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Houston Astros vs Philadelphia Phillies

Astros Crawfish Boil: January 31, 2024

Welcome to the humpday Boil, including Chapter 87 of Everystros.

Brad Lidge

Houston Astros News

Brown focused on consistency with offseason work

Interview with Lance Berkman on the red carpet at the 2024 Houston Sports Awards (KHOU)

Houston Sports Awards: Texans’ C.J. Stroud and all the other winners (Houston Chronicle)

Josh Hader reveals why he signed with Astros (ClutchPoints)

Billy Wagner’s immediate reaction to being snubbed from Baseball Hall of Fame (ClutchPoints)

AL West News

A’s — 3 A’s prospects knocking on MLB’s door

M’s — Mariners add INF/OF Taylor in trade with Royals

Halos — Moore looking forward to ‘seamless transition’ back to Halos

Blarts — Seager has sports hernia surgery, could be ready for Opening Day

MLB News

Finding fits for best remaining free agents at each position

Justin Turner signs 1-year deal with Blue Jays

All of our No. 1 overall prospects, ranked

Braves Fest has fans buzzing over 2024 potential

Here are the brand-new Top 100 Prospects for 2024

Vlad Jr. on the cover of MLB The Show 24

Houston Astros Birthdays

RHP Nolan Ryan (77)

Taking a page from Dan Szymborski, I had an AI generate mottos for each of the 30 teams for the 2024 season.

Arizona Diamondbacks: “Rising Legends, Desert Dominance.”

Atlanta Braves: “Chop to the Top, Braves Never Stop.”

Baltimore Orioles: “Orioles Soar, Legacy Forevermore.”

Boston Red Sox: “Green Monster, Red Sox Swagger.”

Chicago White Sox: “South Side Resilience, Black & White Brilliance.”

Chicago Cubs: “Wrigley Roar, Cubs Forevermore.”

Cincinnati Reds: “Reds Revolution, Legacy in Motion.”

Cleveland Guardians: “Guardians United, Cleveland Pride.”

Colorado Rockies: “Majestic Peaks, Rockies’ Streak.”

Detroit Tigers: “Roaring Forward, Tigers Unleashed.”

Houston Astros: “Astro Power, Houston Tower.”

Kansas City Royals: “Royal Pursuit, Crowned in Glory.”

Los Angeles Angels: “Halo Heroes, Heaven’s Victory.”

Los Angeles Dodgers: “Blue Dynasty, Dodger Glory.”

Miami Marlins: “Marlin Magic, Miami’s Rising Tide.”

Milwaukee Brewers: “Brew City Blaze, Fermented Success.”

Minnesota Twins: “Twin Cities Triumph, North Star Strive.”

New York Yankees: “Pinstripe Prowess, Bronx Dynasty.”

New York Mets: “Amazin’ Ascent, Queens’ Eminent.”

Oakland Athletics: “Green Collar Grit, A’s Forever Fit.”

Philadelphia Phillies: “Philly Fight, Liberty Heights.”

Pittsburgh Pirates: “Pirate Pride, Steel City Stride.”

San Diego Padres: “Friar Fervor, San Diego’s Valor.”

San Francisco Giants: “Orange Dynasty, Bay Area Majesty.”

Seattle Mariners: “Mariner Glory, Pacific Northwest Story.”

St. Louis Cardinals: “Cardinal Flight, Gateway Might.”

Tampa Bay Rays: “Rays of Brilliance, Tampa Bay’s Resilience.”

Texas Rangers: “Lone Star Legends, Texas Rangers Forever.”

Toronto Blue Jays: “Blue Jay Soar, Maple Leaf Encore.”

Washington Nationals: “National Pride, Capitol Heights.” — CHAT GPT

A lot of forced rhyming there...Dynasty and Majesty? Revolution with Motion? Still, “Astro Power, Houston Tower” will never top “Good Luck, Fuckers.”

Everystros LXXXVII

95. Vern Ruhle (Bagwell score (22.31) was a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Coleman, MI. Born on January 25, 1951, he was a 17th-round choice of the Detroit Tigers in 1972 out of Olivet College. One of four to reach the majors out of the round, led by Ray Burris (15.9 bWAR). Ruhle has the highest bWAR of the 10 players taken 404th overall to reach the majors (12.7). Joe Sambito is second in that group (8.7).

Ruhle spent his first four major league seasons with the Tigers, starting in 1974 (25-29, 4.12, 489 IP, 192 K). On March 27, 1978, the Tigers released him. Unemployed for one day, the Astros wasted no time in signing Ruhle through free agency.

