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League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Six

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Astros Crawfish Boil: January 25, 2024

Welcome to your Thursday Boil, including the 81st chapter of Everystros.

Brad Peacock
| Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Houston Astros News

Yordan No. 1 again, but top left fielders list gets shake-up

This will be Yainer Diaz’s biggest challenge in 2024

Detroit Tigers never forgot about Bligh Madris after trading him to Astros last offseason (Detroit Free Press)

How Astros GM’s latest comments raise questions about even more offseason moves (SportsMap)

Houston Astros Top 10 Prospects For 2024 Fantasy Baseball (Razzball)

AL West News

Halos — Angels boost bullpen with signing of Stephenson

A’s — How Diaz is promoting ‘progress of baseball’ in home country

M’s — New season, new splitter for this Mariner

Mall Cops — MLB rumors: Rangers open to Jordan Montgomery reunion in free agency (ClutchPoints)

MLB News

The next 5 Hall of Fame ballots are stacked

These reigning division champs are likeliest to repeat

Is Mauer’s election a good sign for future HOF candidates?

Beltré a humble HOFer, but teammates ‘all knew he was gonna be there’

Top 10 SS prospects list is always stacked. Who made the cut? — No Peña this time.

Houston Astros Birthdays

LHP Philip Barzilla (45)

RHP Vern Ruhle (1951-2007)

IF Ernie Fazio (1942-2017)

C Victor Diaz (23)

RHP Deylen Miley (26)

Everystros LXXXI

126. Don McMahon (Bagwell score 75.08) was a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Los Angeles, CA. Born on January 4, 1930, he made his first major league appearances with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957, and played six seasons with the team (29-15, 36 saves, 305 IP, 236 K, 1958 All-Star). On May 9, 1962, the Houston Colt .45s purchased McMahon’s contract from the Braves.

McMahon played out the rest of the campaign as part of Houston’s nascent bullpen, making 51 relief appearances and leading the corps with eight saves. He was 5-5 with a team-best 1.53 ERA and a 1.122 WHIP. He walked 33 and struck out 69 in 76 23 innings. McMahon held his opponents to a .200/.287/.268 slashline, pitching with a 1.08 aLI and stranding only 19-of-41 inherited runners. On August 28, he relieved Bob Bruce with a 4-2 lead, two runners on base, and one out in the sixth, then stranded those two guys, struck out five, and didn’t allow anyone to reach base over the final 3 23 innings, striking out five for his sixth save of the season.

McMahon’s 3.8 bWAR in 1962 would represent the best season of his career and the second-best total on the 1962 team (behind only Turk Farrell’s 7.3), even though the stats he accumulated with the Braves weren’t counted. He went one-for-12 as a hitter and handled 15 fielding chances without an error.

In 1963, McMahon authored a more pedestrian statline, going 1-5 with a 4.05 ERA and striking out 51 against 26 walks in 80 innings. He allowed a 1.363 WHIP and held opponents to a .270/.323/.414 slashline, pitching at a 0.84 aLI and granting 19-of-44 inherited runners a run. As a hitter, he was again one-for-12, but this time he also collected two walks and his hit was a double. Small steps. He also made one error in 18 fielding chances to finish the season at .944, saving five games.

On September 30, 1963, the Cleveland Indians purchased McMahon’s contract from Houston. He subsequently played three seasons with the tribe (10-8, 28 saves, 2.81 ERA, 198 13 IP, 157 K) before making his way to the Boston Red Sox (9-9, 11 saves, 2.82 ERA, 95 23 IP, 67 K), the Chicago White Sox (7-1, three saves, 1.77 ERA, 137 23 IP, 106 K), the Detroit Tigers (6-6, 12 saves, 2.97 ERA, 72 23 IP, 71 K), and the San Francisco Giants (29-15, 36 saves, 3.28 ERA, 305 IP, 236 K). He retired following the 1974 season as the oldest player in the majors.

McMahon had pitched concurrently with the start of his coaching career, serving as the Giant’s pitching coach for his final three seasons and continuing in the role the followin season. He then did the same for two seasons wit the Minnesota Twins before returning in the same role for the Giants in 1980. In 1983, he joined the Indians for thee years before joining the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1986 as a “special assignment” scout. On July 22, 1987, he was pitching batting practice when he suffered a heart attack, and died hours later. He was buried with a baseball in his hand. SABR Bio

125. Jim Umbricht (Bagwell score 87.21) was a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Houston, TX. Born on September 17, 1930, he reached the bigs for the first time in 1959 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, playing with them for three seasons (1-2, one save, 5.12 ERA, 51 IP, 30 K). Following the 1961 season, the Houston Colt .45s chose Umbricht in the expansion draft.

Right away Umbricht was a baller, going 4-0 with a 2.01 ERA and a 1.015 WHIP for his first season with the Colts. He appeared 34 times, always in relief, and walked 17 against 56 strikeouts in 67 innings. Opponents were held to a paltry .213/.270/.301 slashline, while Umbricht pitched with a 0.73 aLI, stranding 23-of-31 inherited baserunners. He was one-of-nine with a sacrifice hit and an RBI at the plate, and handled 15 chances cleanly for a perfect fielding percentage.

In 1963, Umbricht was arguably even better, lowering his WHIP to 0.961 over 76 innings, with 21 walks and 48 strikeouts. He was 4-3 with a 2.61 ERA and a .195/.252/.333 opposing slashline, pitching with a 0.81 aLI and stranding 13-of-23 inherited runners. On August 25, he relieved Chris Zachary with one out and two runners on base in the fifth inning, then earned a win by going the rest of the way and only surrendering one hit and one walk, striking out three in a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

On April 8, 1964, five days before the Colt .45s played their season opener, 33-year-old Jim Umbricht died of melanoma. He was survived by his parents and his brother, Ed. — Thomas Ayers, SABR

Umbricht was gone way too soon, and was shortly thereafter the first player in Houston baseball history to have his number retired, before they even changed their name to the Astros. SABR Bio

124. Bob Aspromonte (Bagwell score 13.16) is a six-foot-two righty-batting and lefty-throwing infielder from Brooklyn, NY. Born on June 19, 1938, he reached the majors soon after his 18th birthday, with the 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers. He eventually appeared in parts of three seasons for the franchise, both before and during their time in Los Angeles (69 games, .211/.244/.272, one home run, eight RBI). On October 10, 1961, Aspromonte was the second player chosen by the Houston Colt .45s in the expansion draft.

Aspromonte was immediately a key piece of Houston’s lineup. On their first-ever Opening Day, he led Houston’s offense with three singles, a walk, and a stolen base in a 11-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs. He ended up with 39 multiple-hit games, including 11 times where he finished with three or more. Overall, he was 142-for-534, slashing .266/.332/.376 with 18 doubles, four triples, 11 homers, and four stolen bases in nine attempts. He drew 46 walks and struck out 54 times, scoring 59 runs and also driving in 59. Defensivey, he started 139 games at third base (1193 innings, .967), six games at shortstop (72 innings, .947), and once at second base (eight innings, no errors).

On May 7, Aspromonte hit a third-inning single, a fifth-inning single, and a seventh-inning go-ahead three-run homer, providing the eventual game-winning hit in a 9-6 victory against the Dodgers. On September 8, he singled in the sixth, then later hit a come-from-behind two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, instantly changing a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 victory over the New York Mets. On September 20, he collected five hits, all singles, in a 12-inning 5-4 victory over the Mets.

In 1963, Aspromonte was again Houston’s first option at third base (126 starts, 1115 innings, .938 fielding percentage), also logging time at first base (one start, three innings, no errors). As a hitter, he slashed .214/.276/.306 in 136 contests, going 100-for-468 with nine doubles, five three-baggers, eight homers, and three stolen bases in four attempts. He drew 40 walks and struck out 57 times, scoring 42 times, driving 49 in, and collecting multiple hits 21 times.

On April 25, Aspromonte hit a fourth-inning game-tying solo home run, later adding an RBI-single and scoring another run in the seventh inning of a 7-5 win over the Milwaukee Braves. On May 12, Aspromonte hit a walk-off 10th-inning leadoff home run to defeat the Chicago Cubs, 2-1. On July 26, he hit a first-inning grand slam, providing all the offense the Colts would need to top the Mets, 7-3.

On August 9, in the bottom half of a doubleheader, Aspromonte hit a third-inning three-run go-ahead triple, doubling and scoring another go-ahead run in the fifth in an eventual 7-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On September 22, he hit a second-inning single, then hit a game-tying RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth, in an eventual 2-1 walkoff victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Just four days later, he singled and scored in the sixth, walked and scored a game-tying run in the eighth, and drove in the walk-off game-winning RBI-single in the 10th inning to defeat the Pirates, 5-4.

Aspromonte appeared in a career-high 157 games in 1964, hitting .280/.329/.392, going 155-for-553 with 20 doubles, three triples, 12 home runs, and six stolen bases in 13 attempts. He drew 35 walks and struck out 54 times, scoring 51 runs and driving 69 home, with 40 multi-hit games. Defensively, he started 153 games at third base, playing 1332 innings at a .973 fielding percentage.

