How the MLB Looked on July 19

 

On July 19, 2017, the Houston Chronicle sports pages section headlines read: “Simply thumb-struck”. Carlos Correa had just gone through hand surgery for that thumb-injury he suffered on a slide at home and now he was out and scheduled to return no sooner than late in the season, if at all.

I had saved that paper as an anchor point perspective on “how things were then” for a brief look at “how things are now” with the Houston Astros’ 2017 season as a result.

And here it is:

Carlos Correa. Carlos Correa was hitting .320 and playing gods-level defense through his final pre-injury game of Tuesday, July 18. He’s been back a while now – and only last night – he made another of those “angels in the infield” plays to retire Ranger runner Elvis Andrus at first. Oh yes, first baseman Tyler White also had an angel working on his leg extension during the same play or the whole jaw-dropping execution could never have been completed. – As for hitting, Correa has been less productive and powerful since his return from the DL. He went 0 for 5 Monday, 9/25, against Texas to fall below .300 at .299. The drop did not remove him from the Top Ten for Average because he hasn’t been able to put together enough plate appearances per games played by the Astros to qualify for a ranking position. We can only hope that the repaired thumb is not still bothering him in subtle ways he choose not discuss. The hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico, obviously, is also weighing heavily upon his mind, as it is with Carlos Beltran. This will definitely be a time for healing on may levels.

The Houston Astros. We choose to let the standings, then and now, speak to how things have changed for the Astros since July 19, and those factors include, but also go way beyond the significant DL loss of Carlos Correa to what has happened.

On July 19, the Astros were 62-31, good enough for 1st place in the AL West with a 15.5 lead over 2nd place Seattle. Today, September 26, the Astros are 96-60, with a 9-day clinch on the 2017 AL West title, and with a window-dressing 19.0 game lead over the 2nd place Angels.

But …. however …. nevertheless ….. the Astros record since July 19 has been a mere 34-29 – a blushing bare peak above .500 for a club that began the season like the baseball version of a California forest fire.

Unquenchable the Astro flames were not. Look at the record of the Cleveland Indians this year, first back on July 19, when they were 48-43 – and a mere 1.5 games up on the AL Central Twins. Back then the Astros held a 13 game lead over the Indians for home field advantage in the then faraway post-season AL Playoffs. Now, on September 26, the Indians hold a 2.0 game lead over the Astros for the AL home field advantage – and they trail the Dodgers of the NL by only 1.5 games for home field advantage through the World Series.

How did the Indians do it? It’s easier in a brief column to stick to writing what they have done since July 19.

Since July 19, the Indians have won 50 and lost only 15 – while throwing in a new AL record for consecutive wins at 22.

Very interesting.

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HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE RACES, GB IN EACH

THRU GAMES PLAYED MONDAY, 9/25/2017

CLUB W L W%   AL   NL   WS
DODGERS 100 57 .637   ~   L   L
INDIANS 98 58 .628   L   ~   1.5
ASTROS 96 60 .615   2.0   ~   3.5
NATIONALS 95 61 .609   ~   4.5   4.5

L = LEADER BY LEAGUE AND WS OVERALL.

Overall Leader gets home field advantage (HFA) in World Series.

GAMES TO PLAY: DODGERS 5, INDIANS 6, ASTROS 6, NATIONALS 6

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HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE SERIOUS CONTENDER SCORES

THRU GAMES PLAYED MONDAY, 9/25/2017

ASTROS 11 – Rangers 2

INDIANS (lost win to technicality; did not play Monday)

NATIONALS 3 – Phillies 1

DODGERS 9 – Padres 3

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AMERICAN LEAGUE BATTING AVERAGE LEADERS

THRU GAMES PLAYED MONDAY, 9/25/2017

RANK PLAYER TEAM AB H 2B 3B HR BA
1 JOSE ALTUVE HOU 572 199 38 4 24 .348
2 AVISAIL GARCIA CWS 500 165 24 4 18 .330
3 ERIC HOSMER KC 586 188 30 1 24 .321
4 JOSE RAMERIZ CLE 564 179 51 6 29 .317
5 JOSH REDDICK HOU 477 150 34 4 13 .314
6 MIKE TROUT LAA 385 119 25 3 30 .309
7 JOE MAUER MIN 513 158 35 1 7 .308
8 JOSE ABREU CWS 598 182 41 6 31 .304
9 MARWIN GONZALEZ HOU 441 133 32 0 23 .302
10 LORENZO CAIN KC 569 171 27 5 15 .301
  ALL TOP 40 ASTROS
NC * CARLOS CORREA HOU 402 120 21 1 21 .299
14 YULI GURRIEL HOU 509 150 39 1 18 .295
22 GEORGE SPRINGER HOU 530 150 28 0 33 .283
26 ALEX BREGMAN HOU 531 149 37 5 17 .281

NR * LOST TIME ON THE DL HAS 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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