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Astros Crawfish Boil: September 18, 2023

With less than two weeks left, can Houston put some positive distance between themselves and the hordes in Arlington and Seattle?

MLB: San Diego Padres at Houston Astros Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Monday Boil

Houston Astros News

Framber delivers gem as Astros pad AL West lead (MLB)

Throwing a glove at a ball? José Abreu tried it, but the rules say no (MLB)

Homers by Alvarez, Meyers support Valdez’s 7 strong innings in Astros 7-1 win over Royals (AP News)

Jordan Lyles ties Royals’ season record for home runs allowed in loss to Astros (The Kansas City Star)

Astros’ offense backs Framber Valdez to salvage win vs. Royals (Houston Chronicle)

Astros bounce back to end Royals’ four-game win streak (Reuters)

5 Astros players that have been horrifically unlucky in 2023 (BVM Sports)

AL West News

Rangers give back momentum in rough weekend (MLB)

José Ramírez homers on birthday to trigger 9-run inning as Cleveland Guardians rout Texas Rangers 9-2, sweep series (WKYC)

A’s series against Seattle likely the final meaningful games of the season (San Francisco Chronicle)

Oakland Athletics place Sean Newcomb on 15-day injured list (ESPN)

Angels Still Hoping for a Mike Trout Cameo Before End of Season (YardBarker)

Shohei Ohtani Next Team Odds: Surprise team nipping at Dodgers (Sportsnaut)

Mariners aim to avoid sweep by Dodgers; Shelby Miller to start; Milestone opportunities for Mariners players (BVM Sports)

Mariners Prospect Update: Modesto Goes Nuts in Playoff Series (Prospect Insider)

MLB News (MLB)

‘Strange things happen’: Wacky bounce sends Yanks to brink

Gray’s strong start, Julien’s homer fuel Twins’ win

Big Sexy’s day in the sun: Colon retires as a Met

Clinched! Rays punch ticket to 5th straight postseason

Chapman walks it off as Blue Jays claim 2nd Wild Card spot

Marlins blow out Braves in sweep over division champs

Houston Astros Birthdays

1B Jon Singleton (32) has appeared in 135 games for Houston between 2014, 2015, and this year, hitting .175 with 16 home runs and 59 RBI.

C Mitch Meluskey (50) played 147 games for Houston, mostly in 2000 but also appearing with the team in 1998, 1999, and 2003. He slashed out a .287/.389/.465 line with 15 home runs and 74 RBI.

RHP Chris Holt (52) pitched in 103 games for Houston between 1996 and 2000, including 90 starts. He posted a 21-42 record with a 4.51 ERA and a 4.20 FIP, striking out 346 in 585 13 innings and keeping opponents to a 1.456 WHIP.

RHP Roger Mason (66) spent 1984 through 1987 between the Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants, then from 1991 through 1994 between the Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Diego Padres, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the New York Mets. For 1 13 innings in 1989, he pitched in two contests for the Astros at the major league level.

CF Tony Scott (72) played for Houston from 1981 through 1984, appearing in 167 games and hitting .249 with 31 stolen bases and 68 RBI.

RHP Jacob DeLabio (26) has been in Houston’s system since 2021, and this season, he racked up a 1.15 ERA over 31 13 innings between the Corpus Christi Hooks at Double-A and the Asheville Tourists at High-A. He struck out 36 but also walked 23, ending the campaign with an opposing slashline of .171/.324/.234.

This Day in Astros History

On this date in 1967, the 61-88 Astros were hosting the 75-75 Pittsburgh Pirates at the Astrodome, with 6,327 in attendance. Although the Astros were going nowhere in that season, they did manage to rack up 15 hits against Bucco pitching for a 14-4 victory. Dave Giusti (11-15, 4.28) earned the win.

Doug Rader led Houston’s offense with a four-hit game, including a triple and four RBI, Jim Wynn collected three singles, and both Bob Aspromonte and Joe Morgan also posted multiple hits in the victory. Houston hitting achieved the win by going small ball, driving in zero runs via homer.


The Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels are the first team to be eliminated from postseason contention while still having the possibility (not probable, but still) of finishing .500. You’ve been hearing this for years it seems, but Arte Moreno and the clownshow running things over there are continuing to show they’re a Mickey Mouse operation, at best. LA is the fourth team to be eliminated from the American League.

Not one, but two generational talents in the lineup for the better part of six seasons now, and not once during those six calendar years did the Angels ever get within shouting distance of postseason play. Today, they’re one of two teams eliminated, leaving 24 standing as of this writing.

Like in a lot of seasons, the Angels managed an above-.500 record through the first part of the season, going 15-14 in March/April, 15-13 in May, 14-13 in June and 12-11 in July. At 56-51 when the calendar flipped to August, Anaheim was a mere half-game out of the final wildcard position, confounding experts. Those experts would be proven right soon enough.

Anaheim started August with a seven-game losing streak, and never again broke the .500 barrier, going 15-30 since. In the meantime, Houston handled the Angels nine times out of 13, dropping one game in each of the four series between the two clubs through 2023.

Now, with Shohei Ohtani likely to have appeared in his final game for the Angels, and Mike Trout still pretty great but ever-more fragile, the Anaheim Angels future looks as dim as its past. The only way this team ever gets better is if Moreno actually sells the club, and not fakey sell the club like earlier this year. Although it’s true that the Angels current state of affairs helps the Astros, in a larger sense it hurts baseball.

The Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals are the second team to be eliminated from the National League, and the first gone out of the NL East. The Nats were on course to be eliminated much earlier, but a 17-11 August kept them on life support probably a week to 10 days longer than we thought.

Their spectacular August was preceded by a lackluster first 23 of a season, with the Nats going 45-59 prior. Houston got their shots at the Nationals from June 13 through 15, with the Astros winning two before Washington escaped with a consolation win to close the series. Although it wasn’t quite “revenge” for the 2019 World Series, it’s better than a kick in the junk.

The Nationals were represented at the mid-season classic by lone pitcher Josiah Gray. Although Gray exceeded rookie limits way back in 2021, he just this season eclipsed one year of service time. Despite Gray’s inclusion on the All-Star team, he had a 1.435 WHIP and a .755 opposing OPS, hardly All-Star worthy numbers. He was merely the least objectionable member of the Nationals available.

The two clubs join the four already on the sidelines.

Colorado Rockies
Oakland Athletics
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox