How many pounds of flesh are needed to satisfy?

The media needs to end its witch hunt against the Astros

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

We saw the greatness of social media on full display last week. Media of all baseball backgrounds coming together to support their own against an Astros executive who deserved every bit of the uprising against him. Brandon Taubman tried to intimidate female reporters, lied about it, used his influence as Assistant General Manager to try to cover it up. His actions were ultimately discovered, his lies exposed, and in 72 hours he was terminated.

The Astros released a statement that included the following:

"We were wrong. We sincerely apologize to Stephanie Apstein, Sports Illustrated and to all individuals who witnessed this incident or were offended by the inappropriate conduct."

The Astros admitted being wrong in black and white, and made their apology. Apparently that wasn't good enough.

The demand for justice is still unsatisfied. Now the media wants to know who Taubman spoke to, who were the witnesses, who wrote the original statement (paying no attention to the fact that as AGM, Taubman likely had significant influence over what was written). One firing isn't enough. The demand for justice has now become a witch hunt, with the media demanding names and associations, blaming the Astros culture, and demanding more firings.

On Saturday, October 26, I explained how this situation has gone from the best of social media to the worst of social media, the unrealistic standard being applied, and why the baseball media needs to end this crusade against the Astros.

AUDIO: Patrick Creighton: Its Time for Media to End Witch Hunt vs Astros


Patrick Creighton is the host of "Late Hits" on ESPN 97.5 weeknights 7-9p CT, and "Straight Heat" on SB Nation Radio weeknights 12-5a CT. Follow him on Twitter: @PCreighton1

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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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