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AL West Standings
Team W L Pct GB RS RA Diff Home Road East Cent West L10 Strk E#
Oakland3522.6142642135121-814-140-00-025-126-4W1
Houston2929.5002742611320-89-210-00-019-195-5L1E
Anaheim2632.448288309-2116-1510-170-00-019-216-4L1E
Seattle2532.43910235293-5814-1011-220-00-018-193-7L1E
Arlington2038.34515½210307-9714-146-240-00-014-243-7W1E

Last Game:
Rangers 5
Astros 4




September 26 - This Date in Astros History
September 26 - This Date in Astros History
September 26

2004 - Backup catcher Raul Chavez drives in five as Houston outslugs Milwaukee, 11-7. Morgan Ensberg adds four hits. Jeff Kent and Lance Berkman go deep. The Astros are 1-1/2 games behind the Cubs in the hunt for the final playoff berth.
1990 - Franklin Stubbs drives in six as the Astros blast the Dodgers, 10-1. Jim Deshaies hurls a four-hitter. Stubbs clubs his 22nd homer, a three-run shot, to break open a game that saw six Astros score after reaching base on walks.
1981 - Nolan Ryan becomes the only player in baseball history to pitch five no-hitters, blanking the Dodgers, 5-0, before a national television audience . Ryan whiffs eleven and walks three in the masterpiece. Nolan's gem matters even more since the Astros are nursing a slim lead over Cincinnati in the N.L. West split-season race.
1980 - Vern Ruhle tosses a four-hitter to blank Cincinnati, 2-0. Houston moves two games ahead of Los Angeles in the tight pennant race. The Astros manage just three hits themselves but an RBI single by Jose Cruz and a sacrifice fly by Craig Reynolds are enough.
1978 - Joe Niekro outduels his brother Phil in a 2-0 whitewash of the Braves and denies Phil a 20-win season. Joe allows seven hits then gives way to Ken Forsch in the ninth. Jose Cruz and Julio Gonzalez drive in the game's only runs.



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SEPT CALENDAR

Date      Opp      Result
9/01      TEX      L 6-5
9/02      TEX      W 2-1
9/03      TEX*     W 8-4
9/04     @ANA      L 6-5
9/05     @ANA     L 10-9
9/05     @ANA      L 7-6
9/06     @ANA*     L 9-5
9/07     @OAK      L 6-0
9/08     @OAK*     L 4-2
9/08     @OAK      W 5-4
9/09     @OAK      L 3-2
9/10     @OAK*     L 3-1
9/11      off        --
9/12     @LA       W 7-5
9/13     @LA       L 8-1
9/14      off        --
9/15      TEX      W 4-1
9/16      TEX      L 1-0
9/17      TEX      W 2-1
9/18      ARI      L 6-3
9/19      ARI      W 3-2
9/20      ARI*     W 3-2
9/21     @SEA      L 6-1
9/22     @SEA      W 6-1
9/23     @SEA      L 3-2
9/24     @TEX     W 12-4
9/25     @TEX      L 5-4
9/26     @TEX       ----
9/27     @TEX*      ----

* - day game.

Jul/Aug record:  19 - 14
Sept record:     10 - 15
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Houston Astros recap - 09/20/20 - Astros Hit Road For Season's Final Week
Astros Hit Road For Season's Final Week
Have Fans Seen The Last Of Springer, JV?

Springer: Headed back East?
(c) Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle
If Sunday's 3-2 win over Arizona was George Springer's last in a Houston uniform, he went out with a bang. Actually, two bangs as the slugger homered twice among three hits to pace the Astros to victory. A sacrifice fly by Carlos Correa in the eighth was the actual game-winner but Springer put the life into the Houston attack, sprinting around the bases on an inside-the-park homer off the left-center wall in the sixth then blasting an opposite field solo shot the next inning to tie the game.

Houston won 4-of-6 on the homestand but their offense was rather miserly the entire week. The once-vaunted Astros attack averaged a Dome-like 2.5 runs per game for the week. Fortunately, the Rangers and Diamondbacks scored even less.

