Astros pick up the series win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 7-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After ending their three-game skid on Tuesday night, the Astros were back in action on Wednesday night with Justin Verlander on the mound to try and win the rubber match with the Twins. Here are some quick facts from the game and three hits:

Final Score: Astros 7, Twins 1

Record: 15-9, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Justin Verlander (4-0).

Losing pitcher: Kohl Stewart (0-1).

1) Verlander's dominant, efficient start

After four straight games of allowing runs to the opposing team, Justin Verlander was able to break the streak and get through a scoreless first. After three quick innings to start the game, the Twins did get a run off of Verlander via a solo home run in the top of the fourth, but he would settle right back in and pitch deep into the game, completing eight innings of one-run baseball including eight strikeouts.

2) Another big offensive night

Carlos Correa started the scoring with an opposite-field home run in the bottom of the second to put Houston ahead 1-0. Then, after a two-out double by Alex Bregman in the bottom of the third, Michael Brantley took advantage with a two-run homer of his own to extend the lead to 3-0. The Astros extended their lead to four runs in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-double from Robinson Chirinos who would eventually score on a wild pitch to make it a 5-1 game. Josh Reddick added a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, hitting a two-run homer to extend the lead further to 7-1.

3) Back in the series win column

After splitting the two-game series in Oakland then dropping the series to the Rangers last week, the win on Wednesday night gave Houston their fourth series win of 2019. The Astros will get four more games against these same Twins on the road in Minnesota next week, so taking care of business at home could provide momentum for the encore series.

Up Next: The Astros will stay in Houston and kickoff a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians tomorrow night. First pitch is at 7:10 PM and will feature former UCLA-teammates Gerrit Cole (1-3, 5.22 ERA) and Trevor Bauer (2-1, 2.20 ERA) going against each other.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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The Rockets are collecting a lot of young talent. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Good parents are protective of their kids. Some helicopter parents are a little too protective and take it too far. Kenyon Martin Sr came out and wanted his son traded to a contender where he can flourish in a winning environment. He felt as if Jr wouldn’t be able to flourish as much as he thinks his son can in Houston. With the arrival of the number three overall pick, most likely being a frontcourt guy, they must’ve thought his playing time would decrease. Less time means less development means less money you can ask for on the next contract. I get it. I’m a parent. I understand. But there’s a point in which you have to be realistic.

Things like this are actually a good problem to have. It speaks to the Rockets having an abundance of talent, young talent at that. Whenever a team has a bevy of young talent in the NBA, they’ve been losing a lot and have stockpiled high draft picks. That, or they’ve developed a bunch of young guys that are now getting playing time and are on the verge of perhaps breaking out. Teams love it because crafting and shaping their future is easier when there’s a ton of options. They can choose to play and develop the guys they want to keep and trade the ones they don’t…provided they have any value.

Sr may think Jr is a future All NBA guy, and maybe he is, but he hasn’t been able to beat out Jae’Sean Tate for playing time in that tweener 3-4 combo position. One of the main things people point out is his ball handling. If he can’t handle the ball and make plays, he can’t play effectively enough in this system at that position. While he’s been able to give them valuable minutes, he’ll have to continue to improve and fight for those minutes. With the possibility of yet another player at that position with lofty draft status and expectations coming in (not to mention a unique skillset), the writing was on the wall.

When Sr came out recently and stated Jr is committed to staying here and getting better and Jr reiterated that at media availability this week, it helped quiet down the rumors. Would I be surprised if he’s traded? Not at all. He’s a good young athletic player who’s improved his shot. He could be a valuable rotation player for any team that has him. Do I want him to stay? Of course! I’d love nothing more than this team to grow together and stay together.

That’s in a perfect world and that’s somewhere we don’t live. Acquiring this much talent has paid off in the recent past. I wrote last week that this team can do what the Warriors and Celtics did if they continue to draft well, develop their talent, and surround their core with the right kind of role players. If playing time and meeting their potential for too many players becomes a problem (cap-wise, playing time, or any other reasons), they can always make deals and turn that talent into more draft picks. OKC did it with James Harden and flipped assets into about 3 million draft picks over the years. Blueprints are out there for the team to follow. Let’s keep hoping Rafael Stone can push the right buttons at the right times and continue to build this team back into a contender.

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