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Astros Crawfish Boil: February 9, 2024

Here’s the weekend boil, including chapter 96 of Everystros.

Danny Darwin
| Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Houston Astros News

Astros plan to offer Bregman extension: ‘We know how good he is’

Houston Astros: Aramark’s Minute Maid Park food items debut, including Pennant Pickle Dogs, Curveball Corn Dogs, AstroNautchos (ABC13 Houston)

Astros manager Joe Espada not averse to more LF for Yordan Alvarez (Houston Chronicle)

Scott Boras’ latest comments on Alex Bregman cast doubt on star’s future with Astros (CTH)

AL West News

A’s — Athletics: Oakland mayor issues serious doubt on John Fisher’s Las Vegas plan (ClutchPoints)

M’s — Mariners spring training preview: Cal Raleigh more than carries the load as foundational catcher (The Spokesman-Review

Halos — IF Anthony Rendon Performs, Will All Be Forgiven? Los Angeles Angels 3rd Base Options: Roster Recap! (myfoxzone)

Blarts — World Series hero García signs 2-year deal with Rangers

MLB News

Here are the budding faces of the franchise – all 30 of them tl;dr — Yainer Diaz

Satchel Paige’s legendary talent hard to fathom

When will the ‘Big Four’ sign? Insiders answer lingering Hot Stove questions

One of the top FA pitchers will ‘most likely’ sign within days

Houston Astros Birthdays

Friday

RHP Ramón García (55)

LHP Hal Gilson (1942-2022)

Saturday

RHP Dayán Díaz (35)

OF/1B Lance Berkman (48)

IF Eddie Zosky (56)

RHP Peyton Plumlee (27)

RHP Alex Santos II (22)

RHP Ryan Bowen (56)

Sunday

LHP Matt Gage (31)

C J.R. Towles (40)

RHP Jackson Nezuh (22)

RHP Matt Lindstrom (44)

RF John Paciorek (79) — Paciorek has a Bagwell score of 472. Look him up. Here, too.

RF Ollie Brown (1944-2015)

Everystros XCVI

56. Moisés Alou (Bagwelll score 78.38) is a six-foot-three right-handed outfielder from Atlanta, GA. Born on July 3, 1966, he was a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986 (January Draft-Regular Phase) out of Cañada College. Alou’s 39.9 career bWAR dwarfs every other player from the round to make the majors. The other five collected and aggregate 31.9 bWAR.

Alou made his major league debut with the Pirates in 1990 (two games, one-for-five). He then joined the Montreal Expos for six seasons (608 games, .292/.349/.489, 84 home runs, 373 RBI, 1994 NL All-Star) and the 1997 Florida Marlins (150 games, .292/.373/.493, 23 home runs, 115 RBI). On November 11, 1997, the Marlins traded Alou to the Astros for Manuel Barrios, Óscar Henríquz and PTBNL Mark Johnson.

Alou played three entire seasons for Houston (1998, 2000, 2001), missing the 1999 campaign with a torn ACL. In 421 games he slashed .331/.403/.585, going 513-for-1551 with 93 doubles, nine triples, 95 home runs, and 19 stolen bases in 26 attempts. He drew 193 walks and struck out 189 times, with 265 runs scored and 346 runs driven in. He was five-for-28 in two losing ALDS series, in 1998 and 2001.

Defensively, Alou started 204 games in left field (1807 23 innings, .974), 194 games in right field (1641 23 innings, .991), four games in center field (33 13 innings, .833), and six games at designated hitter. He made the NL All-Star Team in 1998 and 2001, also winning the Silver Slugger for left field and finishing third in the 1998 MVP Award race. In 2000, his .355 batting average trailed only Todd Helton’s .372 in the National League.

On April 12, 1998, Alou hit a first-inning single, a third-inning RBI-double, a fourth-inning RBI-groundout, and a 10th-inning leadoff home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers, only to see Houston lose in the bottom of the inning, 7-6 on a Raul Mondesí two-run jack. On April 24, he hit a single and a home run for a total of five RBI in a 8-4 win over the Expos. Two days later, he collected another five RBI game with a single, a double, and a homer in a 15-0 win over the Expos. Two more days later, he doubled in the sixth and hit a game-tying two-run single in the ninth, in a 10-inning walk-off victory courtesy of a Sean Berry RBI-single to score Tim Bogar for a 4-3 triumph against the New York Mets.

On May 25, 1998, Alou tripled in the third, hit an RBI-single in the fourth, and singled in the eighth, walking in his other three plate appearances to reach base six times in a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Dodgers. On May 31, he singled in the first, hit a solo home run in the fifth, and added a game-tying three-run home run in the seventh in an eventual 6-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies. On June 14, he doubled in the second, hit a game-tying seventh-inning homer, and singled in the ninth in a 6-3, 10-inning Houston win over the Cincinnati Reds.

On June 30, Alou hit a single and a pair of home runs for four RBI in a 17-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. On July 27, he hit three singles and a home run for two RBI in a 9-1 victory against the Marlins. On August 10, he got Houston on the board first with a sixth-inning two-run shot, then later singled and scored on a go-ahead Sean Berry home run in the eighth, in a 5-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

On August 15, Alou hit a fourth-inning solo homer, a seventh-inning single and a run, and a game-tying lead-off homer in the ninth, in an 11-inning walk-off 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs. August 22, he hit three singles and a homer for two RBI, scoring three runs in an 8-3 triumph over the Cubs. On September 11, he hit a fourth-inning single, a sixth-inning double, and a go-ahead RBI-double in the ninth, in an 8-2 win opposite the St. Louis Cardinals.

On April 25, 2000, Alou went four-for-four with a double and two RBI in an 11-7 victory versus the Cubs. On June 14, he hit a sixth-inning game-tying solo home run and an eighth-inning go-ahead two-run homer to help defeat the Rockies. On June 24, he hit four singles with an RBI and two runs scored in a 13-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Three days later, he collected four RBI on three singles and a double, also scoring twice in a 12-4 triumph versus the Arizona Diamondbacks.

On August 13, Alou hit a double and two homers with three RBI in a 14-7 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. The next day, he hit another two home runs, along with a single and five RBI in a 16-2 drubbing of Pittsburgh. On August 22, he hit a third-inning game-tying RBI-double, then added a three-run go-ahead seventh-inning shot to help top the Cubbies, 10-7.

On April 24, 2001, Alou hit two singles and two home runs for four RBI in an 11-6 victory against the Atlanta Braves. On May 2, he hit a pair of solo home runs in a 6-5, 10-inning win over the Mets. On May 14, he hit a fourth-inning double and scored the tying run, then added a go-ahead seventh-inning bases-clearing double to help the Astros top the Reds, 6-4.

On June 15, Alou hit a first-inning two-run jack, a third-inning RBI-sacrifice fly, a fifth-inning two-run go-ahead home run, and a seventh-inning single, only to see Houston lose to the Texas Rangers, 12-9. On June 20, he picked up a pair of RBI on three singles and a home run in a 7-2 victory over Colorado. On June 27, he hit a single and launched a pair of homers with three RBI in a 7-5 loss to the D-Backs.

On July 18, Alou hit a three-run go-ahead first-inning home run, a third-inning double, reached on an error and scored a game-tying run in the fifth, hit a double later in the inning, and drew a walk in the seventh in a ridiculous barn-burning 17-11 victory over the Redbirds. On August 2, he got his first hit of the game in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Mets with a walk-off RBI-single.

On November 5, 2001, Houston granted Alou free agency, but Alou wasn’t close to done despite his 35 years. He followed his time for the Astros by playing three seasons with the Cubs (438 games, .283/.353/.484, 76 home runs, 258 RBI, 2004 All-Star), two seasons for the Giants (221 games, .312/.379/.541, 41 home runs, 137 RBI, 2005 All-Star), and two seasons with the Mets (102 games, .342/.391/.507, 13 home runs, 58 RBI). He played his final game less than a month before he was to turn 42. Looking at this guy’s numbers in hindsight, it seems he’s a mile better than Harold Baines at a minimum...but I digress. I’m gonna further digress here for a moment:

Alou: 17 seasons, 1,942 games, .303/.369/.516, 332 home runs, 1,287 RBI, 39.9 bWAR, 59.52 Bagwell score
Baines: 22 seasons, 2,830 games, .289/.356/.465, 384 home runs, 1,628 RBI, 38.8 bWAR, 41.29 Bagwell score

