The Houston Astros are riding high, having just completed a four-game sweep of the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, solidifying their top spot in the American League. Tonight Lance McCullers is set to make his debut against an Oakland A’s team that has won just four games this month, dropping ten of their last eleven. Down on the farm the Fresno Grizzlies, Corpus Christi Hooks and Quad Cities River Bandits are all leading their divisions as well, with Lancaster five games back in the California League South.
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The obvious big news of the week was Carlos Correa being called up from Double-A, bringing him one step away from joining the division-leading Astros. Everyone in Houston is awaiting his arrival with baited breath, but we may have to wait until mid-June to see him in orange and blue due to the looming Super Two status that would give him an extra year of arbitration eligibility.
That’s enough of the semantics. How did he perform this week, right? In six games, Correa is 8-for-28 (.286) with eight runs scored and a single rbi. He has struck out four times against three walks. Sunday’s 0-for-5 dropped his average from .348 to its current level, seeing Correa with five hits in his previous two games spanning ten at bats.
Not to be outdone, Jon Singleton had himself a monster game earlier in the week, taking over the team lead in rbi when he plated ten (!) on Wednesday night. Since last Sunday (8 games) Singleton is 9-for-27 (.333) with five homers, nine runs scored, seven walks, just three strikeouts, and twenty-three runs batted in. Have a week Jon Singleton!
As a team, the Grizzlies outscored their opponents 56-38 while going 6-2 in the past week. Yesterday’s game was the lowest scoring contest of this stretch, with Fresno gaining the victory 2-1 over the El Paso Chihuahuas in eleven innings. Dan Straily started for the Grizzlies, going six scoreless innings. Straily allowed seven hits and a walk while striking out seven in his time on the mound, while the terrific start lowered his ERA on the season to 4.33.
Straily’s performance on Sunday was his longest outing of the season, and the first in which he didn’t allow any runs to cross the plate. When asked what he did differently in this game compared to previous outings, Straily told co-editor of the site Eric Huysman, “Some small mechanical things I was doing in 2012-13 and I was not doing this year. Easy catch on film and I fixed it. Slider was sharp and fastball was located again. Working hard to get back.” Since Correa has been the big news of the week, Eric decided to see what it’s like to watch him play from a pitcher’s perspective. Straily did say that when he pitches, there aren’t a ton of ground balls (he has a 0.53 ground ball to fly ball ratio this season) and zero were hit to him today, adding “But watching his defense is impressive.”
The Grizzlies will continue their series with El Paso over the next two days, already taking the first two games of the series, before returning home on Thursday night to take on Nashville. It will be Fresno’s first look at their shiny new prospect.
We also want to say thank you to Dan Straily for taking a couple of minutes to answer some questions!