Astro Notes: August 27, 2016

Colin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel say: "Hey Astros Fans! Don't you wish we could have pitched as well in 2016 as we both did in 2015? One of us even won the friggin’ 'Cy' last year, for goodness sakes!"

Colin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel want to know:
“Hey Astros Fans! Don’t you wish we could have pitched as well in 2016 as we both did in 2015? One of us even won the friggin’ holy ‘Cy’ last year, for goodness sakes!”


Former Astro Hunter Pence. Former Astro Hunter Pence is still a pretty nice MLB outfielder. The now veteran member of the San Francisco Giants and wearer of  a World Series ring as another result of his departure from the Astros will never reach the Hall of Fame for his playing ability, but he may receive mention there someday as the player who inspired the Bobble Head industry to a new realm of possibility. Thanks to Maryland friend, fellow SABR member, and frequent contributor to The Pecan Park Eagle, Bill Hickman, we have now learned Pence is now part of a change that is setting the technology souvenir industry on it’s “new revenue stream” ear. – Because of his field-level fidgeting, Hunter Pence is now out there as the first model for the “Bobble Body” figure. Who knows? Maybe Carlos Gomez has a future as the model for the first Bobble Helmet Loser every time a fan checks to see what he can do with the figurine? In the meanwhile, thanks to Bill Hickman, here’s the link to Hunter Pence’s novel contribution:


Keuchel and McHugh. Last year, these guys won 39 combined total games for the Astros. This year, they’ve each won 8 games each through all games of Friday, 8/26/16. Although the club’s downtown in 2016 is due to many things, it isn’t hard to see this one difference maker from 2015. Had Keuchel abd McHugh been able to perform again at their last year levels in 2016, it isn’t hard to figure from their downturns alone why the Astros are not up there battling the Rangers for first place.

The Astros Inability to Beat the Rangers. Here’s another single-bullet postulation. Had the Astros, at least or better,  been able to play .500 ball in their head-to-heads with the Rangers in 2016, guess where they would be in the standings today. What happened? See Keuchel and McHugh, dead bats, poor relief,  poor fundamental play, and a psyched-out sort of competitive deadness that seems to takeover whenever the opposition is the Rangers.

The Carlos Gomez Move to a New Team-Reflex HR He Hit in His First AB for the Rangers. When Carlos Gomez bopped a 3-run homer in his first time up for the Rangers this past week, the news was about as surprising as the gaseous aftermath that occurs in the human body after eating too many beans. It’s just the way the athletic ego works when a guy plays miserably, gets cut, and then signs with his former club’s biggest rival. – “In your faces, Astros! – This one’s for you!” It probably is little more than Gomez’s death rattle protest to his declining skills. A quick glance at his last at bat in hat slaughterhouse loss that the Rangers absorbed at home against the Indians last night is our only TV-peek time to see him “perform” for that team “up north”, so far. He struck out wildly, looking bad on several other pitches along the way. He looked liked the same old Carlos Gomez that we came to expect at the plate here in Houston. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he will not have a few stink bombs left for his first direct competition as a Ranger against the Astros when they next meet. According to this ancient baseball superstition, you can almost count on him doing something to inflict pain on the club that let him go.

“It Ain’t Over – Til it’s Over!” How many times in MLB history has a home team fallen behind in the top of the 9th by a visiting team’s solo shot homer, and the come back in the bottom of the 9th to win the game on back-to-back home team solo homers? We have no idea. Perhaps, you do. If so, please let the rest of us know. Watching the game last night come down to the end is one of the best arguments we’ve ever witnessed that spoke so loudly for the Wisdom Yogi: “It Ain’t Over – Til it’s Over!”

A Blip on the EKG That is Now Attached to the Astros’ Team Heart. Was last night’s back-to-back 9th inning homer win over the Rays simply s blip on the playoff-heart EKG machine – or was it a sign of a dramatic late season resuscitation of heart and performance that shall now carry the Astros into the Playoffs and a longer-remembered history of last night’s comeback drama? We are about to find out, one day at a time, and starting with Saturday Night’s 6:00 PM game at Minute Maid Park against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Go Astros! Let’s make it happen!


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

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