....and yet Alou got 1.1 percent of the vote and fell off after a single season on the ballot. Somebody explain how Baines is a “Hall of Famer” and Alou is not to me like I’m six years old. SABR Bio

55. Michael Bourn (Bagwell score 62.40) is a five-foot-11 left-handed batting and righty-throwing centerfielder from Houston, TX. Born on December 27, 1982, he was a 19th-round choice of the Astros in 2000 out of Nimitz High School. After not signing, he was again chosen in the 2003 draft, in the fourth round out of the University of Houston by the Philadelphia Phillies. Nine players from the round made it to the majors, but only two of note — Jonathan Papelbon (23.3 bWAR) and Bourn (22.8 bWAR). Bourn leads the 21 players chosen with the 115th overall pick to make the bigs, trailed chiefly by Willie Upshaw (13.0 bWAR).

Bourn reached the majors for the first time in 2006, and spent parts of two seasons playing for Philadelphia’s parent club (122 games, .268/.340/.362, one home run, six RBI). On November 7, 2007, the Phils sent Bourn with Mike Constanzo and Geoff Geary to Houston for Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett.

Bourn played three-and-a-half seasons with the Astros, appearing in 541 games. He started 495 games in centerfield (4407 23 innings, 1321, .990), and didn’t appear at any other position, not even for 13 of an inning. At the plate, he was 552-for-2037 with a .271/.337/.359 slashline, with 88 doubles, 29 triples, 11 home runs, and 193 stolen bases in 234 attempts. He drew 197 walks and struck out 450 times, with 302 runs and 134 RBI. Bourn won the 2009 Gold Glove for NL CF and led the league with 61 stolen bases. He won another Gold Glove in 2010 and made the NL All-Star Team for the first time, leading the NL with 52 steals. In 2011, he led the majors with 61 stolen bases.

On May 14, 2009, Bourn hit three singles and a double, stealing two bases and scoring twice in a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies. On June 2, he singled and stole a base in the first, walked in the third, doubled and scored in the fifth, and reached on an error in the ninth in a 3-2, 11-inning win against the Rockies. On June 20, he hit a fourth-inning double, drew a walk in the sixth, and hit a seventh-inning go-ahead two-run homer in a 6-5 triumph against the Minnesota Twins.

On May 15, 2010, Bourn drew a walk, stole a base and scored in the first, stole a base in the third, singled and stole a base in the eighth, then drew a walk in the ninth to help defeat the San Francisco Giants, 2-1. On July 1, he hit a single in the ninth and a go-ahead two-run triple in the 10th in a 6-3 victory over the San Diego Padres. On September 7, he led off the game with a triple and a run, hit a second-inning two-run double, hit a single, stole a base and scored in the fifth, and hit an RBI-sacrifice fly in the sixth in a 7-3 victory over the Cubs. Three days later, he hit a game-tying fifth-inning RBI-single, a game-tying seventh-inning RBI-single, and a 10th-inning triple in a 4-2 11-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

May 23, 2011, Bourn drew an eighth-inning walk and stole a base, hit a game-tying two-run double in the ninth, and scored the walk-off game-winner on a Hunter Pence RBI-single. On June 10, he hit a single, two doubles, and a triple, scoring twice in an 11-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves. On June 21, he hit a double and scored in the first, a go-ahead third-inning RBI-double, with a stolen base and a run, then hit a seventh-inning RBI-single and stole another base in a 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Rangers. On July 2, he hit three singles and a triple with two runs in a 10-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox. On July 24, he hit a third-inning single, a fifth-inning single, and a ninth-inning single in a 5-4 loss to the Cubs.

On July 31, 2011, the Astros sent Bourn and cash to the Braves for Juan Abreu, Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens, and Jordan Schafer. Bourn went on to play two hitches with the Braves (254 games, .267/.336/.364, 10 home runs, 86 RBI), parts of three seasons with the Cleveland Indians (331 games, .257/.315/.345, nine home runs, 97 RBI), part of 2016 with the Diamondbacks (89 games, .261/.307/.362, three home runs, 30 RBI), and the rest of the season with the Baltimore Orioles (24 games, .283/.358/.435, two home runs, eight RBI).

