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Championship Series - Texas Rangers v. Houston Astros - Game Seven

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Astros Crawfish Boil: January 3, 2023

Welcome to the Wednesday Boil!

| Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Welcome to the Wednesday Boil!

Your Wednesday Boil includes the 62nd chapter of Everystros. I forgot to mention in yesterday’s chapter that the 61st chapter is the middlest chapter of them all, with 60 before and 60 after, but I forgot until today.

Houston Astros News

Astros’ Top 5 OF assists of 2023

Deck the Calls: ‘23 Astros

Astros 2024: New Year’s resolutions (Chipalatta)

How Astros can optimize their new starting lineup for maximum impact (SportsMap)

AL West News

A’s — Nevada Politician Trades Barbs with A’s Fans on Social Media. (SI)

M’s — Could this AL West club make a move for Cease?

Halos — Mike Trout’s Heavy Contract Labeled as Nightmare (Yardbarker)

Mall Cops — Why Texas Rangers’ farm system is still strong despite losing key prospects in trades (WUSA 9)

MLB News

Ranking the 9 suitors likeliest to sign Matt Chapman

The nastiest pitches in baseball end with ... a sword

Power Rankings: Who’s on top to begin 2024? tl;dr — Astros are sixth, below (in order) Atlanta, Dodgers, Mall Cops, O’s, Phillies

It’s that time of year: New Year’s resolutions!

Houston Astros Birthdays

IF Luis Rivera (60)

OF Karniel Pratt (19)

RHP Sandy Mejia (20)

Everystros LXII

The Bagwell score is a homegrown rate-based stat whereas zero is set to replacement level and Jeff Bagwell is at 100. The Bagwell score is based on bWAR per plate transactions.

256. Jeff Fulchino (Bagwell score 8.35) is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Titusville, FL. Born on November 26, 1979, he was an eighth-round choice of the Florida Marlins out of the University of Connecticut in 2001. He only appeared in one game for the Marlins, in 2006, and pitched 13 of an inning.

Fulchino pitched in 12 games with the 2008 Kansas City Royals (14 IP, 9.00 ERA, 12 K). On December 8, the Astros had the opportunity to claim him off waivers.

Fulchino pitched in 61 games in relief for Houston in 2009. He struck out 71 batters in 82 innings, and walked 27. He also finished the season with a career-best 1.183 WHIP and a .233/.301/.379 slashline. On June 11, he pitched the final three innings of a 13-innings, 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, holding them scoreless on one hit and collecting a pair of strikeouts. On September 16, he pitched the final two innings of a 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, and struck out six batters, surrendering only a walk. He

In 2010, Fulchino appeared in another 50 games in relief for the Astros. On May 2, he struck out four in two innings of perfect relief in a 7-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Fulchino held opponents to a .279/.361/.432 slashline and was 2-1 with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.585 WHIP.

Fulchino appeared in 36 games for the 2011 Astros, going 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.576 WHIP, along with a .272/.369/.456. Over his three seasons with the team, he was one-for-four at the plate and perfect in 22 chances in the field for a 1.000 fielding percentage. On September 1, Fulchino was waived by Houston and claimed by the San Diego Padres.

Fulchino pitched 1 23 innings over three games with the Padres.

255. Phil Maton (Bagwell score 8.76) is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Paducah, KY. Born on March 25, 1993, he was a 20th-round choice of the San Diego Padres in 2015 out of Louisiana Tech University. He played three seasons with the Padres, making his first major league appearance in 2017. He played in 112 games in relief for San Diego (3-4, 5.02, 114 23 IP, 121 K).

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics
Phil Maton, Happy
Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Maton later played with the Cleveland Indians (5-3, 4.30 ERA, 75 13 IP, 106 K). On July 30, 2021, Maton and Yainer Diaz were traded from Cleveland to Houston for Myles Straw. After joining Houston, Maton pitched in 27 games and was 4-0 with a 4.97 ERA. He walked 12 and struck out 24 in 25 13 innings. Maton had a 1.618 WHIP, a 4.08 FIP, and a .256/.347/.425 opposing slashline with a 1.14 aLI.

Maton relieved in 67 games for the Astros in 2022, going 0-2 with a 3.84 ERA. Maton walked 24 and struck out 73 in 65 23 IP, with a 1.249 WHIP with a 0.92 aLI. On June 15, Maton was part of a historically improbable occurrence, with one-of-two immaculate innings in the same game, a 9-2 win over the Texas Rangers. The odds of this series of events which I would consider at first blush to be incalculable, were actually calculated as one in 67.2 million (by Maton held his opponents to a .237/.321/.408 slash.

In the postseason, Maton struck out 14 in 12 13 innings over 12 appearances, and surrendered only one run with three successful holds.

In 2023, Maton was 4-3 with a 3.00 ERA and a 3.74 FIP, along with a 1.121 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 66 innings, allowing 25 walks. On April 17, he struck out four in two perfect innings in a 9-2 win against the Toronto Blue Jays. In the postseason, he struck out seven and allowed one hit in six innings.

254. Pete Runnels (Bagwell score 11.62) was a six-foot right-handed throwing, left-handed batting infielder from Lufkin, TX. Born on January 28, 1928, he debuted in 1951 with the Washington Senators, and played seven seasons with them (921 games, .274/.354/.353, 18 home runs, 355 RBI). He later played five seasons with the Boston Red Sox (732 games, .320/.408/.427, 29 home runs, 249 RBI, three All-Star Teams). On November 26, 1962, the Red Sox traded him to the Houston Colt .45s for Román Mejías.

Runnels appeared in 124 games for the 1963 Colts, slashing .253/.332/.296 with two home runs and 23 RBI. On May 21, he hit four singles with two RBI in a 6-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Runnels played in 22 of Houston’s first 30 games in 1964, slashing .196/.305/.216 with three RBI. He was released on May 19. The following year, he caught with the Boston Red Sox as a first base coach, and managed the team to a 72-90 record in 1966. SABR Bio

253. Mike Cosgrove (Bagwell score 5.55) is a six-foot-one left-handed pitcher from Phoenix, AZ. Born on February 17, 1951, he was a 16th-round draftee of the Cincinnati Reds in 1969 out of Bourgade High School.

Cosgrove reached the majors with the Astros in 1972, and pitched in 119 games for the team over the five seasons ending with 1976. He started 20 times and made 99 trips out of the bullpen. He gave up 132 runs (123 earned) on 271 hits and 145 walks in 274 23 innings, with 122 strikeouts, a 12-11 record, a 4.03 ERA, and a 1.515 WHIP. He was five-for-56 with five sacrifice hits, one double, one RBI, and four walks with 14 strikeouts. in the field, he made a total of two errors out of 46 chances for a .957 fielding percentage.

On May 28, 1974, Cosgrove pitched seven three-hit innings, allowing one run in an 8-4 win over the Montreal Expos. On June 8, he inherited then stranded two inherited runners, pitching 1 23 perfect innings in a 6-5 loss to the New York Mets. On June 18, he relieved starter Dave Roberts after 13 of an inning and two runners on base for 8 23 scoreless innings of relief, striking out four and walking four while allowing only two hits in a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. On July 10, he pitched 2 23 innings of scoreless relief to earn a victory in a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

On August 3, 1975, Cosgrove pitched 1 13 innings of perfect relief against the Giants, stranding his two inherited runners on his way to his second save of the season. On April 23, 1976, he held the Mets to one run over eight innings for a 3-1 victory against New York. On June 4, he allowed six hits and two walks in a complete game 1-0 win against the Chicago Cubs.

252. Ron Villone (Bagwell score 8.75) is a six-foot-three left-handed pitcher from Englewood, NJ. Born on January 16, 1970, he was a first-round choice of the Seattle Mariners in 1992 out of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, with the 14th selection off the board.

Villone played in parts of three seasons over two tours with the Mariners (10-11, 4.13, 176 23 IP, 153 K) also playing for the San Diego Padres (3-2, 3.68, 44 IP, 56 K), the Milwaukee Brewers (1-0, 3.38, 77 13 IP, 59 K), the Cleveland Indians (0-0, 6.00, 27 IP, 15 K), the Cincinnati Reds (19-17, 4.82, 283 23 IP, 174 K), and the Colorado Rockies (1-3, 6.36, 46 23 IP, 48 K). On June 27, 2001, the Rockies traded VIllone to the Astros for Jay Powell.

Villone appeared in 31 games through the rest of the season for Houston, going 5-7 with a 5.56 ERA, a 1.485 WHIP, and 24 walks with 65 Ks in 68 innings.

After spending 2002 with the Pirates (4-6, 5.81, 93 IP, 55 K), Villone rejoined the Astros through free agency. In his second first appearance with the team, on June 18, he held the Diamondbacks scoreless on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts over 6 13 innings in a 2-1 loss to Arizona.

His second tour with the Astros yielded a 6-6 record and a 4.13 ERA in 19 starts, with 91 strikeouts in 106 23 innings and a 1.303 WHIP. After the season he left via free agency.