Once leading the league in runs per game, the Astros entered Sunday tied with Toronto for sixth at 4.73. Once near the bottom in team ERA, Houston entered Sunday's action in seventh at 4.62. Add this up and the 27-26 season record seems well-deserved.

The Astros have to run the table this week to win their division while counting on Oakland to slip on a green-and-yellow banana peel. They also own a four-game edge over Seattle for second place which means they've just about locked up second in the division and the sixth seed in the expanded playoffs.

The Spacemen travel to war-torn and smoke-filled Seattle Monday through Wednesday for their first and only visit to the (ahem) Emerald City. The Astros have a 6-1 record against Seattle for the season but those were all at home. Lance McCullers, Framber Valdez and Zack Greinke are the scheduled starters.

Then the final four contests of the regular season will be in Arlington (Thursday through Sunday) at the new Globe Life Park that, on the outside, looks like a Lowe's and, on the inside, looks like a copy of Minute Maid Park. This time, our northern neighbors stuck a roof over the field, something Houstonians perfected a mere 55 years ago (Thanks, Judge!). Houston is 4-2 against the Rangers, again, with all of those contests played at home.

Then the Astros' Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Season will finally be over - except for a three-game road playoff series against a division champion, possibly Oakland where we were 1-7 this year.

But there will still be more horrors to come. Springer will be expected to file for free agency. Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick are likely to join him. I would not be at all surprised if the Mets make Springer an offer to be Carlos Beltran II. They'll have a new owner by then hoping to lure Gotham eyeballs away from the cross-town Yankees and the Connecticut-raised 31-year-old seems made-to-order for it.

The Astros are losing ace pitcher Justin Verlander too but not to free agency. Last year's Cy Young Award winner announced a setback in his effort to re-join the club after a forearm injury he suffered during his first start of the season. He's slated to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow ligament, which has a probable timetable of 12-14 months before he'll pitch competitively again. That would be November, 2021 which, coincidentally, is when his current contract extension with the Astros expires.

Personally, I would urge him to retire rather than jeopardize what is a certain Hall-of-Fame career as it now stands. He's done everything professionally that a pitcher can do, except win a World Series game and he's had multiple chances to do that. The Astros should give him a night, retire his jersey, make him a coach - whatever he wants - rather than tie up payroll waiting for someone who would be pushing 40 by the time he suits up again. Certainly he has better things to do in life than swap elbow rehab stories with Roberto Osuna, another elbow casualty of this horrid campaign.

If Drayton McLane were still running the ranch, J.V.'s extension would be pushed into a "personal services" contract where he still gets paid but just not counted against the cap. Making bank is going to be difficult enough after what COVID has done to the sport.

Finally, be prepared for a Super Soaker of a week with Tropical Storm Beta (Beto?) dumping rain on the Texas Gulf Coast through Thursday. You should know the drill by now - don't go surfing on I-10 and don't riot in any low-lying areas.

- Bob Hulsey



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

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Newsome expected to start for the Mariners against the Astros - Associated Press
Timely hits stay elusive - Houston Chronicle
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Athletics clinch first AL West title since 2013 - Associated Press
Gonzales, Mariners shut down Astros - Associated Press
Gonzales scheduled to start as Seattle hosts Houston - Associated Press
Shaping bullpen for playoffs - Houston Chronicle
On deck: Astros at Mariners - Houston Chronicle
Pettis will not travel with team on road trip - Houston Chronicle
Strom confident Verlander will make comeback from Tommy John surgery - Houston Chronicle
Martín Maldonado: The Astros' iron man - Houston Chronicle
Altuve hopes to get on track in final leg of season - Houston Chronicle
Springer carries Astros past D-Backs in home finale - Houston Chronicle
McCullers set to open key series at Seattle - Astros.com
Highlights from Astros' finale win vs. D-backs - Astros.com
Strom confident Verlander will return to form - Astros.com
Springer's 2 HRs help Astros reach milestone - Astros.com
Springer hits inside-the-park HR, Astros top Diamondbacks - Associated Press
Astros Hit Road For Season's Final Week
- Astros Daily


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- Bob Hulsey