Seven straight division games with five wins propel the Houston Astros to a divisional dominating week 5 in the MLB regular season.
It’s been said that divisional opponents play you the hardest of any team you have to face. In the case of the Houston Astros, they didn’t have to play the Texas Rangers or the Los Angeles Angels very hard.
During the very first “Lone Star Series” against their in-state rivals, the spacemen pushed back against a long time metaphorical bully. This includes Tuesday’s match up that had the Astros down 5-3, only for them to conjure up their usual late inning magic to win 8-7 that night.
Altogether, the Astros took 3 out of 4 from the Rangers. In doing so, they made a statement and turned the tables on the bitter state of Texas rivalry.
On Friday thru yesterday, the spacemen packed their bags for a short 3 game trip to Anaheim to face the Angels. The first two games had a one run differential. But yesterday’s game proved to be a more dominant one by the Astros.
Mike Fiers would get his first win Sunday, despite giving up a pair of home runs to Yunel Escobar and 4 walks in the game. The offense, once again, picked the righty pitcher up. Jose Altuve provided a 3 run bomb to give the Astros a lead, and Evan Gattis followed up with an insurance solo shot in the 7th inning.
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The spacemen will host a two game set with the Atlanta Braves Tuesday and Wednesday before hitting the road again. They will then face the New York Yankees up in the Bronx and then head down to the sunshine state to face the Miami Marlins next week.
Here are some other highlights from the past week:
Keuchel Keeps His Kingdom!
Ace Dallas Keuchel won the American League Pitcher of the Month for April. No surprise, since the beard has the best record at 5-0.
Making another start against the Halos on Friday, Keuchel would end up getting a no-decision due to a blown save from reliever, Ken Giles. In spite of this, count on the beard to continue his dominance in his next start up in New York against the Yankees.
The Age of Altuve!
Jose Altuve celebrated his 27th birthday this past Saturday. Ironically, this is also the number on the back of his jersey.
While he was able to enjoy a night off Saturday, he was instantly back in Sunday’s lineup. The rest proved to pay off, since the little guy had a tremendous game. Altuve went 2-for-4 with the go-ahead 3 run homer.
Gatty Cat Has Nine Lives!
Evan Gattis only appeared in 3 of the past 7 games. After playing the full series of the previous week against Cleveland and Oakland, it was troubling to see his playing time get reduced yet again.
However, in the past 9 games that he has played, El Oso Blanco has hit safely in all of them. Brian McTaggart of MLB.com points out in a tweet sent out yesterday that Gattis has averaged .314 during his current hit streak.
The hope is that Hinch will take this into consideration when making lineups going forward. In the meantime, GO HOUSTON ASTROS!!!!