On June 11, Aspromonte singled in the second and in the fourth, following with a fifth-inning go-ahead grand slam in a 5-3 victory against the Cincinnati Reds. Four days later, he hit a second-inning double and hit a two-run go-ahead sixth-inning home run to top the St. Louis Cardinals, 9-3.

On August 15, Aspromonte hit four singles and collected four RBI in a 7-4 victory against the Reds. Another four days later, he hit a first-inning RBI-groundout, a fourth-inning sacrifice bunt, a fifth-inning RBI-single, a seventh-inning RBI-single, and a game-tying ninth-inning RBI-single in an eventual 8-7 victory over St. Louis. On September 19, he hit a second-inning single, a fourth-inning single, a sixth-inning RBI-single, then scored the walk-off game-winner in the bottom of the ninth on a Nellie Fox single for a 2-1 win against the Mets.

In 1965, Aspromonte remained with Houston even as they changed from the Colt .45s to the Astros. He hit .263/.310/.322 with 15 doubles, two triples, five homers, and two stolen bases in four attempts. He was 152-for-578, with 38 walks and 54 strikeouts, 53 runs and 52 RBI. Aspromonte started 146 games at third base (1281 23 innings, .962), four games at first base (44 innings, .981), and one game at shortstop (17 23 innings, .933).

Aspromonte had 37 multiple-hit games in 1965, including on May 7. In that game, a 5-4 win over the Cubs, he led off the fourth inning with a single, then hit a three-run go-ahead fifth-inning home run. On May 28, he hit a fourth-inning RBI-single, and a ninth-inning game-tying leadoff home run in a 3-2, 12-inning triumph against St. Louis. Three days later, he hit a sixth-inning single, and a go-ahead eighth-inning two-run single in a 7-2 win over the Braves.

Aspromonte wet 141-for-560 in 152 games in 1966, slashing .252/.297/.334 with 16 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, and no steals in four attempts. He drew 35 walks and struck out 63 times, scoring 55 runs and driving 52 in. Defensively, he started 146 games at third base (1285 13 innings, .962), once at shortstop (9 23 innings, .750), and five innings at first base (.833).

In 39 games, Aspromonte collected more than one hit for Houston. On May 8, he hit a game-tying RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth, in a 5-4 win against the Braves. On August 1, he hit a game-tying three-run homer in the ninth inning, in a 10-inning 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. On August 18, he led off the fifth inning with a single, then hit a deficit-erasing go-ahead two-run groundout in the eighth inning of a 5-4 win against the Reds. On August 26, he hit a first-inning single, a third-inning single, and a ninth-inning come-from-behind walk-off grand slam to defeat the Cubs, 7-4.

In 1967, Aspromonte slashed .294/.354/.401 in 137 games, going 143-for-486 with 45 walks, 44 strikeouts, 51 runs, 58 RBI, 24 doubles, five triples, six home runs, and two stolen bases in four attempts. He started 132 games at third base (1167 13 innings, .963). On May 10, he hit a game-tying double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Houston lost 5-1 in the 10th to Los Angeles.

On May 15 Aspromonte hit a ninth-inning leadoff-single, then added a two-out 10th-inning two-run triple to help defeat the Dodgers, 5-3. On June 7, he hit five singles and totaled three RBI in a 17-1 victory against the Cardinals. On July 7, he hit a first-inning RBI-single, a third-inning single, a fourth-inning two-run double, and drew a walk and scored in the eighth to help Houston defeat the Cubs, 11-5.

On July 29, Aspromonte hit a leadoff double in the fifth inning, added a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth, then hit a game-tying two-run double in the eighth inning of a 6-5 win against the Bucs. On September 17, he hit a second-inning single, a fourth-inning, go-ahead RBI-double, then hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth, representing the game-tying run in an eventual 4-3 walkoff victory against the Mets. On September 22, he scored in the second, hit a three-run go-ahead home run in the seventh, in a 6-5 loss to the Mets.

The 1968 campaign would be Aspromonte’s final one with Houston. He slashed a .225/.285/.264 line in 124 games, going 92-for-409 with nine doubles, two triples, and a home run with one steal in one attempt. He drew 35 walks and struck out 57 times with 25 runs and 46 RBI. Defensively, he showed a lot more utility than in season’s past, starting 74 games at third base (665 23 innings, .973), 34 games in left field (297 13 innings, .959), two games in right field (10 innings, .500), as well as 6 23 innings at first base (no errors) and two frames at shortstop (no errors). He had multiple hits on 19 occasions.

On April 10, Aspromonte hit a ninth-inning walk-off two-run triple to top the Pirates, 5-4. On August 16, he hit a two-run go-ahead double in the 12th inning, providing the difference in a 3-1 win over the Mets. On December 4, 1968, the last original member of the franchise was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Marty Martínez.

Aspromonte played two seasons for the Braves (144 games, .237/.295/.305, three home runs, 31 RBI) and one with the Mets (104 games, .225/.285/.301, five home runs, 33 RBI). SABR Bio

123. Brad Peacock (Bagwell score 22.28) is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Palm Beach, FL. Born on February 2, 1988, he was a 41st-round choice of the Washington Nationals in 2006 out of Palm Beach Central High School. He was one of three to make the majors out of the round, and also one-of-three to reach the bigs after getting chosen with the 1,231st overall selection.

Peacock reached the majors in 2011 with the Nats (2-0, 0.75, 12 IP, four K). On December 23, 2011, the Nats sent him with Derek Norris, A.J. Cole and Tommy Milone to the Oakland Athletics for Robert Gilliam and Gio Gonzalez. After a season of minor-league play, the A’s traded Peacock with Chris Carter and Max Stassi to Houston for Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez Jr.

In 2013, Peacock pitched in 18 games for Houston, starting 14 of them and walking 37 with 77 K’s over 83 13 innings. He was 5-6 with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.380 WHIP, along with a .242/.324/.455 opposing slashline. Six of his 14 starts were Quality Starts.

Peacock started 24 times in 2014, also appearing four times in relief for Houston. He was 4-9 with a 4.72 ERA, with 70 walks and 119 strikeouts in 131 23 innings. He had a 1.565 WHIP and allowed the opposition a healthy .267/.357/.444 slashline. Despite starting nearly twice as many games, Peacock again managed only six Quality Starts.

Peacock missed nearly the entire 2015 season due to injury, first from hip surgery, then with an intracostal strain. Between the two ailments, he started one game, on April 14 against the Oakland Athletics. He lost after allowing three runs in five innings, by an eventual 4-0 final score.

In 2016, Peacock only managed to pitch in 10 games, five of them starts. He walked 14 and struck out 28 in 31 23 innings, going 0-1 with a 3.69 and a 1.105 WHIP, and kept opponents to a .186/.276/.425 slashline. In his first five appearances, all in relief, Peacock was used in extremely low-leverage situations, with a 0.07 aLI. He made his final five starts down the stretch for Houston,including on September 24, when he held the Angels to one run on one hit and two walks, striking out seven in five innings in an eventual 10-4 loss to Los Angeles.

In 2017, Peacock racked up a 13-2 record with a 3.00 ERA. He walked 57 and struck out 161 in 132 innings, with 21 starts and 13 games joined in relief appearances. His first 12 games in relief were his first 12 games of the season, during which opponents managed to hit just .127/.273/.164, striking out 22 in 16 13 innings. On April 23, he stru, ck out four over two hitless innings, allowing a pair of walks in a 6-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

On May 22, Peacock made his first of 21 starts through the remainder of the campaign, including eight Quality Starts. On July 18, he struck out nine Mariners in seven innings, holding Seattle to one run on three hits and a walk in a 6-2 Houston win. He posted a 1.189 WHIP overall. Later, he made seven postseason appearances, including 7 13 innings in the World Series over four games. He struck out eight and allowed two runs on four hits, with a 2.45 ERA.

In 2018, Peacock was moved the the bullpen for more or less the entire season, making 60 appearances in relief with only one start. He was 3-5 with three saves, posting a 3.46 ERA and a 1.189 WHIP with a .226/.290/.432 opposing line. He pitched at an aLI of 0.86 and stranded 23-of-28 inherited baserunners. On April 4, he struck out five in three scoreless innings, earning a victory after collecting the final nine outs in a 3-2 win against the Baltimore Orioles.

The 2019 campaign would see Peacock walk 31 and strike out 96 in 91 23 innings, with 15 starts and eight trips out of the pen. He was 7-6 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.189 WHIP, holding the opposition to a .227/.298/.427 line.

On April 1, Peacock started and held the Texas Rangers to one run on two hits and no walks, striking out five in 6 23 innings to earn the win, in an eventual 2-1 decision. On May 8, he struck out a dozen Royals in seven three-hit innings, earning the 9-0 win over Kansas City. On May 20, He pitched five innings and struck out nine, allowing two hits, no runs and no walks in a 3-0 victory against the Chicago White Sox. Five days later, he whiffed eight Red Sox in six shutout innings, keeping Boston to four hits and a walk in a 4-3 Houston win.

Peacock only appeared in three games in 2020, due to “pitching wear and tear.” In 2021, he suited up and got into a pair of games with Boston, but allowed nine runs in 5 13 innings.

122. Brian Hunter (Bagwell score 41.35) is a six-foot-four right-handed centerfielder from Portland, OR. Born on March 5, 1971, he was a second-round pick of the Astros in 1989 out of Fort Vancouver High School. He leads the group of 12 to come out of the round, picking up a career 7.4 bWAR in exactly 1000 games. Thirty-three players taken 35th overall have reached the bigs, led by Johnny Damon (56.3 bWAR) and Mark Langston (50.1 bWAR).

Hunter reached the majors with the 1994 Astros, going six-for-24 in six games, with two stolen bases in three attempts.

In 1995, Hunter got a more proper start to his major league career, appearing in 78 games and going 97-for-321 with 14 doubles, five triples, two home runs, and 24 stolen bases in 31 attempts, slashing .302/.346/.396 with 21 walks, 52 stolen bases, scored 52 runs, finished with multiple-hits 23 times, and drove 28 in. On June 16, he hit a first-inning single and scored, a 10th-inning-single and steal, a go-ahead RBI-double in the 12th, a go-ahead 15th-inning lead-off home run, and a 17th inning walk, later scoring on a Jeff Bagwell single in a 7-5, 16-inning affair against the New York Mets.

In 1996, Hunter was 145-for-526 with 27 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 35 stolen bases in 44 attempts, and a .276/.297/.363 slashline. He drew 17 walks and struck out 92 times, with 74 runs and 35 RBI, collecting multiple hits 41 times. On August 28, Hunter hit a lead-off single and scored a run, a second-inning single, and a ninth-inning walk-off RBI-double in a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

On December 10, 1996, the Astros traded Hunter with Doug Brocail, Todd Jones, and Orlando Miller to the Detroit Tigers for Brad Ausmus, Daryle Ward, C.J. Nitkowski, Trever Miller, and José Lima.

Hunter played three seasons with the Tigers (322 games, .261/.317/.342, eight home runs, 81 RBI, ML-leading 74 stolen bases in 1997), one with the Seattle Mariners (121 games, .231/.277/.300, four home runs, 34 RBI), part of a season with the Colorado Rockies (72 games, .275/.347/.320, one home run, 13 RBI), the other half with the Cincinnati Reds (32 games, .225/.319/.250, one RBI), and one season with the Philadelphia Phillies (83 games, .276/.344/.359, two home runs, 16 RBI).

On December 3, 2001, Hunter signed with the Astros. The 2002 season would see him appear in 98 games for Houston, hitting .269/.329/.423. He went 54-for-201 with 16 doubles, three triples, three home runs, and five stolen bases without getting caught. He drew 16 walks and struck out 39 times, with 32 runs and 20 RBI. He also had multiple hits in 15 games.

Hunter played in 56 games in 2003, his final major league season. He slashed .235/.278/.316 with six doubles and a triple. He drew six walks with 21 RBI, scoring 13 runs with 13 RBI. On June 5, he hit three singles and a double, with four RBI for an 11-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

121. Willy Taveras (Bagwell score 42.43) is a six-foot right-handed centerfielder from Tenares, DR. Born on December 25, 1981, he reached the majors for the first time in 2004 with Houston. Taveras appeared in 10 games in 2004, mostly as a pinch-runner or defensive replacement. He stole a base, scored two runs, and was 0-for-1 at bat.

In 2005, Taveras appeared in 152 games, a career-high. He slashed .291/.325/.341, going 172-for-592 with 13 doubles, four triples, three home runs, and 34 stolen bases in 45 attempts. He drew 25 walks and struck out 103 times with 82 runs scored and 29 driven in. Taveras had multiple hits in each of his first four games, going nine-for-15. Overall he had 52 multi-hit games.

Taveras slashed .278/.333/.338 in 149 games in 2006, going 147-for-529 with 19 doubles, five triples, one home run, and 33 stolen bases in 42 attempts. He drew 34 walks and struck out 88 times with 83 runs and 30 RBI. He had 37 multiple-hit games.

On December 12, 2006, the Astros traded Taveras with Taylor Buchholz and Jason Hirsh to the Colorado Rockies for Miguel Asencio and Jason Jennings.

Taveras played another four major league seasons, two with the Rockies (230 games, .281/.333/.334, three home runs, 50 RBI), and one each with the Cincinnati Reds (102 games, .240/.275/.285, one home run, 15 RBI), and the Washington Nationals (27 games, .200/.243/.257, four RBI.

Check back tomorrow for Chapter 82, featuring a Dominican catcher, a pair of current pitchers from the team, and two right-handed pitchers from the turn of the century era.

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