Astros Clinch AL West Behind Verlander

At last out Sunday, game-resting Jose Altuve ran onto the field to celebrate with his game-active teammates. His whole body language speaks loudly about the joy that comes from relief. “WE DID IT!” (This part of “IT”, at least.) Says the smile.

 

The Astros beat the Mariners, 7-1, to clinch 1st place in the 2017 AL West. George Springer and Justin Verlander had good reasons to thank each other for today’s win. Verlander won his 3rd start as an Astro – and Springer banged his 32nd HR in support. Where would the Astros be without these two guys, plus Altuve, Correa, and few others? I don’t know, but we wouldn’t be smiling today, not like we are.

 

Astros Manager A.J. Hinch hugs shortstop Carlos Correa, who caught the high pop fly that was the game’s last out. A.J.’s hug was for much more than his guy’s handling of a single pop fly.

 

Carlos Correa pauses for a nice interview by Julia Morales of AT&T Sportsnet. – Carlos also hit his 21st HR of the season to dead center today. It was his first long ball since the week prior to the All Star Game and the injury that took him out for so many weeks. His new tee-shirt was a popular post game change of jerseys for the Astros this happy Sunday in Houston.

 

ASTRO*NOTES. If you are a player, and you want a ring, you have be a member of the team that survives to win the World Series. Until then, every other win on the way is only for caps and tee shirts. And, frankly, that’s as it should be. In the big leagues, like in real life, you shouldn’t get a ring, a trophy, a watch or a car – just for showing up.

2017 AL WEST Champions is the Astros’ first division title in 16 years, the first since Astros icon and then manager Larry Dierker led the 2001 club to the title as Champions of the NL Central Division. To the best of our knowledge (:-)), Houston is the first double-league team to win division titles in both the NL Central and the AL West. We Astros fans owe a backhanded word of thanks to former Commissioner and newbie Hall of Famer Bud Selig for making it all possible.

Home Field Advantage Races. Sunday’s Houston 7-1 win over Seattle also was matched by Cleveland’s 2nd straight win over Kansas City by 3-2 on the same day. As a result, the Astros (91-58) remain 1.5 games behind the also new AL Central Division Champion Indians (93-57) for home field advantage throughout the AL Playoffs.

Hopefully, this table will show the race for home field advantage by league and overall for the World Series in an even easier way to see. It only includes those still possible playoff contenders who still have a snowball’s chance at the best scheduling rewards of the new system:

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE RACES, GB IN EACH 

CLUB W L W% AL NL WS
DODGERS 96 53 .644 L L
INDIANS 93 57 .620 L 2.5
ASTROS 91 58 .611 1.5 5.0
NATIONALS 90 59 .604 6.0 6.0
D-BACKS 87 63 .580 9.5 9.5
RED SOX 85 64 .570 7.5 11.0
CUBS 83 66 .557 13.0 13.0
YANKEES 82 67 .550 10.5 14.0

 L= LEADER BY LEAGUE AND OVERALL.

Overall Leader gets home field advantage in World Series.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST STANDINGS

THRU GAMES OF SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2017 

RANK AL WEST W L PCT. GB
1 c *
ASTROS 91 58 .611  
2 ANGELS 76 73 .510 15.0
3 MARINERS 74 76 .493 17.5
4 RANGERS 73 76 .490 18.0
5 ATHLETICS 66 83 .443 25.0

c * ~ Clinched 2017 AL West Division Championship, 9/17/2017.

With Cleveland also winning today, the Astros remain 1.5 games back of the Indians for home field advantage through all rounds of the AL Playoffs.

********************

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST GAME SCORES

THRU GAMES OF SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

ASTROS 7 – MARINERS 1

RANGERS 4 – ANGELS 2                 

ATHLETICS 6 – PHILLIES 3

********************

AMERICAN LEAGUE BATTING AVERAGE LEADERS

THRU GAMES OF SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

RANK PLAYER TEAM AB H 2B 3B HR BA
1 JOSE ALTUVE HOU 554 193 38 4 23 .348
2 AVISAIL GARCIA CWS 477 159 23 4 17 .333
3 ERIC HOSMER KC 560 181 29 1 24 .323
4 JOSH REDDICK HOU 461 145 32 3 13 .315
5 JOSE RAMERIZ CLE 545 171 50 6 27 .314
6 JOE MAUER MIN 483 148 34 1 7 .306
7 JOSE ABREU CWS 579 177 38 6 31 .306
NR * CARLOS CORREA HOU 381 116 20 1 21 .304
8 LORENZO CAIN KC 542 164 26 5 14 .303
9 ELVIS ANDRUS TEX 592 178 42 4 20 .301
10 JONATHAN SCHOOP BAL 573 172 33 0 32 .300
RANK OTHER TOP 40 ASTROS TEAM AB H 2B 3B HR BA
15 MARWIN GONZALEZ HOU 420 123 30 0 22 .293
16 YULI GURRIEL HOU 489 143 37 1 17 .292
17 GEORGE SPRINGER HOU 505 147 27 0 32 .291
30 ALEX BREGMAN HOU 513 143 35 5 16 .279

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

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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One Response to “Astros Clinch AL West Behind Verlander”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    The race to beat Cleveland for the best record and home-field advantage continues. No time to let up.

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