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Astros Crawfish Boil: September 15, 2023

The Astros look to get it right against the Kansas City Royals.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the weekend.

Houston Astros News

Astros aim to capitalize on late series with hapless Royals (Deadspin)

Why Houston Astros narrowly avoiding history was best-case scenario (SportsMap)

Royals, Astros to Salute the Negro Leagues this Weekend in Kansas City (SportsLogos.Net News)

From rehab stint to Houston Astros World Series champion: The exceptional story of Evan Gattis who worked odd jobs before foraying into MLB (Sportskeeda)

Astros’ key player for AL West race with Rangers, Mariners (ClutchPoints)

Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers: Who wins the AL West? | Flippin’ Bats (FOX Sports)

AL West News

Rangers tight n AL West race with sweep of Jays (MLB)

Fantrax Injury Report - Texas-Sized Good News for Rangers (FantraxHQ)

MVP? ‘Unbelievable’ 2nd half give Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez a case (Seattle Sports)

Seattle Mariners & Philadelphia Phillies highlight the Top 5 Postseason Sleepers | Flippin’ Bats (Madras Tribune)

Shohei Ohtani may DH for Angels in opener vs. Tigers (Reuters)

MLB Insider tips Bronx as potential destination for Angels’ $426,500,000 Mike Trout - “Yankees might be of interest” (Sportskeeda)

Tropicana Las Vegas Faces Demolition for New $1.5 Billion Ballpark for Oakland Athletics (BVM Sports)

MLB News

50 years ago, Roberto Clemente made Hall history

Rookies power Twins closer to AL Central title

‘It was big time’: Judge slam lifts Yanks in nightcap

Birthday homers, Statcast standouts among 10 wild stats from the week

We’ve seen more Top 100 prospects in the bigs than ever before

Postseason Watch: Bracket, tiebreakers and more

Raley’s HR helps Rays strike first in pivotal AL East battle

Could A’s owner John Fisher cost Oakland not one, but two MLB teams? (SF Chroncile)

Houston Astros History

In 2015, on September 15, the Texas Rangers (76-67) hosted Houston (77-67) at Globe Life Park. All nine of Houston’s starters collected hits, with Hank Conger netting two. Jose Altuve hit a triple, while Carlos Correa, Chris Carter, and Conger had two-baggers.

Collin McHugh started out rough, allowing five runs over 3 23 innings on eight hits and three walks. He was relieved by Joe Thatcher, followed by Josh Fields, Tony Sipp, Chad Qualls, and Pat Neshek, all of whom kept the Rangers off the board until the ninth inning.

In the bottom of that final frame, Oliver Perez (2-3, 3.96) allowed a leadoff single to Prince Fielder. Relieved by Will Harris, Perez was ultimately charged with the loss after Harris allowed a follow-up single to Adrian Beltre and a walk-off sacrifice fly to Mitch Moreland.

Houston Astros Birthdays


Infielder J.C. Correa (25) was an Astros 33rd-round pick in 2018 then a 38th-round choice in 2019. In 2023, his first full season at the Double-A level, he has slashed .251/.310/.347 with six jacks and 45 RBI.

RHP Forrest Whitley (26) was at one time the number seven prospect in all of baseball. This season, injuries have limited his output to 30 innings at the Triple-A level, where he struck out 32 and walked 17, allowing a 1.333 WHIP and a 5.70 ERA.


OF Robbie Grossman (34) played in 190 games for the Astros from 2013 through 2015. He threw down a .240/.327/.341 line, with 11 home runs and 63 batted in.

RHP Chad Harville (47) made 93 trips out of Houston’s bullpen in 2004 and 2005, striking out 79 in 91 13 innigns and holding opponents to a 1.533 WHIP.

Middle infielder Hector Torres (78) appeared in 231 games for Houston from 1968 through 1970 and again in 1973. He hit .206 while providing more-or-less adequate defense from shortstop and second base.


RHP Brady Rodgers (33) has pitched in eight games for Houston in 2016 and again in 2019. He’s struck out seven in 13 13 innings, but has also racked up a 15.53 ERA and an 8.50 FIP with a 2.400 WHIP.

LHP John Franco (63) had a 20-season major league career before joining Houston’s bullpen in 2005. As a 44-year-old relief option, Franco struck out 16 in 15 innings over 31 appearances, but also posted a 2.133 WHIP to go with a not-so-bad 2.89 FIP.

PR Alonzo Harris (76) got into six games for the 1967 Astros, mostly as a pinch runner and striking out in his only plate appearance. He did not make any appearances as a defender.

RHP Jim Umbricht (1930-1964) made 69 appearances for the Houston Colt .45s in 1962 and 1963. He put up a 2.33 ERA and held opponents to a 0.986 WHIP over 143 innings with the team, striking out 103 against 38 walks. Umbricht was diagnosed with cancer preceding the 1963 season, but pitched nearly the entire season after it went into remission. Before the 1964 season got underway, Umbricht passed away due to complications from the returning melanoma. Read the full story here.

After he was hospitalized again, the Colt .45s hosted a postgame radio show after a spring-training game so that Umbricht could hear his teammates’ voices again. Sportswriter Mickey Herskowitz wrote that the purpose of the call was unstated but evident. “They were saying goodbye to Umbricht, dying in his hospital room in Houston, and they knew it. So did Umbricht.” - Thomas Ayers, on