For Houston, Ruhle was the very definition of sixth-starter/long-reliever, making 93 starts and 93 relief appearances over seven years with the Astros. He went 39-46 with seven saves, a 3.35 ERA, a 1.227 WHIP, and 166 walks with 313 strikeouts in 749 23 innings. He had an Astros opposing slashline of .263/.305/.373. In preventing stolen bases, runners were 61-for-98 overall, working with a 1.02 aLI. As a hitter, Ruhle slashed .148/.244/.176 with five doubles and nine RBI, along with 20 sacrifice hits.

On July 25, 1978, Ruhle struck out six over eight innings, giving up seven hits and no walks in a 3-2 win against the Montreal Expos. On August 5, he struck out five and walked zero, pitching a four-hitter to defeat the Atlanta Braves, 7-0. In his very next start, eight days later, he pitched a five-hit shutout, walking three and striking out three in a 3-0 win over Atlanta. On September 27, he struck out three and allowed four hits and three walks in seven innings, giving up no runs in a 4-0 win against the Braves.

On April 9, 1979, Ruhle struck out eight over as many innings, allowing two runs on five hits and no walks in a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. On April 18, he pitched a six-hitter, walking one and striking out two in a 4-0 victory over the Dodgers. On September 14, he pitched a four-hitter, walking one and striking out two in a 7-0 triumph versus the San Francisco Giants.

On May 3, 1980, Ruhle fell one out short of a complete game, striking out four and giving up two runs on four hits and a walk in a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. On June 10, he held the Cubs to two hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out three while keeping Chicago scoreless in a 5-2 Houston victory. On July 13, he pitched an eight-hitter,walking two and striking out five in a 6-1 victory over Atlanta.

On August 30, Ruhle pitched a five-hitter, striking out four and walking two in a 2-0 victory against the Cubs. On September 21, he pitched a three-hitter, walking one and striking out five in a 5-1 win against the Giants. Five days later, he pitched a four-hitter, walking zero and striking out two in a 2-0 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

On April 18, 1981, Ruhle struck out five and walked zero, keeping the Pirates to one run on three hits and no walks in a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On September 8, he struck out two and walked one, giving up three hits over seven innings in a 3-2 loss to Atlanta. On September 19, he pitched a four-hitter to defeat the Giants, 8-1.

On April 27, 1982, Ruhle gave up four hits over 7 13 scoreless innings in a 3-0 victory against St. Louis. On May 17, he pitched a four-hitter in an 8-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. On June 22, he pitched a three-hitter, striking out five in a 2-0 victory against the Giants.

On August 10, Ruhle came within one out of a complete game, allowing the Padres eight hits and no walks in a 4-1 win against San Diego. On August 17, he pitched a five-hitter, striking out four in a 2-0 win against the Phils. On September 27, he pitched the final five innings of a 7-3 win over the Padres, striking out four, walking zero, and holding San Diego scoreless on five hits.

On August 2, 1983, Ruhle pitched the final three innings of a 4-2 win against San Diego, keeping the Padres scoreless on one hit. On August 17, he pitched the final 4 23 frames against the Reds, keeping Cincinnati to one run on one hit and zero walks in a 7-6 Houston victory. On August 26, he pitched five innings of one-hit relief, walking one and earning the win in a 1-0 triumph against the Cubs. Four days later, he held the Cardinals to one run on three hits and three walks, striking out three in a 3-1 win against the Cardinals.

On September 17, Ruhle pitched 3 13 innings of scoreless relief, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out two in a 4-3 victory over Cincinnati. On May 13, 1984, he pitched the final four innings of a 1-0 victory against Chicago, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out three. On June 15, he pitched 6 13 innings of scoreless relief, giving up two hits and no walks while collecting two strikeouts in a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers.

Granted free agency following the season, Ruhle signed on with the Cleveland Indians (2-10, three saves, 4.32, 125 IP, 54 K), later playing with the California Angels (1-3, one save, 4.15, 47 23 IP, 23 K).

After his playing career, Ruhle went into coaching, first at the collegiate level with Cal-State Fullerton and the University of Oklahoma, and later in the majors with the Astros as pitching coach from 1997 through 2000. He later coached with the Phillies, the Mets, and the Reds. Ruhle passed away to multiple myeloma on January 20, 2007.