54. Bob Bruce (Bagwell score 34.15) was a six-foot-three right-handed pitcher from New York, NY. Born on May 16, 1933, he reached the majors for the first time with the Detroit Tigers in 1959, and played in parts of three seasons with the team (5-10 3.97, 176 23 IP, 102 K). On December 1, 1961, the Tigers traded Bruce with Manny Montejo to the Houston Colt .45s for Sam Jones.

Bruce was in Houston’s rotation from their first ever opening day through the 1966 season, playing five years with the Colts/Astros. He was 42-58 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.279 WHIP. He walked 242 and struck out 609 in 907 innings, holding his opponents to a .262/.314/.379 slashline. As a hitter he went 42-for-286 while part of the team, with six doubles, a triple, and 16 RBI. He had 20 sacrifice hits and 21 walks, scoring 19 runs. He fielded at .973 with 220 fielding chances.

On September 4, 1962, Bruce struck out seven and pitched a four-hitter, earning a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. On September 29, in the second game of a twin-bill, he struck out nine and pitched a six-hitter, defeating the San Francisco Giants, 4-2.

On April 26, 1963, Bruce pitched a one-hitter, striking out seven Reds in a 2-0 Colts win over Cincinnati. On June 2, he pitched the first 11 innings of a 17-inning, 3-1 Houston win over the Milwaukee Braves. He struck out five and allowed one run on eight hits.

On April 22, 1964, Bruce struck out seven over eight innings, holding the Reds scoreless on five hits in a 2-0 win. On May 24, he pitched a four-hitter, striking out 10 in a 5-0 victory over the New York Mets. On July 4, he pitched another four-hitter, striking out six Bucs in a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. On July 21, he pitched a nine-hit shutout, striking out six in a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. On August 24, he allowed two hits and no runs, striking out five in a 2-0 win over the Cubs. On September 20, he collected 10 strikeouts and pitched a two-hitter to top the Mets, 1-0. On September 27, he put up a career-best 96 GameScore, pitching a 12-inning five-hit shutout while striking out six in a 1-0 win over the Dodgers.

On April 18, 1965, in the top half of a doubleheader, Bruce got nine Pirates to whiff while allowing six hits over a complete game, 3-1 win over Pittsburgh. On June 27, he struck out 10 over eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits in a 4-2 victory against the Mets. On July 21, he pitched a six-hitter, striking out five to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-0. On August 31, he pitched a four-hitter against the Mets in a 3-2 win over New York.

During his career with the Astros, Bruce placed amongst the NL-leaders in BB/9 twice, with a league-second 1.468 in 1964 and a league-third 1.489 in 1965. Also in 1964, he was third in the NL with a 2.32 FIP, although his ERA was an NL-10th 2.76. On December 31, 1966, the Astros traded Bruce with Dave Nicholson to the Braves for Eddie Mathews, Arnold Umbach, and PTBNL Sandy Alomar. Bruce played one season for the Braves (2-3, one save, 4.89 ERA, 38 23 IP, 22 K). SABR Bio

53. Danny Darwin (Bagwell score 42.47) is a six-foot-three right-handed pitcher from Bonham, TX. Born on October 25, 1955, he was a Grayson College product, but went undrafted.

Darwin, also known as Dr. Death, made his major league debut with the 1978 Texas Rangers, and played seven seasons with them (55-52, 15 saves, 3.72, 872 IP, 566 K), then joined the Milwaukee Brewers for parts of two seasons (14-26, two saves, 3.70 ERA, 348 IP, 205 K). On August 15, 1986, the Crew traded him to Houston for Don August and Mark Knudson.

Darwin, also known as the Bonham Bullet, made 75 starts for Houston over the following four seasons, along with 130 relief appearances. He also returned for an encore in 1996 at the age of 40, with another six starts and nine more trips out of the bullpen.

Darwin was 47-35 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.164 WHIP. He issued 201 walks and struck out 543 in 769 innings, while keeping his opponents to a .239/.293/.356 slashline. He was 25-of-203 at the plate, with five doubles, two triples, one home run, and 16 RBI. He also drew five walks and eight sacrifice hits. On defense, he handled 144 chances and made seven errors for a .951 fielding percentage. He led the National League with a 2.21 ERA in 1990.

