BRAD LIDGE BRINGS THE HEAT

Exclusive: Brad Lidge reveals why Astros have a huge advantage

Photo By Elsa/Getty Images.

We still have no idea if we will even have a 2020 MLB season as baseball's owners and the MLBPA continue their tone-deaf negotiations publicly in the midst of a pandemic and increased racial tensions sweeping the nation.

However, if MLB does prevent itself from driving off a cliff and can strike a deal with its players, the Houston Astros coming off the revelation of the teams 2017 sign-stealing cheating scandal, might actually have a significant advantage according to former Astros All-Star closer Brad Lidge.

"It is absolutely amazing how this thing has played out to the benefit of the Houston Astros players," Brad Lidge said on The Jake Asman Show on Gow Media's SB Nation Radio. "The one thing that I will keep coming back to is, I think collectively we all understand that there are bigger things out there, more important issues. After what everybody in this country has been through, I think it's going to be pretty hard to go out there and boo the players with the same energy had the coronavirus not hit us. I also think because of the fact there are not going to be as many fans in the stands that will also benefit guys."

Lidge does point out that if there are fewer people in the stands in states that might allow fans to attend games at a lower capacity that sometimes you can actually hear a lot more.

"If there are a really few fans, sometimes you can hear those fans more when there is not as much white noise," Lidge said. "But as a general rule, this is a huge blessing for the Houston Astro players. I think the globe has been through a lot more, a lot bigger things than the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal."

While the sports world is no longer focused on the Astros for the time being, Lidge notes that things will change over time.

"It's a huge obviously, egregious foul for the game of baseball but there are bigger more important things right now," Lidge said. "At some point that will be a focus again once baseball gets going."

You can listen to The Jake Asman Show weekdays from 8 AM-10 AM Central on SB Nation Radio.

You can listen to the full interview with Brad Lidge below:


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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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