and a walk over 6 13 innings, in an eventual 5-0 win against Anaheim.

293. Jim Crawford (Bagwell score negative-4.88) is a six-foot-three left-handed pitcher from Chicago, IL. Born on September 29, 1950, he was a 14th-round choice in 1968 by the San Diego Padres out of high school. Instead of signing, he pursued higher education. In 1972 the Astros selected Crawford in the 14th round out of Arizona State University.

Crawford made his major league debut with the 1973 Astros (2-4, 4.50, 70 IP, 56 K), spent the 1974 campaign back in the majors, and rejoined the Astros bullpen in 1975 (3-5, 3.63, 86 23 IP, 37 K).

Crawford went 5-9 with a 4.02 ERA over his two seasons with the team. He gave up 81 runs (70 earned) on 161 hits and 70 walks, striking out 93 in 156 23 innings. He went eight-for-30 from the plate with two doubles and three RBI, He fielded at .927 with three errors in 41 chances during his stay.

On June 6, 1973 Crawford earned a victory by pitching five nearly perfect innings, striking out two and giving up only one hit, facing the minimum in a 4-3, 10-inning win against the Philadelphia Phillies. On August 8, 1975, he relieved Doug Konieczny in the first inning, and pitched the final 8 13 innings for the win. He kept the Pirates scoreless on four hits and one walk, striking out three in a 5-3 win over Pittsburgh.

On December 6, 1975, Crawford was traded with Milt May and Dave Roberts to the Detroit Tigers for Terry Humphrey, Miark Lemongello, Gene Pentz, and Leon Roberts. Crawford pitched three seasons with the Tigers (10-19, 4.62, 274 23 IP, 183 K).

292. Yimi García (Bagwell score negative-4.14) is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Moca, DR. Born on August 18, 1990, he reached the major leagues for the first time in 2014 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, eventually playing five seasons (5-11, 3.66, one save, 159 23 IP, 166 K). Garcia also played for the Miami Marlins for two seasons (6-7, 2.63, 51 1/3, IP, 54 K).

On July 28, 2021, García was traded by Miami to the Astros for Bryan De La Cruz and Austin Pruitt. García played in 23 games for Houston, striking out 25 in 21 13 innings. He walked five and surrendered 15 runs (13 earned) on 18 hits, pitching to a 5.48 ERA and a 1-2 record. Opponents slashed .225/.271/.375. On September 22, García entered with the bases loaded and one out, with a tie score in the bottom of the 10th. He induced a double-play out of David Fletcher to end the threat and followed with a perfect 11th to earn the win, in a 9-5 decision over the Los Angeles Angels.

In the 2021 postseason, García pitched in 10 games for Houston, allowing seven runs on nine hits and three walks over nine innings. He struck out eight. After the season, the Astros granted his free agency. He joined the Toronto Blue Jays (7-9, 3.61, 127 IP, 137 K) for two seasons, and remains on their 40-man roster.

291. Ed Herrmann (Bagwell score negative-4.58) was a six-foot-one lefty-hitting catcher from San Diego, CA. Born on August 27, 1946, he made his first appearance at the major league level with the 1967 Chicago White Sox, and played seven seasons with the club (643 games, .244/.317/.381, 68 home runs, 237 RBI, 1974 All-Star Team). He later played with the 1975 New York Yankees (80 games, .255/.309/.410, six home runs, 30 RBI) and the 1976 California Angels (29 games, .174/.278/.370, two home runs eight RBI).

On June 6, 1976, the Angels sent Herrmann to the Astros for Mike Barlow and Terry Humphrey. In 79 games to close the season, Herrmann hit .204/.273/.268 with three home runs and 25 RBI. He drew 22 walks and struck out 40 times. Defensively, he caught 660 13 innings for the Astros, fielding at .987 and throwing out 27-of-93 would-be base-stealers, a 29 percent clip, or 88 CS+.

Herrmann started 75 of Houston’s final 105 games of the season behind the plate for Houston and had multiple-hit games 11 times. On July 18, he had a five-hit game, with four singles, a home run, and four RBI in a 7-6, 10-inning win against the Montreal Expos. Six days later, he hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth inning against the Giants, in a contest eventually won by the Astros over San Francisco, 5-4 in 12 innings.

