“What Else Could Be Perfect For Us?”

“What Else Could the Three of Us Do Together That Would Be Perfect for Us?” ~ Asks Jose Altuve in the popular HEB Food TV Commercials.*

* Well, Jose, as we wrote about more generally this morning in our Thursday column, you three guys could get together and, just by being the actual talents you each already are, and solve the mystery of the missing hum in our batting order.

Forever Framber. The absence of early run support for rookie pitcher Framber Valdez, was sorely felt Friday and could not be overcome alone by his great talent and personal confidence in his own stuff. It got him through five scoreless innings and a yield of only two Angel hits, but a run charged to him in the sixth caught Valdez with his first MLB loss when veteran Colin McHugh couldn’t resist letting that runner score and adding a couple of extra runs from his own bag as his Astros reliever that same inning.

As our latest victimized starter to suffer from the lack of early run support, young Valdez deserved a better fate, but that’s not how it works in this era. In low early scoring games, the pitch count almost guarantees that at least one of the starters is going to receive a loss that’s more tied to his club’s lack of early hitting than it is his own quality mound work. It not only happens to the greats of Justin Verlander’s rarified ilk, but to rookies like Framber Valdez as well.

Unfortunately, Jose, you three HEB store stars did accomplish something in the bottom of the eighth that we hope to not see again too often. With the Astros trailing, 3-0, Josh Reddick led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to center and went to third on a sharp double down the right field line by Tony Kemp.

Wow! Hope springs again! With runners on 2nd and 3rd, and nobody out, here comes George Springer to the plate with a chance to either make this a one-run deficit game with a hit that stays in the park ~ or maybe he even ties it up with one of his still famous “dingers” into the Crawford Boxes that also jars the nuts loose from the screws holding the rafters in place at MMP.

Doesn’t happen. After a spirited struggle with some serious heat from the 6’6″ Angels’ Ty Buttrey, George Springer fans for the first out. Alex Bregman then walks against the giant speedballer Angel to load the bases with one out.

“MVP! MVP! MVP!” becomes the crowd’s game soundtrack as you walk to the plate this time, Jose Altuve. Wow! Any Astros fan could write the movie version for Hollywood, We all know when the pregnant moment has arrived, And this is it: It’s our “Popeye” taking on their “Blutto” to the bittersweet resolution of all conflict.

But somebody forgot the spinach.

Jose Altuve goes down swinging hard for the second out. Now it’s up to Carlos Correa to do something about those three potential scoring starers at each base/ He give it his all, running the count all the way out, but there’s apparently too much rust left upon him as a result of the DL time away. Carlos Correa pops a feebly low pop fly down the first base line near the bag. It’s on its way to becoming out number three and the eighth inning rally’s final third failure.

We all witness the frustration in Correa. It is a perplex that we all share, by the way, in this latest moment of joy denied. Again. Carlos Correa tries to strangle the bat on his hapless trot to first during the short air flight of out number three. The ball is easily caught for the third out and the last call for any serious chance of winning this game dies unanswered..

OK, so most of us around here understand that baseball pretty much imitates everything about life, except for the pay scale, but let’s hope this business of you three special guys almost single handedly killing our best chance of winning a particular game in a single inning together doesn’t happen again ~ or, at least, anytime soon.

Just be something near your 2017 selves, if possible, and everything should be OK again.

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

A Peek at the AL Batting Average Race 

Through Games of 8/31/18: 

BATTING AVERAGE

1. Mookie Betts

Boston Red Sox

.341

2. J.D. Martinez

Boston Red Sox

.333

3. Jose Altuve

Houston Astros

.326

4. Jean Segura

Seattle Mariners

.317

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

AL WEST Contender Scores

Through Games of 8/31/18:

LA Angels 3 – Houston 0.

Oakland 7 – Seattle 5.

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

AL WEST STANDINGS:

Morning of Sat., 9/01/18

TEAMS

WON

LOST

PCT.

GB

Houston

82

53

.607

 —-

Oakland

81

55

.596

   2.5

Seattle

75

60

.556

   7.0

LA Angels

66

69

.489

 16.0

Texas

58

77

.430

 24.0

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

SEPTEMBER

1

LAA

SEA

@ OAK

2

LAA

SEA

@ OAK

3

MIN

NYY

BAL

4

MIN

NYY

BAL

5

MIN

NYY

BAL

6

7

@BOS

TEX

NYY

8

@BOS

TEX

NYY

9

@BOS

TEX

NYY

10

@DET

11

@DET

@BAL

SD

12

@DET

@BAL

SD

13

@BAL

@LAA

14

AZ

@TB

@LAA

15

AZ

@TB

@LAA

16

AZ

@TB

@LAA

17

SEA

@HOU

18

SEA

LAA

@HOU

19

SEA

LAA

@HOU

20

LAA

21

LAA

MIN

@TEX

22

LAA

MIN

@TEX

23

LAA

MIN

@TEX

24

@TOR

@SEA

OAK

25

@TOR

@SEA

OAK

26

@TOR

@SEA

OAK

27

@BAL

TEX

28

@BAL

@LAA

TEX

29

@BAL

@LAA

TEX

30

@BAL

@LAA

TEX

 

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

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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