The Astros completed the sweep of the Tigers and what’s to come.
Brooms out in the Motor City
A homecoming for Justin Verlander and company turned out to be quite the party as the Houston Astros sweep the three-game set in Detroit. They are now 92-54 on pace to finish 102-60 on the season. They currently have a 3.5 game lead in the AL West with the Athletics playing later this evening.
Verlander notched his 15th win against his former team with a standing ovation and capped a 3-2 win on Monday. Brilliant in his first game back in Detroit, Verlander fans 10 and lowers his season ERA to 2.72 throwing seven scoreless innings allowing six hits.
Tuesday night, the bats came through huge with first pitch swinging, Jose Altuve going yard to lead 1-0. Tony Kemp homered to right field, bringing Josh Reddick along with him. Tyler White followed suit homering deep bringing Reddick along for the trot as well. Framber Valdez allowed four to score in the bottom of the 4th making it a tight game earning a no-decision. Then Will Harris, Joe Smith, Hector Rondon, Collin McHugh, and Roberto Osuna all pitched scoreless innings and 5-4 would be the deciding factor.
In Wednesday matinee, Gerrit Cole took the mound for five innings of work allowing two runs on three hits. He’s now 14-5 on the season getting the win. Alex Bregman went 2-5 driving in three on a single early in the 3rd and then doubling bringing home two more. Alex scores a run also on another Tyler White sac fly RBI. This was another close game with a 5-4 final as Nicholas Castellanos homers off Josh James in relief. But Ryan Pressly takes the mound in the 9th notching the save with a no-hit inning.
What’s on the docket next?
A matinee game day is usually a travel day too. The Astros return home with the day off on Thursday before taking on the (77-68) Arizona Diamondbacks for a weekend series.
Sunday, September 15th – Justin Verlander (15-9) will battle Zach Greinke (14-9) for a 1:10 pm afternoon game.
Last homestand of the season
The Astros are on a nine-game homestand from September 14th through September 23rd, the final homestand of the season. They welcome the aforementioned Diamondbacks for the weekend series before some fellow A.L. West rivals show up.
The (79-65) Seattle Mariners arrive for a mid-week bout. And although they may have slipped too far back in the A.L. West race, they would love nothing more than to play spoiler to the Astros push for the postseason.
The homestand concludes by welcoming the (72-73) Los Angeles Angels for a three-game weekend slate.
Looking way ahead.
Ideally, the Astros need to go 6-3, if not better on this homestand because with a 3.5 game lead in the division. The Oakland Athletics have some very winnable games ahead of them also. They have the luxury of facing the (80-65) Tampa Bay Rays, the (72-73) LA Angels and the (66-78) Minnesota Twins in their next three series.
The FiveThirtyEight computers are confident that the Astros will separate and win the division at 102-60, but they have the Athletics not far behind at 98-64. So they must take care of business and close out this homestand on a positive note.
*** Stats courtesy of baseball-reference and MLB.com ***