Herrmann remained with Houston in 1977, but saw his playing time drastically reduced, although his batting line merited more. He hit .291/.352/.354 in 56 games, with one home run and 17 RBI. On August 12, he hit a game-tying RBI-double in the ninth inning, although the Astros lost, 5-4 to the San Diego Padres. On August 26, Herman hit another pinch-hit game-tying RBI-double, with Houston eventually defeating the Expos, 6-5 in 10 innings. As a defender, he logged a .990 in 387 innings catching, and caught 15-of-60 basestealers, a 25 percent success rate, 71 CS+.

Herrmann opened 1978 with the Astros, going four-for-36 in 16 contests, including 11 starts. On June 9, 1978, the Expos purchased Herrmann’s contract from Houston. He finished the season and his baseball career playing for Montreal, going seven-for-40 in 19 games.

290. Josh FIelds (Bagwell score negative-3.52) is a six-foot right-handed pitcher from Athens, GA. Born on August 19, 1985, he was a second-round choice of the Atlanta Braves in 207 out of the University of Georgia. He chose not to sign, finishing college instead. The next year, the Seattle Mariners chose him in the first round, 20th overall. He was moved to the Boston Red Sox in 2011 as part of a three-team deal also involving the Los Angeles Dodgers. After a 2012 season that would not see Fields graduate to the majors, the Astros chose him in the rule 5 draft.

Fields pitched three seasons for the Astros, and part of a fourth. He was 9-10 with five saves, a 4.53 ERA, and 197 strikeouts in 159 innings over 143 games, with a 2.91 FIP and a 1.258 WHIP. He didn’t have a plate appearance, and was perfect in 13 fielding chances.

On August 5, Fields struck out four over 1 13 perfect innings for his first save of the season, a 2-0 win against the Red Sox. On September 5, he posted another 1 13 perfect innings for his third save of the year, in a 3-2 triumph over the Oakland Athletics.

In 2014, Fields would pitch at a 1.14 aLI for the Astros, and let eight-of-22 inherited runners cross the plate. On July 7, he struck out the side in a perfect inning in a 12-7 win against the Texas Rangers. On July 20, he duplicated the trick in an 11-7 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Fields struck out 70 in 54 23 innings for the team, going 4-6 with four saves, a 1.226 WHIP, and a 4.45 ERA. In 2015, he whiffed 67 in 50 23 innings, going 4-1 in 54 games with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP. His leverage decreased to 0.87 aLI, and six-of-25 inherited runners scored.

In 2016, Fields appeared in 15 games in relief for Houston through the first part of the season, striking out 20 in 15 23 innings with a 6.89 ERA and a 1.660 WHIP. On August 1, 2016, he had his best day for Houston when he was traded straight up to the Los Angeles Dodgers for....Yordan Álvarez.

Fields went on to post an 8-2 record with a 2.61 ERA for Los Angeles, with 115 strikeouts in 117 13 innings. He didn’t appear after the 2018 season. Yordan, meanwhile, has also been pretty good.

289. Doug Fister (Bagwell score negative-3.00) is a six-foot-eight right-handed pitcher from Merced, CA. Born on February 4, 1984, he was initially a 49th-round choice for the San Francisco Giants in 2003 out of Merced College. He was subsequently chosen in the sixth round in 2005 by the New York Yankees out of Calfornia State University at Fresno, and the Seattle Mariners in the seventh round of the 2006 draft.

Fister played two seasons and part of a third with the M’s, debuting in 2009 and going 12-30 over 59 starts and one relief appearance. He struck out 218 in 378 innings, with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.238 WHIP. He later also played for the Detroit Tigers (32-20, 3.29, 440 23 IP, 86 K) and the Washington Nationals (21-13, 3.10, 267 IP, 161 K). On January 28, 2016, Fister was signed to a deal by Houston.

Fister started a full complement of rotation appearances through the season, making 32 starts in his only year with the Astros as their number-five starter. On July 20, he held the Oakland Athletics scoreless over seven innings, striking out five against only four walks in a 7-0 win over the A’s. On August 1, he struck out eight over six scoreless four-hit innings, in a 2-1 win against the Toronto Blue Jays. On August 22, he kept the Pirates to three hits over seven scoreless innings, along with six strikeouts in a 3-1 win against PIttsburgh.

Fister went 12-13 in his season with the Astros, with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.425 WHIP. He struck out 115 in 180 13 innings, against 62 walks, holding his opponents to a .276/.339/.449 slashline. He left via free agency after the season, and went on to pitch for the Boston Red Sox (5-9, 4.88, 90 13 IP, 83 K), and the Rangers (1-7, 4.50, 66 IP, 40 K).

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