Astros get the series win against the Cardinals

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The series finale between the Astros and Cardinals was a rubber game after the teams split the first two games. Here is a quick recap of Sunday's matchup:

Final Score: Astros 6, Cardinals 2.

Record: 68-39, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (9-4, 3.06 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Dakota Hudson (10-5, 3.88 ERA).

1) Altuve with a milestone in another strong offensive performance

After a blowout the day before, Houston's offense continued to pummel the Cardinals on Sunday in the series finale. It started with the first at-bat of the afternoon, as George Springer launched the second pitch of the game for a dinger to put the Astros ahead 1-0 immediately.

Yordan Alvarez, making a start in left field after missing the starting lineup the first two games in the DH-less series, doubled Houston's lead with a solo home run in the top of the third. Wade Miley, who put down a successful bunt earlier in the game, led off the fifth inning by working a walk. Springer followed that up with a double, putting runners on second and third.

Jose Altuve dug into the box next, needing just one hit to reach 1,500 on his career. He made it a loud and memorable one, crushing a ball to left field for a three-run home run, making it a 5-0 game.

2) Good, but short start for Miley

After nearly completing a full nine innings in his last start, Wade Miley did not have the same level of dominance against the Cardinals. He had traffic on the bases in nearly every inning, giving up a walk or single in each except for his last, the fifth.

Still, he did well not to allow any runs, working in and out of trouble several times including stranding the bases loaded in the third. Miley's final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.

3) Houston wins the series 

That set up the bullpen to complete the final four innings. Collin McHugh started the afternoon for the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth but would allow St. Louis' first run of the day before getting through the inning, making it a 5-1 game. Hector Rondon had the seventh and worked around an error for a scoreless inning.

Houston pushed the lead back to five runs in the top of the eighth, getting an RBI-double from Michael Brantley to make it 6-1. Chris Devenski took over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth, a 1-2-3 inning to send things on to the ninth.

After a quick top of the ninth, Devenski stayed in to get the last three outs, and despite allowing a leadoff home run to make it 6-2, would do so to secure the series win for Houston.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off tomorrow, but stay on the road to pick up a three-game series with the Indians in Cleveland. The series opener is Tuesday at 6:10 PM and the expected pitching matchup is a good one with Justin Verlander (13-4, 2.86 ERA) on the mound for the Astros going against Shane Bieber (10-3, 3.44 ERA) for the Indians.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Houston Astros/Facebook

The Astros had a bad 4-6 road trip and looked forward to getting home to Minute Maid Park where they have been dominant this season. The pitiful Detroit Tigers arrived in Houston with a record since the All Star Break of nine wins and 27 losses. They literally do not have one non-pitcher who would make a healthy Astros' roster. That includes the way over the hill sure fire Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. Splitting four games at home with the Tigers would have been a fail. The Astros did not fail, though "only" taking three out of four seems a little disappointing. The S.S. Astros Good Ship Lollipop has sprung a couple of leaks. Neither that can't be plugged with good health, but the Astros have two notable health issues.

Carlos Correa's next endorsement deal should be for peanut brittle, emphasis not on the peanut. Some guys just have a propensity toward getting injured. Unfortunately the Correa resume grows that he is one of those guys. That back problems have resurfaced is troubling, to no one more so than Correa himself. It's clear the guy loves the game and is spectacularly talented, but durability is one component of greatness and to this point Correa simply has not demonstrated durability. If he can't produce a fully healthy bigtime season or two in the next year or two, any visions of a Manny Machado-like 10 year 300 million dollar contract will be up in smoke. Still, Correa turns only 25 years old next month so there's time to prove sturdiness, but more sand has seeped through the hourglass. For the 2019 Astros the dropdown is huge from Correa at shortstop to either Miles Straw or Aledmys Diaz being in the lineup. As for 2020, please tell anyone saying the Astros should trade Correa to be quiet.

The loss of Ryan Pressly for most if not all of the rest of the regular season is a big blow to the bullpen. Of even bigger concern is whether he can get back and get sharp to start the postseason.

This doesn't mean the ship is sinking. The Astros enter the weekend just one game behind the Yankees for the best record in the American League, and the Astros own the tiebreaker (having won the season series 4-3). They are three back of the Dodgers for best in MLB, the Astros have a three game lead in the tiebreaker with LA (intradivision record). The Yankees play at the Dodgers this weekend so if you're a glass half full person: a Dodger or Yankee loss is guaranteed three days in a row! If you're glass half empty: a Dodger or Yankee win is guaranteed three days in a row!

NFL on the horizon

A little over 2 weeks until the Texans begin their 18th season of play in the National Football League. We've all heard the saying, the 18th time is the charm. So is this the season the Texans are finally a legitimate Super Bowl contender? Probably not. The Texans do not look like a notably improved football team. On paper their schedule is clearly more difficult than last season's. Within the AFC the Chiefs clearly have more overall talent and are better coached. The Patriots still exist. One of these years Tom Brady really will slip. Maybe at age 42 this is the season.

If Jadeveon Clowney opts to sit out, or is traded, anyone thinking he won't be missed, is wrong. Clowney is not a superstar but he's really good. The Texans will be easier to run on without him. And while not an elite pass rusher, Clowney has to be accounted for. Anyone thinking, ah, he's hurt all the time anyway…wrong again. Clowney missed one game last season, and the season before that he played in every game.

If you want a couple of reasons for plausible optimism, here you go. Coming off of last season Deshaun Watson does not rate as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. He could well vault into that echelon this season. The Texans' offensive line remains something between a question mark and a glaring weakness, but really, can it be worse than it was the last couple of seasons? DeAndre Hopkins is about as good as it gets today at wide receiver, the same for J.J. Watt at defensive end though the clock is ticking down on his prime.

The Texans probably begin their season by losing at New Orleans. On the other hand the Buccaneers started their 5-11 2018 season by beating the 13-3 to be Saints in New Orleans.

Buzzer Beaters

1. Connor McGregor pitches some "number 12" brand of whisky. As a human being he seems much more a piece of number two. 2. Two peas in a pitching pod: Justin Verlander 15-5, 2.77 ERA, 239 strikeouts. Gerrit Cole 15-5, 2.75 ERA, 238 strikeouts. 3. Worst tasting vegetables: Bronze-kale Silver-peas Gold-lima beans


SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome