Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Friday, September 6. Last night’s 11-9 victory in 13 innings by the Astros over the Mariners reminded me of a couple of games in Houston during the 2017 World Series with the Dodgers. The ball park there has been notoriously hitter-friendly since the day it opened. As good as the Dodgers and Astros’ pitching staffs were in 2017, they were gassed (exhausted) by the end of the World Series. Last night, the small park plus the sport’s questionable pitching plus a strong Astros’ offense led to the game’s result and serves as a reminder to whoever they face in the postseason of just how good this offense is.
Wade Miley was the Astros’ starter but he was gone without retiring a batter in the first inning.
A few decades back, the fact that the Mariners put up 7 runs before Houston’s cleanup hitter reached the plate would have all but guaranteed a Seattle win. As it was, the Astros managed to tie the game at 8–8 in the home 8th. Early on, Alex Bregman double two men home, giving him 98 RBIS. Kyle Tucker and Josh Reddick hit solo bombs in the 6th to make it 7–5. Reddick would end up 3 for 3 before his night was done. The Mariners’ Austin Nola homered to put the visitors back ahead 8–5, but 3 Houston runs knotted the game. Brandley’s scoring fly ball tied it. Each team put up a run in the 12th before Michael Brantley’s walk-off two-run shot in the home 13th for the win.
As badly as Miley pitched, Mariners’ starter Marco Gonzales had his struggles. Even with a 7–0 lead he barely lasted 5.1 innings, allowing 5 runs, 4 of them earned on 7 hits. As often as hitters strike out in today’s game, Gonzales managed to walk 5 men and not strike anybody out. Two pitchers came away unscathed before Anthony Bass and Sam Tuivailala combined to give up the 3 8th-inning runs. After two more pitchers, Zac Grotz was on his second inning when he gave up the hits that led to the game-tying run In the 12th. Matt Wisler walked a man and struck one out before Brandley launched one into the Houston night, letting the postgame fireworks begin. The night’s major kudos went to the Astros’ pitchers, all 7 of whom took their places after Miley left without getting anybody out. Josh James pitched a scoreless top of the 13th and got the win.
Back when Houston was a National League city, the Astros beat the Cardinals 15–12 after getting behind 11–0. That amazing comeback took place less than a month before the strike of 1994. This was the largest comeback since that night a quarter of a century ago. Going back still further, Miley was the first starter to exit without retiring a man, barring injury or ejection since Jim Clancy in 1989.
The Yankees are known to have serious pitching issues. They faced the Twins in a game just like the one that played out in Houston last night. The Yankees took that game 14–12. the Bronx Bombers would do well to consider this team a worthy opponent come mid-October. It’s logical to think that whichever of those teams survives their encounter will face the Dodgers around Halloween.0