All’s Well That Ends in Astros “W” @ MMP

JEFF LUHNOW, GM OF THE HOUSTON ASTROS, ADDRESSES SABR AT MINUTE MAID PARK AS ASSISTANT BRANDON TAUBMAN LOOKS ON, AWAITING HIS TURN TO SPEAK.

JEFF LUHNOW, GM OF THE HOUSTON ASTROS, ADDRESSES SABR AT MINUTE MAID PARK AS ASSISTANT BRANDON TAUBMAN LOOKS ON, AWAITING HIS TURN TO SPEAK.

Following a great SABR meeting at Minute Maid Park in which a full board room of members of the Larry Dierker Chapter listened actively to a really upbeat talk by Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and one of his key staff, 30-year old Brandon Taubman, the high energy felt there moved to the field in which most members sat together to first hear a beautiful tribute to Craig Biggio for his 2015 induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and then to watch Scott Kazmir, Jose Altuve, and Luis Valbuena lead the ALW  first place Astros to a 3-1 second straight win over the NLW front-running Los Angeles Dodgers.

SATURDAY, 8/22/15, ASTROS 3-1 WIN OVER DODGERS: PRIOR TO HIS 2ND INNING HR, JOSE ALTUVE APPEARS TO BE CALLING HIS SHOT.

SATURDAY, 8/22/15, ASTROS 3-1 WIN OVER DODGERS: PRIOR TO HIS 6TH INNING HR, JOSE ALTUVE APPEARS TO BE CALLING HIS SHOT.

Altuve opened the game with a triple and then scored when Carlos Correa was safe at first on a fielder’s choice error to make it 1-0 Astros. In the second inning, Luis Valbuena pasted a Greinke-served solo homer to deep right to push the Astros edge up to 2-0.

In the top of the 6th, Dodger shortstop Jimmy Rollins cracked the 500th double of his career and then scored on a a single by third baseman Justin Turner for what turned out to be LA’s only run of the game to cut the margin briefly to 2-1, Astros. It was a short-lived rally for the rich guys from Tinseltown,

Then Altuve came right back in the bottom of the 6th inning with a solo homer into the Crawford Boxes off the arguably NL-best pitcher, Zack Greinke to up the Astros ante back to two-runs at 3-1, a tally that would stand as the final score..

Houston goes for the sweep this Sunday afternoon, but it won’t be easy. Never is, no matter how it looks.

Young Lance McCullers is back from the farm to face off for the Astros against lefty Clayton Kershaw in the sweep quest, but didn’t we already mention the fat that it’s never easy?

Nevertheless, the Astros ow have a 4-game lead over the “new” second place team, the Texas Rangers, who defeated the Detroit Tigers on the road Saturday, 5-3. The Los Angeles Angels slipped to 3rd place and are now 4.5 games back after getting pasted at home, 15-3, by the surging Toronto Blue Jays.

8/22/15: THE VIEW FROM OUR SABR SEATS DOWN THE RIGHT FIELD LINE WAS ONE OF ENERGY AND OPTIMISM - AND WE WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED IN THE OUTCOME.

8/22/15: THE VIEW FROM OUR SABR SEATS DOWN THE RIGHT FIELD LINE WAS ONE OF ENERGY AND OPTIMISM – AND WE WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED IN THE OUTCOME.

Back to the Luhnow SABR talk for a moment. Jeff Luhnow was flying high Saturday – and why not? He’s been talking about “the plan” for four years of fairly uninspired play at the MLB level due to the new for rebuilding the talent pipeline. Over time, “2015” sort of slipped into something that sounded close to the answer to the question, “How soon can we begin to see the plan working better at the MLB level?”

Luhnow underestimated himself. We actually started seeing improvement in the Astros last year. And it got even incredibly better this year after the hiring of manager A.J Hinch and the addition of some key MLB-ready players and the coming of rookie sensation Carlos Correa.

Luhnow hoped for .500 or a few games better in 2015. What he got what was a speed horse club that hasn’t broken away from the pack, but one that has fought hard to keep a small lead in the ALW for most of the season.