94. Jim Ray (Bagwell score 29.60) was a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Rock Hill, SC. Born on December 1, 1944, he reached the major leagues for the first time with the Astros in 1965.

The great majority of Ray’s career came while pitching for Houston. Between his debut and 1973, he was 42-27 with 23 saves, a 3.53 ERA, and a 1.298 WHIP while pitching with a 1.14 aLI. Although Ray started 20 games, he was mostly a reliever, making 260 appearances out of the bullpen. He walked 242 and struck out 381 while keeping his opponents to a .237/.317/.362 slashline. On 37-of-59 stolen base attempts were successful opposite Ray.

On April 15, 1968, Ray entered a 0-0 tie against the New York Mets in the 14th inning, and struck out 11 over seven scoreless one-hit innings for no decision in a 1-0, 24-inning Houston victory. Sometimes, I wish mlb.tv would get to work archiving....well, everything, but this one seems like it would be a classic. On June 18, he pitched six innings of relief, earning the win by keeping the Mets scoreless on five hits and two walks, striking out seven in a 6-5 Houston victory. On August 18, he pitched a four-hitter, striking out 10 and walking three in a 5-2 victory, also against the Mets. Ray did have good games against other teams as well.

On May 8, 1970, Ray pitched the final 3 23 innings of a 7-5 victory against the Pirates keeping Pittsburgh to one run on one hit and one walk, striking out two for the Astros. On August 29, he pitched 3 13 hitless innings of relief, walking three and striking out two in a 9-8 victory over the Mets.

On July 17, 1971, Ray pitched 5 13 innings of hitless and scoreless relief, walking one and striking out two in a 2-1 victory over the Mets. On July 26, he pitched four perfect innings and striking out four to earn the win in a 15-inning, 7-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. On August 22, he pitched 2 13 hitless innings, walking one and striking out one in topping the Chicago Cubs, 4-3.

On September 18, Ray came into the 10th-inning of a 2-2 tie with the Reds with one out and two runners on base. After intentionally walking a batter to load the bases, he induced a Hal McRae double play to escape any damage, although Houston lost, 3-2 in 11. The next day, he entered a 4-4 tie to pitch the eighth inning, and went three scoreless innings, striking out two in a 5-4, 11-inning win against the Reds. On July 13, 1972, he pitched the final 2 23 innings without allowing a run, striking out a pair and giving up one hit in a 7-2 victory over the Cubs.

On December 3, 1973, the Astros traded Ray with Gary Sutherland to the Detroit Tigers for Fred Scherman. He played one season with Detroit (1-3, two saves, 1-3, 4.47 ERA, 52 13 IP, 26 K). After 1974, Ray didn’t again pitch in the majors. He passed away in 2005, aged 60-years-old.

93. Doug Drabek (Bagwell score 22.19) is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Victoria, TX. Born on July 25, 1962, he was a fourth-round choice of the Cleveland Indians in 1980 out of St. Joseph’s High School. Instead of signing, he attended the University of Houston, and three years later, the Chicago White Sox chose him in the 11th round of the 1983 draft. Drabek was the best of five to reach the bigs out of the round (29.2 bWAR), but Kevin Seitzer was second with a 28.9 bWAR.

Drabek reached the big leagues for the first time in 1986 with the New York Yankees (7-8, 4.10, 131 23 IP, 76 K). He then played six seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (92-62, 3.02, 1362 23 IP, 820 K, 1990 NL Cy Young Award, NL leading 22 victories). On December 1, 1992, Houston signed Drabek to a contract through free agency.

In four seasons with the Astros, Drabek went 38-42 with a 4.00 ERA over 118 appearances, all starts. He walked 219 and struck out 558 in 762 23 innings, holding opponents to a 1.319 WHIP and a .268/.321/.400 opposing slashline. He also made the NL All-Star Team in 1994. As a hitter, he slashed .180/.198/.225 with 28 sacrifice hits and 20 RBI.

On April 5, 1993, Drabek started Opening Day for Houston and went eight innings, striking out seven and giving up a pair of runs on four hits and two walks in a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. On April 15, he held the Expos to two runs on four hits and zero walks, striking out 10 in a 2-1 loss to Montreal. On April 21, he pitched a six-hitter, striking out seven and walking one in a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

On May 6, Drabek held the Reds to two runs on eight hits, striking out three over eight innings in a 5-4 loss to Cincinnati. On May 27, he pitched a seven-hitter and struck out three, walking one in an 8-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies. On June 1, he pitched a five-hitter and walked one while striking out three in a 2-1 loss to Montreal.

