A HOME RUN TIP

Here's how to avoid the longest lines at Minute Maid

Here's how to avoid the longest lines at Minute Maid
Photo courtesy of Aramark

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

Here's a sports tip you won't find anywhere else.

When the Astros return to Minute Maid Park for Game 6 (if necessary) or Game 7 (it may take that long to dismiss the Yankees, they're good), don't rush to the concession stands the minute you enter the stadium.

Where and when to eat during the game

According to my source, the playoff games are so intense that fans aren't leaving their seats for food like during the regular season. If you wait until the second inning, there won't be any lines at the concession stands. That goes for the main concourse and the upper deck. I was at Game 1 and ordered by hot dog and Coke Zero (nice touch) with zero wait. The only food stand with lines from first pitch to walk-off homer is Torchy's Tacos, which curiously is missing an apostrophe in its Minute Maid Park sign. (When it comes to tacos, grammar is every bit as important as guacamole.) Every other stand, though, is clear sailing from second inning on.

I am giving this tip against my own interests and better judgment. It may come back to bite me. I remember…

Worst best tip ever

When I arrived in Houston, I rented a house near Gessner and I-10. There was a supermarket two streets over and every night at 10, they sold all their remaining fried chicken for 10 cents a piece. Which fit right into my budget. (Newspaper writers don't exactly earn salaries like inexperienced interns at City Hall in Houston.)

I would get to the supermarket at 9:55 pm, dawdle at the deli counter asking silly questions about potato salad, and at 10 pm sharp, I cleaned them out of fried chicken. Whatever they had, I bought. It was such an incredible bargain, for a while there, my diet consisted mainly of fried chicken and potato salad.

Stupid me, I wrote about the great fried chicken bargain. I guess I was more popular then than I am now, but soon there was a crowd hanging around the deli counter, counting down to 10 pm like it was New Year's Eve in Times Square. Two nights later, the supermarket ended the dime deal. Darn it, I should have kept my trap shut. If I go to an Astros game later this week, there better not be a line for hot dogs in the fourth inning.

I'll just say this: if I were a dedicated civil servant for the City of Houston, and the mayor hired an intern with barely any real work experience at twice my salary, I'd quit. The only thing more insulting to city staffers is the mayor's ridiculous explanation. Even bigger problem: the other candidates, may be worse.

Getting drafty with the Texans

Two months ago, Fred Faour wrote an excellent piece in SportsMap about the Texans' fair-to-middling track record with their third-round picks during the Bill O'Brien era. Faour started with 2014 and ran right up to 2019, a few hits, a couple of incompletes, but mostly busts.

It would be interesting how Faour rated the Texans third-round selection in 2013. That pick was Brennan Williams, an offensive tackle from North Carolina. Williams unfortunately suffered a knee injury and never got into a game for the Texans or any other team. What's he doing now? Last week, the WWE introduced a new lineup of announcers for its Monday Night Raw show. One of the commentators is an extremely large man going by the name Dio Maddin. That's former Texans 3rd-round pick Brennan Williams.

Continue on CultureMap to hear Ken Hoffman's thoughts on Daryl Morey.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Astros defeat Marlins, 4-3. Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images.

Alex Bregman had three RBIs and his tiebreaking two-run home run in the seventh inning lifted the Houston Astros to a 4-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.

The game was tied at 2 with one out in the seventh when Chas McCormick reached on a throwing error by rookie shortstop Xavier Edwards. There were two outs in the inning when Bregman sent an off-speed pitch from Huascar Brazobán (1-2) into the seats in left field to make it 4-2.

“Our offense has been swinging the bat really well and swinging to good pitches over this last stretch,” Bregman said. “And today was one of those days that we didn’t really have too much traffic on the bases, but we found a way to get it done.”

The victory was Houston’s seventh straight at home and comes after the Astros dropped the final two games of a series at Minnesota last weekend.

Ronel Blanco (9-3) allowed four hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings for the win.

“He’s got guts,” manager Joe Espada said. “He goes out there, he competes, he understands what’s at stake and that we needed a good outing after losing a series in Minnesota... he gave us a chance to win and that’s what he’s been doing all year."

Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit a leadoff homer for the Marlins and Jesús Sánchez’s solo homer tied it in the seventh before Bregman’s go-ahead shot.

Chisholm singled with two outs in the eighth and stole second base. The Marlins cut the lead to one when he scored on a single by Bryan De La Cruz. Josh Hader walked one in a scoreless ninth for his 16th save.

Miami starter Trevor Rogers permitted six hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings before Brazobán took over.

Chisholm sent Blanco’s fourth pitch into the seats in right field to give Miami an early lead. De La Cruz singled after that before Blanco settled in.

He retired the next 17 batters, with six strikeouts, before De La Cruz walked with two outs in the sixth. Blanco then struck out Josh Bell to end the inning.

Jake Meyers singled with two outs in the second before a walk by Mauricio Dubón. The Astros tied it at 1-1 when Meyers scored on a single by McCormick.

Dubón doubled to start Houston’s fifth but was out on a fielder’s choice that allowed McCormick to reach. McCormick stole second base and the Astros took a 2-1 lead when he scored on a single by Bregman.

Sánchez tied it when he connected off Blanco on a shot to left field to start the seventh.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander, who has been out since June 16 with neck stiffness, is playing catch every other day but isn’t sure when he’ll return.

“It really just depends on each step, so if it continues to progress the way I would like, hopefully it’s not too long,” he said Tuesday. “I don’t even know what too long means as I say that though. So, it could be very soon. It could be a few weeks.”

UP NEXT

Houston LHP Framber Valdez (7-5, 3.84 ERA) opposes RHP Bryan Hoeing (0-1, 1.99) when the series continues Wednesday night.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome