Astros drop first game to Indians

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 2-1 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After winning the series against the Twins with a victory on Wednesday, the Astros turned the page to the Indians to start a four-game series on Thursday night. Here's a quick look along with three hits from the game:

Final Score: Indians 2, Astros 1

Record: 15-10, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Trevor Bauer (3-1).

Losing pitcher: Gerrit Cole (1-4).

1) Decent rebound for Cole 

After his career-worst start against the Rangers this past weekend in which he allowed nine runs, Gerrit Cole did well to put that behind him against the Indians. Cole pitched seven innings during which he allowed two runs on three hits, two solo home runs, three walks, and struck out ten. Unfortunately, he'd only get one run of support behind him.

2) Bad call halts Houston's momentum 

In a big spot in the bottom of the sixth, Houston had two on base with one out and Carlos Correa at the plate. Correa fouled a ball off of his foot that ricocheted to third base, and with the Astros staying put due to the foul ball, the Indians played it out and were rewarded with a double play on what should've been a foul ball. To make matters worse, the play was not reviewable.

3) Bauer holds Astros to just a solo dinger by Springer

After falling behind 0-1 in the game, George Springer tied the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the third. That would be the only run they'd get off of Trevor Bauer, though, as he would go on to complete eight innings of one-run baseball on 118 pitches. Brad Hand would get the save to finish off the win for the Indians in the ninth.

Up Next: The series will continue on Friday night with first pitch at 7:10 PM. Houston will send Collin McHugh (3-2, 4.78 ERA) to the mound to go up against Corey Kluber (2-2, 5.88 ERA) for the Indians.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Composite photo by Jack Brame

Former Astros manager Andrew Jay Hinch is on a short list of candidates to become manager of the Detroit Tigers in 2021.

The question is, after being suspended and later fired for his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal, does A.J. Hinch deserve to manage again in baseball?

It's weird to think because so much has happened in 2020, but Hinch was suspended and fired only nine months ago. His banishment, however, ends in a matter of weeks with the final out of the upcoming World Series. At that point, he will be available to manage the Tigers or any other team. There's a possibility that the Mets are interested. Some were hoping it'd be the Astros, but the Astros are committed to manager Dusty Baker for next year. After that … never say never.

Shortly after getting the Astros ax, Hinch went on MLB TV and apologized for his role in the Astros cheating scandal. Although baseball's investigation said the garbage can banging scheme was "with the exception of (Astros coach Alex) Cora, player-driven and player-executed," Hinch took responsibility as manager and didn't challenge his punishment. No players were punished.

"I still feel responsible and will always feel responsible as the man out front," Hinch said. "As the leader, I was in charge of the team. I put out a statement to apologize. But there is something different to doing it on camera and putting a face to an apology, and saying I'm sorry to the league, to baseball, to fans, to players, to the coaches.

"It happened on my watch. I'm not proud of that. I'll never be proud of it. I didn't like it. But I have to own it. And the commissioner's office made very, very clear that the GM and the manager were in position to make sure that nothing like this happened. And we fell short."

In effect, while Hinch didn't authorize or participate in the sign-stealing scandal, he didn't do enough (really anything) to stop it. He is the rare case of being a guilty bystander.

To be clear, Hinch has not been offered the Detroit manager job. However, he has more experience and more wins under his belt than most of the other candidates being considered.

Hinch's reputation is blemished, but his credentials can't be disputed. During his five years as Astros manager, the team never had a losing season, won 100 or more games three times, including a team record 107 wins last year, made the playoffs three times and won a World Series.

Has baseball forgiven Hinch, and does he deserve another chance to manage in the big leagues? This is America, the land of forgiveness and second chances.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

Hinch knew his team was cheating and didn't do enough to stop it. There's no defense for that. But I think he's paid enough of a price to get back in baseball.

Mike Tyson raped a woman, went to jail, and now he's practically America's sweetheart. Hillary forgave Bill. We not only forgave Confederate leaders, we built schools and statues to honor them. Martha Stewart went to jail for insider trading, now she's back on TV baking crumpets. Ozzy Osbourne was arrested for pee'ing on a monument outside the Alamo, there is no more sacred place in Texas, and now he sells out concerts at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

Pee-wee Herman, well, let's not say what he was caught doing, but he's planning to tour the U.S. celebrating the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee's Big Adventure movie.

Remember, Hinch was suspended for a year. It could have been worse. Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to ban people for life. Since becoming the commish, Manfred has permanently banished two people: former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa for hacking into the Astros computer database, and former Atlanta Braves general manager, John Coppolella for signing international players illegally.

Manfred also has temporarily banned Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman for shouting inappropriate comments at female reporters last year. Taubman is eligible to apply for reinstatement after this year's World Series. However, if he commits one more violation of baseball rules, he will be banned for life.

Lifetime bans aren't as unusual as you might think. Since baseball's beginnings in the 1800s, dozens of players, managers and team owners have been banned, mostly, like Pete Rose and the Chicago Black Sox, for gambling-related offenses.

A.J. Hinch copped to his crime, suffered the consequences, now it's time for him to manage a baseball team again. It's not like he'd be landing a plum job with Detroit. The Tigers are out of this year's playoff picture. They lost 114 games last season. And were 64-98 the two years prior. Managing the Tigers will be punishment enough.

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