On September 2, 1986, Darwin entered with one out and one on in the bottom of the 17th inning, tied 7-7 with the Chicago Cubs. He stranded his inherited runner and got two outs to send it to the 18th, when Billy Hatcher hit a solo shot. Darwin pitched the 18th and was credited with the victory. On September 17, he pitched a five-hitter, striking out three in a 6-1 win against the Cincinnati Reds. On September 27, he struck out seven over seven shutout innings, holding the Braves to six hits and zero walks in an eventual 4-0 victory over Atlanta.

On June 9, 1987, Darwin kept the Padres scoreless on four hits over 7 23 innings, collecting five strikeouts in a 1-0 victory over San Diego. Five days later, he pitched a two-hitter, striking out six in a 4-1 triumph against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On July 16, he struck out seven and pitched a four-hitter, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1. Five days later, he limited the Expos to five hits and one run over eight innings, whiffing three in a 4-2 victory over Montreal.

On September 27, 1988, Darwin inherited two runners with one out in the ninth, and stranded both of them during a 2-2 with the Braves. Alex Trevino hit an RBI-single in the 10th, and Darwin collected the final three outs for a 3-2 victory over Atlanta. The next day, he entered in a 3-3 tie with one out in the 11th, then gave up a pair of singles but no runs over 2 23 innings, in an eventual 4-3 Braves 17-inning victory.

On May 18, 1989, Darwin entered with the score tied at three and two runners on base against the Cardinals, then pitched three hitless innings, surrendering only two walks in a 1-0, 10-inning loss to St. Louis. On June 15, he came in with a runner on third and one out in the eighth inning, tied 1-1 with the Dodgers. He walked Willie Randolph, then got Eddie Murray and Mike Davis, both swinging to preserve the tie. He then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, although Mariano Duncan walked Houston off with an 11th-inning RBI-single off Juan Agosto.

On July 22, Darwin entered in the sixth inning, with no outs, no on, and three runs in, with the Astros trailing the Phillies, 3-2. He got through the inning without incident, including two strikeouts — Dickie Thon and Larry McWilliams — more on Thon Wednesday. Darwin followed with three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit and striking out five to earn the win, 4-3 over Philadelphia. On August 15, he came in with one out and a runner on first in the eighth, tied with the Pirates, 2-2. He got out of the inning, then pitched two more without giving up a hit, also striking out three in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh. On August 24, he entered a 2-2 tie with the Bucs to pitch the eighth, then pitched three perfect innings, striking out four in an eventual 3-2 loss to the Pirates.

On May 8, 1990, Darwin came into a 2-2 tie with the Phillies with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, and got both Rod Booker and Dave Hollins out swinging on a total of nine pitches. He stayed in to pitch the ninth without allowing a run, in a 10-inning, 3-2 win over Philadelphia. On July 25, he struck out 10 and pitched a five-hitter, defeating the Braves, 5-1. On August 21, he pitched another five-hitter, striking out four to top the Pirates, 2-1. Five days later, he struck out eight Cardinals and gave up two runs on eight hits, defeating St. Louis, 4-2. On September 7, he kept the Giants to one run on seven hits, striking out five over eight frames in a 2-1 win against San Francisco. On September 28, he threw seven scoreless innings, striking out as many and giving up no runs on four hits in a 2-1, 10-inning win against Atlanta. In the offseason following the 1990 season, Darwin signed on with the Boston Red Sox.

Darwin played four seasons with the Red Sox (34-31, three saves, 4.14 ERA, 534 13 IP, 350 K), part of a season with the Toronto Blue Jays (1-8, 7.62 ERA, 65 IP, 36 K), the Rangers to close out 1995, the Pirates for part of 1996 (7-9, 3.02 ERA, 122 13 IP, 69 K), then rejoined the Astros when Pittsburgh made a trade for Rich Loiselle. He went 3-2 with a 5.95 ERA for Houston, with 11 walks and 27 strikeouts in 42 13 innings.

Darwin later played for the Chicago White Sox (4-8, 4.13 ERA, 113 13 IP, 62 K), and the Giants (9-13, 5.37 ERA, 192 23 IP, 111 K). It’s hard to believe that he played 21 years of major league baseball, won 171 games, and somehow didn’t win any season awards, was never named to an All-Star Team, and never played in a postseason contest.

After his playing days, Darwin went into coaching, serving as a pitching coach for 10 seasons, between the Dodgers and Reds minor league systems. He was most recently the pitching coach for the Chattanooga Lookouts at the Double-A level in 2019. SABR Bio

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