“It’s helped that several of the clubs in our division have also had their problems,” Luhnow said as he smiled, as though to imply, “but we will take it any way we can get it.

Why shouldn’t Luhnow the man have been as pumped as a non-New England football? He’s talking to SABR with his club in first place  and coming off the previous evening’s no-hit win by Mike Fiers over the Dodgers, as one of the recently acquired players that our GM had only recently acquired to help with the stretch drive! – How super cool is that?

As the Reverend Red Barber might have put it, were he still around today to preach the gospel of baseball, “Mr. Luhnow and the Houston Astros have taken a great liking to the ‘catbird seat’ in recent days. – Yes, sir! – They surely have!”

THE BACK SUPPORT PANEL OF A SEAT FROM OLD YANKEE STADIUM. A GIFT FROM JIMMY WYNN WITH THE #23 HE GAVE ME LONG AGO WHEN WE WERE WORKING ON HIS BIO

THE BACK SUPPORT PANEL OF A SEAT FROM OLD YANKEE STADIUM. A GIFT FROM JIMMY WYNN WITH THE # 23 HE GAVE ME LONG AGO WHEN WE WERE WORKING ON HIS BIO “TOY CANNON”. BOB DORRILL ALSO RECEIVED A PANEL NOTED WITH THE # 3. – BOB DORRILL AND I ARE BOTH LUCKY TO HAVE JIMMY WYNN AS OUR FRIEND.

Jimmy Wynn and Larry Miggins were both n attendance yesterday. Jimmy looked great, even showing up to surprise Bob Dorrill and yours truly with seat back rests from Yankee stadium with our special numbers on them. Bob Dorrill got # 3 for Babe Ruth; I received # 23, a number that Jimmy gave me years ago when we worked on “Toy Cannon” together. For that reason, number 23 is now very special to me. It’s as close as I can be to this wonderful friend without intruding upon the number 24 that will always mean “JIMMY WYNN” in Houston.

LARRY MIGGINS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, 1948, 1952. HOUSTON BUFFS, 1949, 1951, 1953-54.

LARRY MIGGINS
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, 1948, 1952.
HOUSTON BUFFS, 1949, 1951, 1953-54.

Bob Dorrill recognized Larry Miggins for being 90 years and two days old – and we all gave the wonderful Mr. Miggins a standing ovation. I later asked Larry how it felt to be 90 years and two days old?”

“About the same as it did when I turned 90,” Larry smiled.

Bob Dorrill told the group that we have been successful in adding two new vintage base ball clubs for the fall and that we will be playing a six-game, round-robin schedule with each other on three doubleheader weekends in October and November. Our older guys on the Houston Babies don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, but we could use an infusion of youth, if you know of any candidates that can both play and commit the time. After all, the Babies have neither a talent pipeline nor a Jeff Luhnow o deck to help us with our roster re-loading requirements.

Next month’s September SABR meeting at our regular site, the Spaghetti Western Ristorante on Shepherd, will not take place on the 3rd Monday of the month due to a conflict with an Astros home game during the heart of what we hope is still a playoff run for the club.

We also signed a get-well card for Marie “Red” Mahoney, who is now in the hospital with unspecified issues. Get well, Red! We miss you!

Next month’s meeting will be scheduled f0r either the 2nd or 4th Monday. Stay tuned for the decision via an e-mail from Chapter leader Bob Dorrill.

Stayed tuned. – And, Go Astros. Sweep the Dodgers.

______________________________

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3 Responses to “All’s Well That Ends in Astros “W” @ MMP”

  1. Mark W Says:

    Minor correction Bill: Valbuena’s homer came in the second inning and Altuve’s homer came in the 6th inning. It seems worth noting that Altuve is 8 for 15 vs. Greinke in his career. And as fo this writing, Altuve is 3 for 3 vs. Clayton Kershaw in today’s game. I hope he can inspire some hits by his teammates via osmosis.

  2. baby pack and play Says:

    Awesome post.

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