Saving the most important news for the end of the recap (because it hasn't finished yet as I type this) means I'm going to run down Tuesday's Astro events in mostly chronological order.
Herrmann: Houston hero
(c) Associated Press
First, Houston closer Roberto Osuna agreed to a peace bond in a Toronto court for one year over domestic assault charges. With completion of a year "probation" in which he continues his counseling and continues to stay away from his accuser, a woman in Mexico who refused to travel to Toronto to take part in criminal proceedings, Osuna can have his record expunged after 12 months.
Translation: Jeff Luhnow got away with abusing the Blue Jays by snaring their young All-Star closer for two prospects and a malcontent reliever who lacks nerves of steel in critical situations. And Luhnow didn't even have to appear before a judge! Well played!
Osuna was roundly jeered by Toronto fans after, not inconsequentially, posting saves on Monday and Tuesday. Well, heck, if you're one of 28,440 Torontans (Torontoans? Torontonians? Torontites?) to shell out $50 to see your 71-win Blue Jays lose boringly at The Raj to the 100-win Astros, you probably have some underlying anger issues to begin with.
Alex Bregman broke out of a mini-slump with his 31st homer in the first inning off Sam Gaviglio. It gave Houston the early 2-0 jump.
Josh James keeps looking like the real deal. The righthander tossed five innings of four-hit baseball with just one walk. His lone mistake was a fastball to Billy McKinney in the third that was converted into a home run that narrowed the advantage to 2-1. Five relievers followed with four innings of shutout relief, most noteworthy being Hector Rondon who had a clean eighth inning.
The Astros tacked on two more runs in the sixth. Tyler White punched an RBI single while pinch-hitter Evan Gattis chased home the final tally with a sacrifice fly.
The 4-1 win put the Astros in no worse than a tie for the division with five games to go. Any win or Oakland loss clinches the division for the Astros.
Oh, great! Seattle has tied Oakland and now the two teams are headed for e-x-t-r-a i-n-n-i-n-g-s. Where's my No Doz? In Toronto, it's 1:30 a.m. Eastern Cannuckistan time. The Astros may want volunteers for the 3:07 p.m. Central finale on Wednesday. Sean Reid-Foley (2-4) is the named starting pitcher for Toronto while the Astros will use a bullpen-by-committee approach which may feature Chris Devenski (2-2) as the opening act although Houston still hasn't trotted out Lance McCullers in this series as they told us they would.
Seattle's Denard Span leads off the bottom of the 10th with a bloop double. Three batters later, he's stranded right there. Onto the 11th...
And it's OVER!!! Chris Herrmann slugs a two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to eliminate the A's!!! Set of the fireworks! Sip the champagne! Wait, it's 1:08 a.m. in Texas! Thanks, again, Bud Selig, for sticking us in this rotten, stinking division where you have to stay up past the infomercials to find out if your team wins a pennant. Good night everyone. I'm off to sleeeeeeeeepppppp. Zzzzz.
- Bob "Droopy-Eye" Hulsey