On July 25, 1993, Drabek struck out four and walked three over 7 23 shutout innings, allowing six hits in a 3-1 loss to the Cubs. On August 21, he struck out eight over 8 23 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks in a 3-2 victory against the Phillies. On September 18, he struck out a season-high 11 Padres, allowing one walk and pitching a six-hitter in a 4-2 victory over San Diego.

On April 15, 1994, Drabek struck out five and allowed one run on three hits and two walks over eight innings in an 8-1 win over the Mets. On May 8, he pitched a five-hitter, walking zero and striking out seven in a 5-0 victory over Cincinnati. On May 13, he pitched a four-hitter, striking out six in a 4-2 victory against Colorado. On May 24, he struck out four and pitched a three-hitter, walking three in an 8-0 win against the Atlanta Braves.

On June 4, Drabek struck out three and pitched a five-hitter, walking three in a 5-1 victory against the Phillies. On July 27, he struck out six over 8 13 innings, allowing an unearned run on six hits and three walks in a 7-1 win over the Reds. On August 2, he pitched a two-hitter, striking out seven and walking two in a 3-1 triumph against Colorado.

On June 2, 1995, Drabek pitched a five-hitter, walking one and striking out seven while topping the Braves, 7-2. On June 27, he struck out 11 over 7 23 innings, giving up one run on five hits in a 6-2 win against the Cardinals. On July 8, he struck out eight and allowed an unearned run, allowing three hits in a 3-2 win against the Padres. On July 25, he pitched a three-hitter, striking out nine in a 4-0 shutout of the Dodgers.

On May 6, 1996, Drabek struck out nine in seven innings, giving up three hits in an 11-5 win over Philadelphia. On August 8, he pitched a six-hitter, striking out seven in a 6-2 victory over Montreal. On September 21, he struck out four and allowed four hits and two walks for no runs, in an eventual 2-1 loss to the Florida Marlins.

Drabek left via free agency after the 1996 season, joining the White Sox for one season (12-11, 5.74, 169 13 IP, 85 K) and the Baltimore Orioles in 1998 (6-11, 7.29, 108 23 IP, 55 K). Twelve seasons after his final major league game, Drabek joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as a pitching coach, serving in the role at Low-A, High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. He’s currently the pitching coach for the Reno Aces at Triple-A.

92. Jeff Kent (Bagwell score 69.32) is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Bellflower, CA. Born on March 7, 1968, he was a 20th-round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1989 out of the University of California. Of the seven players to graduate to the majors out of the round, Kent leads with 55.5 bWAR. The other six have a combined 13.6 bWAR. Chosen with the 523rd pick, he leads a fraternity of eight. Josh Reddick is second of the group, with 24.7 bWAR.

Kent reached the majors for the first time in 1992 with the Toronto Blue Jays (65 games, .239/.312/.430, 11 home runs, 50 RBI), later playing with the New York Mets (498 games, .279/.327/.453, 67 home runs, 267 RBI), the Cleveland Indians (39 games, .265/.328/.422, three home runs, 16 RBI), and the San Francisco Giants (900 games, .297/.368/.535, 175 home runs, 689 RBI, three All-Star Games). He signed with the Astros through free agency on December 18, 2002.

Kent played two seasons with the Astros, appearing in 275 games and starting 265 of them at second base, fielding at .986 over 2302 13 innings. He was 306-for-1045, slashing .293/.350/.521 with 73 doubles, nine triples, 49 home runs, and 13 stolen bases in 18 attempts. He drew 88 walks and struck out 181 times with 173 runs and 200 RBI.

On April 11, 2003, Kent hit a walk-off ninth-inning come-from-behind two-run homer in a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. On May 7, he hit a single and scored a game-tying run in the fourth, then hit a two-run go-ahead homer in the sixth before adding a seventh-inning RBI-single and capping things off with a two-run double in the eighth inning to top the Pittsburgh Pirates, 13-4. On June 6, Kent hit a first-inning single and an eighth-inning two-run go-ahead single in an 11-8 win against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

On August 19, 2003, he hit a single, a double and a home run with six RBI in a 12-8 win over the Chicago Cubs. On August 26, he hit a single, a double, and a home run with five RBI in an 18-4 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On September 1, he hit a single, a double, and a home run with six RBI in a 10-1 victory against Los Angeles.

On May 7, 2004, Kent hit a fourth-inning two-run double and scored, then hit a sixth-inning solo home run before singling in the seventh inning of a 5-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves. On August 25, he hit a game-tying second-inning home run, and a go-ahead eighth-inning three-run jack in a 7-4 win against the Phillies.

On August 31, Kent hit a pair of home runs with three RBI in an 8-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. On September 16, he hit a two-run double in the first, a two-run double and scored in the third, then hit an RBI-sacrifice fly in the seventh in an 8-3 win over St. Louis. On October 2, he hit a pair of homers for three RBI in a 9-3 win against Colorado. On October 18, there was this:

Kent left via free agency following the 2004 season. He then played his final four major league seasons with the Dodgers (521 games, .291/.367/.479, 75 home runs, 311 RBI, 2005 All-Star Game). SABR Bio

91. Brad Lidge (Bagwell score 48.17), or “Lights Out,” is a six-foot-five right-handed pitcher from Sacramento, CA. Born on December 23, 1976, he was a 42nd-round choice of the San Francisco Giants in 1995 out of Cherry Creek High School. After going unsigned, he matriculated to play with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and three years later the Astros chose him in the first round of the 1993 draft. He was one-of-30 to reach the majors out of the round, led by CC Sabathia (62.3 bWAR) and JD Drew (44.9 bWAR). He’s also one-of-39 to reach the majors after being chosen 17th overall, a group led by Roy Halladay (64.2 bWAR) and Cole Hamels (59.0 bWAR).

Lidge reached the bigs with Houston in 2002, and pitched in six seasons with the Astros, making the NL All-Star Team in 2005. He was 23-20 with a 3.30 ERA in 378 appearances, all but one of them a relief appearance. He walked 170 and struck out 561 in 401 innings, a 12.6 K/9. In 2004, that was a staggering 14.9 K/9, a metric no doubt at least partially responsible for Lidge garnering some down-ballot NL Cy Young consideration (he placed eighth in the season-ending award voting).

Lidge’s 123 saves with Houston ranks him third in franchise history behind only Billy Wagner (225 saves) and Dave Smith (199 saves). Ryan Pressly has 107, and could pass Lidge this season. He held opponents to a .213/.304/.349 line, with a high-water mark of .174/.254/.290 in the aforementioned 2004 season.

In 17 postseason contests for Houston, Lidge was 1-3 with six saves, with nine walks and 38 K’s in 25 innings.

May 31, 2003, Lidge entered to pitch the 10th inning in a scoreless tie with the Chicago Cubs, then pitched three scoreless innings, striking out six in an eventual 1-0 16-inning loss. On May 4, 2004, he struck out two in pitching the final 1 23 innings of a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing only one hit for his first save of the season. On June 30, he struck out three over the final two innings only giving up a walk in a 3-2 victory over the Cubs. On July 9, he collected the final six outs of a 3-2 win over the Dodgers, despite giving up three walks and a single, also striking out two.

On August 28, 2004, he struck out three over 1 23 innings to earn his 18th save of the year, walking two but surrendering no hits in a 7-6 victory over Chicago. On September 17, he earned his 23rd save of the campaign, striking out three Brewers over two scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory over Milwaukee. On September 24, he struck out three over 1 23 perfect innings to earn the victory in a 1-0 win against the Brewers. On October 20, in Game Six of the NLCS against St. Louis, Lidge was perfect through the ninth, 10th, and 11th innings, ringing up five Cardinals to extend the 4-4 tie into a 13th frame. Unfortunately, Dan Miceli couldn’t get through that frame, surrendering a walkoff shot to Jim Edmonds.

On April 18, 2005, Lidge entered in a scoreless tie with one out and a runner on first from Roger Clemens in the eighth inning against the Braves. He escaped the inning and pitched a scoreless ninth as well, in an eventual 1-0 Houston loss. On September 16, he struck out four over 1 23 innings for a victory in a 2-1 decision against the Brewers. On September 22, he earned his 38th save of the season, striking out two over 1 13 scoreless innings in a 2-1 win against the Bucs. Incidentally, he earned his 42nd save of the season in game 163 over the Chicago Cubs for a playoff spot.

On November 7, 2007, the Astros traded Lidge with Eric Bruntlett to the Phillies for Michael Bourn, Mike Costanzo and Geoff Geary. Lidge played four years with the Phils (3-11, 100 saves, 3.73, 193 IP, 228 K) before finishing up his career with the 2012 Washington Nationals (0-1, two saves, 9.64, 9 13 IP, 10 K). SABR Bio

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