Verlander Off to Great Start with Astros

Model/Actress Kate Upton was in Seattle Tuesday, wearing an Astros cap. Kate is the beautiful girl friend/fiancee of our new Astro ace, Justin Verlander. Of course, she’s going to like wearing the orange and blue. It’s been a long time since this club added a little glamour to the talent pool. – Right, Bo Belinsky?

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 Astro*Notes. The Baseball Reference.com career stat line for Justin Verlander says it best as a whole idea. Over 13 seasons as an MLB pitcher, the man has racked up an an incredible W-L record pitcher, and now, as of September 5, 2017, his current record stands at 184 wins and 144 losses, but only one win has been recorded as a starting pitcher for the Houston Astros – and that one happened last night in his first try for the team and city – that both now answer all calls to the same identity – Houston Strong – and getting stronger by the day.

Late in the game, when that powerful line drive off the quick bat of Robinson Cano slammed head on into Verlander’s right fore arm, there was an understandably fast gathering of Astros people that assembled at the mound to assess the damage. Verlander paced back and forth, took a couple of practice pitches in their hovering presence, and rapidly said “let’s go” – just as assuredly as Wyatt Earp gave the same sign to Doc Holliday, immediately prior to their little walk over to the O.K. Corral, down in Tombstone, Arizona.

The guy’s got ice water in his veins. On a night it took forever for the Astros to buy a first hit, Justin Verlander was just as tough on the Mariners, in spite of the fact that they managed to sneak a solo shot homer in on him off the bat of Kyle Seager that tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the 4th. The Astros had no hits in the game until much later. They got their first run on 3 walks and a sac fly by Alex Bregman in the top of the 3rd, all coming off Seattle starter Ariel Miranda.

Verlander went 6 innings in his Astros debut, giving up the solo homer-run, a total of 6 hits and 1 walk, while also racking up 7 K’s over the course of his 102 pitch-count night. After the Cano cruncher hit to his arm in the 6th, Verlander would pitch his way out of a jam. The Mariners would score no more runs on this destined night.

Before Verlander left, however, another new Astro, Cameron Maybin, unloaded a mighty 2-run blast to left to give Mr. Verlander and his joyous Astros teammates a 3-1 lead that would hold up as the final victory score for Houston. Some nice 2-inning hold work by Joe Musgrove and a lights out save by Ben Giles finished the job, protecting Verlander’s first win as an Astros. Giles blew away all three men he faced in the 9th, recording his 29th save of the year.

Only the Astros bats stayed mainly silent last night. Beyond the Maybin kill shot, a harmless single by Carlos Correa that followed proved to be the club’s 2nd and only other hit on the night.

If you want a better look at Justin Verlander’s stat career, try this link to his Baseball Reference.com player page:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/v/verlaju01.shtml

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AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST STANDINGS

THRU GAMES OF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2017

RANK AL WEST W L PCT. GB
1 ASTROS 85 53 .616  
2 ANGELS 72 67 .518 13.5
3 RANGERS 69 68 .504 15.5
4 MARINERS 69 70 .496 16.5
5 ATHLETICS 58 80 .420 27

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AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST GAME SCORES

THRU GAMES OF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2017

 ASTROS 3 – MARINERS 1

 ANGELS 8 – ATHLETICS 7                 

 RANGERS @ BRAVES (postponed)

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AMERICAN LEAGUE BATTING AVERAGE LEADERS

 THRU GAMES OF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2017

RANK PLAYER TEAM AB H 2B 3B HR BA
1 JOSE ALTUVE HOU 521 183 36 4 21 .351
2 AVISAIL GARCIA CWS 429 139 22 4 14 .324
3 ERIC HOSMER KC 515 163 24 1 23 .317
NR * CARLOS CORREA HOU 337 106 18 1 20 .315
4 JOSE RAMIREZ CLE 521 162 47 6 25 .311
5 JOSH REDDICK HOU 429 133 28 3 12 .310
6 JONATHAN SCHOOP BAL 532 163 33 0 31 .306
7 JEAN SEGURA SEA 452 137 27 1 8 .303
8 JOE MAUER MIN 443 134 30 1 6 .302
9 ELVIS ANDRUS TEX 550 165 37 4 19 .300
10 JOSE ABREU CWS 531 158 36 4 27 .298
0THER TOP 40 ASTROS
13 MARWIN GONZALEZ HOU 391 115 25 0 21 .294
14 GEORGE SPRINGER HOU 466 137 25 0 31 .294
15 YULI GURRIEL HOU 461 135 36 1 16 .293
21 ALEX BREGMAN HOU 474 135 32 5 16 .285

NR * LOST TIME ON THE DL HAS TEMPORARILY REMOVED CORREA FROM AN OFFICIAL QUALIFYING PLACE IN THE RANKING OF TOP 40 HITTERS.

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

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2 Responses to “Verlander Off to Great Start with Astros”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent could have placed the envelope next to his turban and said, “Verlander and the Astros will win.”

    Then he would have opened the envelope and read the question: “What will happen if the Mariner’s starting pitcher doesn’t give up a hit?”

    A strange and exciting beginning of the Verlander era.

  2. Mark W Says:

    And how about that Cameron Maybin? He Maybin disappointing to the Angels, but right now he’s way up there on my Astros MVP list.

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