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May 6 - This Date in Astros History
May 6 - This Date in Astros History
May 6

2001 - Jeff Bagwell hits a grand slam and drives in five while Julio Lugo goes five-for-five during a 13-7 spanking in Montreal. Richard Hidalgo adds a three-run shot. Six runs in the sixth break open a 3-3 tie.
1998 - In perhaps the most dominant pitching performance of all time, Cubs rookie Kerry Wood strikes out 20 Astros en route to a 2-0 shutout. Ricky Gutierrez' third-inning single is the lone Houston hit. Wood walks none and hits one batter. Derek Bell is the final victim as Wood sets a National League single-game strikeout mark, tying Roger Clemens for the major league record.
1984 - Astros club 19-year-old phenom Dwight Gooden with eight runs in the third on their way to a 10-1 drubbing of the Mets. Nolan Ryan, almost twice Gooden's age, scatters six hits for the victory. Ryan contributes a bunt hit over Gooden's head in the rally while Mark Bailey drives home the first and last runs of the frame.
1980 - Cold, damp Olympic Stadium is where the Astros must wait through a rain delay of three hours and 50 minutes to complete an 8-4 victory. Jose Cruz has four RBIs to lead the Astros while Joe Niekro survives the weather and the Expos for a complete-game win.
1968 - Judge Roy Hofheinz gives San Francisco's Willie Mays a 569-lb. cake for his 37th birthday. Rusty Staub serves the dessert with six RBIs in a 10-2 Houston win.

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Date      Opp      Result
5/01     @TAM*     W 3-1
5/02     @TAM*     L 6-5
5/03      off        --
5/04     @NYY      L 7-3
5/05     @NYY      L 6-3
5/06     @NYY*      ----
5/07      TOR       ----
5/08      TOR       ----
5/09      TOR*      ----
5/10      ANA       ----
5/11      ANA       ----
5/12      ANA       ----
5/13      TEX       ----
5/14      TEX       ----
5/15      TEX       ----
5/16      TEX*      ----
5/17      off        --
5/18     @OAK       ----
5/19     @OAK       ----
5/20     @OAK*      ----
5/21     @TEX       ----
5/22     @TEX*      ----
5/23     @TEX*      ----
5/24      off        --
5/25      LA        ----
5/26      LA        ----
5/27      off        --
5/28      SD        ----
5/29      SD*       ----
5/30      SD*       ----
5/31      BOS       ----

* - day game.

April record:  14 - 12
May record:     1 -  3
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Houston Astros recap - 05/03/21 - Astros Enjoy Rare Success At The Trop
Astros Enjoy Rare Success At The Trop
Yankee Challenge Up Next

Easily-triggered Yankee fans
(c) Associated Press
It used to be that the Astros had trouble closing ballgames. Now it seems they are having trouble closing series. Houston lost the series finale at Tropicana Field, home of the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4 after building a three-run lead. Sloppy defense was partly to blame as the Rays salvaged Sunday's contest. There's no need for Dusty's Darlings to hang their heads since "The Trop" is the location where the Spacemen have been least successful over the years, so grabbing wins of 9-2 and 3-1 secured an unexpected series victory.

A nasty habit is forming however. One must go all the way back to April 6th for the last time the Astros won a series finale. Since then, they are 0-7 trying to win the last game of a series. Fortunately, for the 15-13 ballclub, they are 12-6 so far in the rest of their games to land 1-1/2 back of fickle Oakland in a bunched American League West entering play Monday.

Houston sits third in the division, a win behind Seattle. It should be noted that the Astros are the only team in the West with a positive run differential (+32) which tells you the Astros aren't getting the mileage they should out of their offense. Their Pythagorean record (which estimates wins and losses based on runs scored and allowed) says Houston should be 17-11 at this point.

There is reason for optimism. The Astros are 8-3 (guess which three?) in their last three series and lead in head-to-head matchups against all their division rivals except the lowly Rangers whom they have yet to play.

The starting pitching, which was a major concern when the year began, are now blossoming such that Dusty Baker may have trouble deciding who departs when Jake Odorizzi and Framber Valdez return from the injured list. Against Tampa, Lance McCullers (2-1, 3.38 season ERA) tossed seven shutout innings on Friday night while Jose Urquidy (2-2, 3.71) followed up on Saturday with seven more goose eggs. Red-hot pitcher Cristian Javier (3-0, 1.75) cruised through four shutout frames before allowing a three-run homer in the fifth.

Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.44) and Luis Garcia (0-3, 2.70) also looked strong in their last outings. Greinke will get the call in Tuesday's 6:05 pm Central opener at Yankee Stadium in New York. Garcia is scheduled for Wednesday's 6:05 Central contest while McCullers squares off against former Astro Gerrit Cole in the dreaded 12:05 Central Thursday finale before returning home to battle ex-Astro George Springer and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Yankee fans don't need any excuses to be jerks but they will already be in a foul mood when the Astros take the field. The 14-14 Bronx Bombers haven't dominated their division the way their fans expected, even showering them with baseballs from the stands one night in dismay. Their .221 team batting average is 11th in the league thus far although their team ERA (3.02) is first. Houston is hitting .253 as a team (fourth-best in the AL) and their 3.68 team ERA is also fourth.

Thankfully, Yankee Stadium is only allowed to operate at 20% capacity under health orders of Governor Andrew Cuomo. They will be expanded to 33% on May 19th after the Astros are long gone.

While this will be their supporters' first chance to vent after the 2017 cheating scandal, a few irritating facts must be pointed out. In the 2017 ALCS Game 7, the sainted Yankees had only three hits and no runs the entire evening. That was accomplished without any trashcan banging necessary thanks to McCullers and Charlie Morton.

Yankee media similarly thinks Jose Altuve's clinching homer off Aroldis Chapman in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS was tainted because he clutched his shirt while rounding the bases. Yankee fans claim Altuve was trying to hide a beeper affixed to his chest while Altuve claims he had recently added a new tattoo for his daughter that he didn't want damaged during the mob scene at home plate. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has weighed in that there was no evidence Altuve had cheated.

Nor have the Yankees been above reproach the past few years themselves although MLB has withheld information on those investigations which the Yankees sought to block in court.

Houston's lineup seems to be finally back to full health as Altuve and Yordan Alvarez came back from COVID timeouts. Alvarez (.313 batting average/.910 OPS), Yuli Gurriel (.327/.941) and Michael Brantley (.330/.885) continue to carry the offense.

The Astros moved reliever Pedro Baez to the 60-day Injured List and called up Peter Solomon to the roster however Solomon was sent back to the alternate camp when reliever Andre Scrubb was activated. First Baseman Taylor Jones was also called up briefly when Alvarez went back into the COVID protocol but was returned to Corpus Christi when Alvarez was cleared.

Incidentally, the Sugar Land Skeeters make their AAA debut as an Astros affiliate this Thursday in Albuquerque. They won't open at 7,500-seat Constellation Field until May 20th. Until their debut, their players will continue to work out in Corpus Christi.

- Bob Hulsey

Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961
(click to order)


RSS Feed | News Archives
Here's why the umpire from Astros-Yankees was even worse than we thought - SportsMap
The Astros are apparently crying to the MLB about fans taunting them in stadiums - BroBible
Salty fans, hot Yankees greet Astros in return to Bronx - Associated Press
Astros brace for more anger from Yankees fans - Field Level Media
What Astros thought of Yankees fans merciless booing - New York Post
Altuve's long night in the Bronx - Houston Chronicle
Yankees fans jeer 'cheater' Astros with boos, chants as home team wins - ESPN
Boone on Tuesday's Yankees-Astros game: 'It felt like a playoff atmosphere' - Yahoo Sports
With victory over Astros, the Yankees have a winning record - New York Times
Yankees legend Reggie Jackson working for rival Astros - New York Post
Yankees get some revenge on Astros, move above .500 - New York Post
In unfriendly confines, Astros fall apart in loss to Yankees - Houston Chronicle
Maldonado departs game after collision with Odor - Houston Chronicle
Yankees fans finally get long-awaited Astros grudge match - New York Post
Gacia seeks first MLB win - Astros.com
Stat of the Day: Greinke's 466th career start - Astros.com
Video Story: Astros fall to Yanks in opener - Astros.com
Maldonado avoids serious injury on collision - Astros.com
Greinke's short start leads to trouble in 6th - Astros.com
Yankees vs. Astros: Five things to know as rivals meet - CBS Sports
MLB Bets for Tuesday, May 4: Astros Win as ‘Dogs in the Bronx vs. Yankees - Sports Illustrated
Top 5 reasons to hate the Houston Astros - Bronx Pinstripes
Yankees-Astros series preview - Empire Sports Media
Astros at Yankees odds, picks and prediction - USA Today
Yankee Stadium bitterness awaits Astros after sign-stealing scandal - SportsMoney
New York plays Houston, aims to build on Kluber’s solid showing - Associated Press
Strange but true: Astros’ trade war with Montreal Expos over Donn Clendenon - KHOU-TV
Yankees’ 2017 loss to Astros one of NY baseball’s biggest what-ifs - New York Post
On deck: Astros at New York Yankees - Houston Chronicle
Yankees fans getting first chance to let cheating Astros hear their wrath - New York Post
Shame on Yankees if they don’t stick it to Astros - New York Post
Astros bracing themselves for Bronx jeers - Houston Chronicle
Yankees face Astros for first time since cheating scandal revealed - New York Daily News
Yankees, Astros to renew rivalry for first time since controversial ALCS - Sportsnet.ca
Straw challenges Yankees fans ahead of Astros series in The Bronx - FanSided
Astros may have stolen this Yankees core’s best chance at World Series - New York Post
Stellar pitching leads Astros to 3 consecutive series wins - SportsMap
Astros in no rush to use Alvarez in outfield - Houston Chronicle
Astros expect Paredes to return for next homestand - Houston Chronicle
At long last, Astros' minor leaguers ready to play ball - Houston Chronicle
Astros Enjoy Rare Success At The Trop
- Astros Daily
Astros plead for cheating heckles to end, but it’s Yankees Nation’s turn to vent - NJ.com
Miscues doom Astros in loss to Rays - Houston Chronicle
Yankees’ handling of Astros will be truest of tests - New York Post
Takeaways from series against Rays - Houston Chronicle
Rays rally to avoid sweep by the Astros - Field Level Media
Chapman looks ridiculously ready for Astros rematch - New York Post
Astros fully aware of what awaits them in return to New York - Houston Chronicle
Stat of the Day: Air Yordan returns - Astros.com
Video Story: Astros, Rays face off in finale - Astros.com
Alvarez snaps homerless streak in loss - Astros.com
Meadows, Margot lead Rays to avoid sweep vs. Astros - Associated Press
Mr. Traitor! Astros visiting Yankees this week with Reggie Jackson on payroll - NJ.com
Astros vs. Rays line, prediction: Houston’s bats get it done - VSiN
2021 Houston Astros April Takeaways - Last Word on Sports
Urquidy's birthday brilliance - Houston Chronicle
Urquidy pitches seven scoreless innings, Astros beat Rays - Associated Press
Stat of the Day: Urquidy's record vs. TB solid - Astros.com
Video Story: Astros edge Rays at The Trop - Astros.com
Alvarez’s 'simple' approach keys success - Astros.com
Urquidy dazzles with 7 scoreless to top Rays - Astros.com
Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays odds, picks and prediction - USA Today
Astros activate Scrubb - InsideNoVa
Astros roll past Rays in series opener - Houston Chronicle
Lance McCullers Jr. has a pitch for every occasion - Houston Chronicle
Rays have no answer for Lance McCullers in lopsided loss to Astros - Tampa Bay Times
McCullers dominates, Houston Astros dump Rays - Field Level Media
Hinch aware of Bronx status: ‘Not the most liked person’ - New York Post
Fleming relishing opportunity to face Astros - Tampa Bay Times
Astros activate Yordan Alvarez off injured list; Yuli Gurriel gets day off - Houston Chronicle
Stat of the Day: Baker up in record books - Astros.com
Video Story: 'Stros, Rays open ALCS rematch - Astros.com
Astros activate Yordan, Scrubb - Astros.com
McCullers 'unbelievable,' twirls 7 scoreless - Astros.com
How Yuli Gurriel's new approach at plate has made him a bargain for Astros - Houston Chronicle
Sorry, Yankees fans: Reggie Jackson works for the Astros now - Houston Chronicle
McCullers leads Astros over Rays in first meeting since ALCS - Associated Press

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- Bob Hulsey