Villone followed his time with Houston with a second tour with the Mariners, then joined the Florida Marlins (3-2, 6.85, 23 23 IP, 29 K), the New York Yankees (3-3, 4.77, 122 23 IP, 97 K), the St. Louis Cardinals (1-2, 4.68, 50 IP, 50 K), and the Washington Nationals (5-6, 4.25, 48 23 IP, 33 K).

251. Russ Springer (Bagwell score 8.97) is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Alexandria, LA. Born on November 7, 1968, he was a seventh-round choice of the New York Yankees in 1989 out of Louisiana State University.

Springer reached the bigs with the Yanks in 1992 (0-0, 6.19, 16 IP, 12 K), later playing with the California Angels (4-10, 6.35, 157 13 IP, 97 K) and the Philadelphia Phillies (3-10, 4.45, 123 13 IP, 126 K). On December 30, 1996, Springer signed with the Astros through free agency.

Springer served out of Houston’s pen for 54 games (1.51 aLI) in 1997, going 3-3 with a 4.23 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 55 13 innings with a 1.355 WHIP. On April 13, he gave up an unearned run on two walks and no hits over two innings, but also struck out six in a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Springer went on to pitch with the Arizona Diamondbacks (6-7, 5.13, 112 13 IP 108 K), the Atlanta Braves (3-2, 3.61, 67 13 IP, 68 K), and two tours with the Cardinals (11-3, 3.03, 133 23 IP, 122 K). He rejoined the Astros in 2004 for his second tour.

Springer came out of the bullpen 16 times in Houston’s final 34 games of the season, going 0-1 with a 2.63 ERA and nine strikeouts in 13 23 innings. In 2005, he was 4-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 62 games, striking out 54 in 59 innings with a 1.186 WHIP. On July 24, he struck out a pair over two scoreless innings to earn a victory in a 4-1 win over the Washington Nationals.

Springer was 1-1 with a 3.47 ERA in 72 games in 2006, with 66 strikeouts in 66 innings, along with a 1.039 WHIP. He later went on to play with the Oakland Athletics (0-1, 4.10, 41 23 IP, 47 K), the Tampa Bay Rays (1-3, 4.11, 15 13 IP, 11 K), and the Cincinnati Reds (0-0, 5.40, 1 23 IP, one K).

250. Danny Coombs (Bagwell score 10.19) is a six-foot-four right-handed batting and left-handed throwing pitcher from Lincoln, ME. Born on March 23, 1942, he initially reached the majors in 1963 with the Houston Colt .45s. Over parts of seven seasons with the Colts and Astros, he was 8-7 with a 4.22 ERA over 90 games, including eight starts. He walked 61 and struck out 107 over 147 innings, with a 1.551 WHIP and a 2.75 FIP. He was six-for-34 as a hitter, with one double and three RBI. Defensively, he made two errors in 38 chances for a .947 fielding percentage.

On September 12, 1967, Coombs pitched the final three innings of a 5-4, 12 inning win over the Cubs, holding Chicago scoreless on one hit and two walks, earning a win while striking out one batter.

249. Orlando Merced (Bagwell score 10.67) is a six-foot switch-hitting right fielder and first baseman from Hato Rey, PR. Born on November 2, 1966, he made his first major league appearances with the Pittsburgh Pirates for seven seasons starting in 1990 (776 games, .283/.364/.428, 65 home runs, 394 RBI). He then played with the Toronto Blue Jays (98 games, .266/.352/.413, nine home runs, 40 RBI), the Minnesota Twins (63 games, .289/.345/.422, five home runs, 33 RBI), the Boston Red Sox (nine games, 0-for-9, two RBI), the Chicago Cubs (12 games, three-for-10, one home run, five RBI), and the Montreal Expos (93 games, .268/.353/.464, eight home runs, 26 RBI).

Merced signed with the Astros for the 2001 season, and played three seasons with Houston (340 games, .262/.323/.417, 15 home runs, 85 RBI). On June 10, 2001, he turned a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead with a pinch-three-run-homer in the ninth inning of a 6-5 win against the Texas Rangers. On August 2, he hit a game-tying, ninth-inning two-run-pinch-double against the Mets, in a 10-inning, 4-3 win over New York. On September 22, with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, trailing the Cubs by three runs, Merced hit a bases-clearing-pinch-triple in an eventual 8-4 win over Chicago.

On April 2, 2003, Merced hit a pinch-ninth-inning RBI-double to cut Colorado’s lead to one, in a game that ended with Houston ahead, 8-7 over the Rockies. SABR Bio

Spring Training Game Thread. February 28, 2024, 12:10 CT Astros @ Marlins

Astros Top Three Third Base Prospects for 2024

Houston Astros History

Everystros CXV: Roy Oswalt