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Astros Crawfish Boil: August 21, 2023

The return of El Reptil.

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

He might say he never left...

...but El Reptil once again showed his teeth in yesterday’s game. With only a first-inning blemish to his blame, Cristian Javier struck out 11 in five innings, taking 91 pitches and walking two while allowing three hits. Although he finished with no decision, he seems to be peaking at exactly the right time.

Houston Astros

Astros maintain postseason hold with wild walk-off (MLB)

Injuries & Moves: Stanek makes first rehab appearance (MLB)

Astros set rotation vs. Royals with eye on crucial Seattle series (Houston Chronicle)

Dodgers News: J.D. Martinez Jokes About Astros While Praising Detroit Tigers (Dodger Blue)

Orioles spoil another Kyle Bradish gem vs. Astros in 2-1 walk-off loss, ending 4-game winning streak (Baltimore Sun)

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, Astros coach Joe Espada’s bond goes past baseball (The Athletic)

MLB Umpire Goes Scorched Earth While Throwing Out Astros Coach: “F*ck Me? F*ck You!” (Whiskey Riff)

Son of Astros’ Franchise Legend Promoted to Triple-A (Sports Illustrated)

Houston Astros facing challenging season with inconsistent performances (BVM Sports)

Alex Bregman Owns An Elite Stat For The Astros (The Cold Wire)

AL West News

Texas’ historic offense erupts (again) in rout of Red Sox

J-Rod’s 100th RBI powers Mariners’ sweep of A’s

Canzone homers, drives in four as Mariners beat Athletics to keep pace with rivals (TSN)

Experts weigh in on Shohei Ohtani’s elbow procedure (Orange County Register)

MLB News (MLB)

Castellanos defies logic, pulls off game-saving play for Phils

Vlad scratched ahead of game vs. Yankees due to knee discomfort

Of Alou brothers’ many feats, this might never be topped

Carroll makes more history: 1st rookie to have 25-HR, 50-SB season

Orioles place Ryan Mountcastle on 10-day IL with left shoulder injury, hope slugger returns before playoffs (Baltimore Sun)

Houston Astros Birthdays

C Yainer Diaz (25) made his major league debut in 2022, going one-for-eight with a double and an RBI. He’s had more of an impact since then.

This season, Diaz has slashed .287/.311/.553 with 23 homers and 59 RBI in only 99 games. He’s also thrown out baserunners at a 40 percent clip above the “average” backstop, and ranks highly in pop time and framing as well. He may not be the American League Rookie of the Year, but he’s mine.

RHP Billy Sadler (42) appeared in one game for the 2009 Astros, allowing two runs in 1 13 innings and striking out a pair.

RHP Manuel Barrios (49) pitched twice in relief for the 1997 Astros, allowing four runs and striking out three in three innings.

C Troy Afenir (60) appeared in 10 games for the 1987 Astros, going six-for-20 with a double and one RBI.

OF Art Gardner (71) played in 79 games for Houston in 1975 and 1977, going 16-for-96 with four walks and five RBI.

RHP Aurelio López (1948-1992) made 71 trips out of Houston’s bullpen in 1986 and 1987, going 5-4 with a 3.80 ERA, a 1.207 WHIP, a 4.04 FIP, and 65 K’s in 116 frames.

C/1B Nerio Rodriguez (24) Is currently rostered with the Asheville Tourists. In 44 games over the past two seasons he’s hit .270 with nine jacks and 29 RBI.

OF Michael Sandle (25) split the 2023 season between the Tourists and the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. In 106 contests he hit .202/.281/.339 with 10 home runs and 33 RBI, while stealing 16 bases in 21 attempts.

On This Date in Houston Astros History

On this date in 2007, the 67-86 Astros paid the 71-81 St. Louis Cardinals a visit in Busch Stadium, with 43,677 on hand. Brandon Backe (2-1, 4.37) earned the win for the Astros, allowing two runs in six inings, while Brad Lidge (16, 2.95) earned the save.

The Astros jumped out to an early lead on a first inning Lance Berkman two-run homer, then Ty Wigginton added an RBI-single to make it 3-0 before the Birds came to the plate. In the eighth, J.R. Towles stroked a two-run double, the eventual game winner, and Josh Anderson added an RBI-single to set the final at 6-3 in favor of Houston. Anderson, Hunter Pence, and Carlos Lee each had a pair of hits in the victory.