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August 16 - This Date in Astros History
August 16 - This Date in Astros History
August 16

2011 - Brian Bogusevic belts a walk-off grand slam that stuns Chicago, 6-5, to snap a seven-game losing skid. Carlos Marmol is the victim. It's just the second big league homer for Bogusevic, making Aneury Rodriguez a winning pitcher for the first time in his major league career.
2000 - Six different Astros belt home runs and they'll need all of them to outlast Pittsburgh, 11-10. Lance Berkman, Jeff Bagwell, Chris Truby, Moises Alou, Tim Bogar and Julio Lugo play long ball to build an 11-2 lead but no lead is safe at Enron Field. The Bucs storm back with eight runs in the last two frames before Octavio Dotel can coax the final out.
1983 - John Mizerock doubles, homers and drives in four to pace an 8-5 triumph over the Reds. Ray Knight also goes deep. Mike Scott runs out of gas, turning it over to Bill Dawley who collects the save.
1981 - Joe Niekro and Dave Smith combine on a two-hitter to blank San Diego, 3-0. Niekro and Steve Mura trade goose eggs for seven innings until Tony Scott drives home Joe Pittman in the eighth. Gary Woods then delivers Scott. In the ninth, Scott again plates Pittman with an insurance run. The shutout caps a seven-game road trip to open the "second season", with the Astros winning five of them.
1968 - Jim Wynn homers off Tom Seaver with two outs in the ninth to tie New York, 1-1. Bob Aspromonte's two-run opposite-field double in the 12th wins it for Houston. Tom Dukes, who fanned two with the bases full of Mets in the 11th, picks up the 3-1 victory.

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Date      Opp      Result
8/01      BOS      L 3-2
8/02      BOS      L 2-1
8/03      BOS*     W 6-1
8/04     @CLE      W 6-0
8/05     @CLE      W 9-3
8/06     @CLE      L 4-1
8/07     @CLE*     L 1-0
8/08      off        --
8/09      TEX      W 7-5
8/10      TEX      L 8-4
8/11      TEX*     W 7-3
8/12      OAK      W 7-5
8/13      OAK      W 8-0
8/14      OAK*     W 6-3
8/15     @CSX      L 4-2
8/16     @CSX       ----
8/17     @CSX       ----
8/18     @CSX*      ----
8/19     @ATL       ----
8/20     @ATL       ----
8/21     @ATL*      ----
8/22      off        --
8/23      MIN       ----
8/24      MIN       ----
8/25      MIN*      ----
8/26      BAL       ----
8/27      BAL       ----
8/28      BAL*      ----
8/29      off        --
8/30     @TEX       ----
8/31     @TEX*      ----

* - day game.

April record:   11 - 10
May record:     21 -  8
June record:    16 -  9
July record:    18 -  9
August record:   8 -  6
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Houston Astros recap - 08/15/22 - McCullers Sharp In Return; Astros Sweep
McCullers Sharp In Return; Astros Sweep
Pale Hose Next For A.L. Leaders

McCullers: Back in the saddle
(c) ESPN
Lance McCullers Jr. is back, causing the rest of the American League to harrumph. "That's all they need!"

The league's best pitching staff by ERA (3.02), welcomed back their ace from a year ago and suddenly the rich felt richer. McCullers mowed through the Oakland lineup Saturday, spinning six innings of two-hit shutout ball to highlight a series sweep of the scrappy A's. Houston took out the last-place Athletics by scores of 7-5, 8-0 and 6-3. Only Friday's game felt competitive.

Oakland built a 2-0 lead on Luis Garcia before Kyle Tucker launched a grand slam to key a six-run frame en route to victory. Garcia hasn't had a scoreless start since May and his season ERA has grown from 3.04 to 4.03 this summer. He'll probably need to step it up a notch to make the postseason rotation.

McCullers was in top form the next night. The offense produced four two-run frames, including Alex Bregman's 15th home run of the year and three hits from Trey Mancini. In Sunday's finale, Cristian Javier spun a one-hit shutout for the first six innings and snapped a personal month-long losing streak while Bregman homered again and catcher Christian Vazquez chipped in three hits. The bullpen scuffled a bit necessitating an appearance from Ryan Pressly who slammed the door for his 23rd save.

While Manager Dusty Baker has been hesitant to play either Mancini or Vazquez, the third player James Click acquired at the trade deadline, lefty reliever Will Smith, has been a frequent participant. Since arriving from Atlanta, Smith has pitched in six games, allowed three runs (two homers) and carries a 4.76 ERA. We were warned that he had some issues to work out when he was acquired so I presume he is being used to identify and correct whatever adjustments need to be made. It hasn't hurt the Astros so far so we can afford to be patient.

In fact, as of Sunday, the 75-41 Spacemen have a 13-game cushion on Seattle, their closest divisional foe, and have built a 2-1/2 game margin over the faltering Yankees for the league's best record.

Houston had six quality starting pitchers at the trade deadline and dealt Jake Odorizzi to Atlanta to acquire Smith. Now, with McCullers seemingly healthy, the Houston Six Pack is back and better than ever. Between the "Killer V's" (Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez), the veteran McCullers and the "Three Amigos" (Garcia, Javier and Jose Urquidy), the Astros sport pitching depth among the best in history.

The hitters have backslid for most of the year (.244 team batting average - seventh-best in the league) but with Bregman getting hot, Jose Altuve (.328 since July 29th) staying healthy, Aledmys Diaz (.378, 1.119 OPS over the same period) on a roll and the usual production from Tucker and Yordan Alvarez, the bats have been clicking this month.

Absent from the party is left fielder Michael Brantley, who agreed to shoulder surgery to repair his right labrum and will be gone for the rest of the season. Some combination of Alvarez, Mancini, Diaz and Chas McCormick will man the position based on matchups and hot hands.

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Astros fly to the Windy City to challenge the 59-56 Chicago White Sox in a four-game series to start the week. Some barbed comments came out of the Division Series last year (in which McCullers and center fielder Jake Meyers were injured and lost for the rest of the postseason) and it will be interesting to see if harsh words resume almost a year later.

The meeting renews the rivalry of baseball's oldest managing duo - 73-year-old Baker versus 77-year-old Tony LaRussa. Will this be the final year for this pair?

The first three games will have 7:10 p.m. Central start times. Urquidy (11-4, 3.85 ERA) opens against veteran Johnny Cueto (4-5, 2.91) on Monday. Verlander (15-3, 1.85) challenges Dylan Cease (12-5, 1.96) in Tuesday's duel. Valdez (11-4, 2.73) locks horns with Longview native Michael Kopech (4-8, 3.15) in the Wednesday battle before Garcia (9-8, 4.03) and Lucas Giolito (9-6, 4.92) square off in the 1:10 p.m. Central Thursday finale. After this, the Spacemen jet off to Atlanta for a World Series rematch with the Braves. A 4-3 road trip would be all I'll ask.

- Bob Hulsey

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


RSS Feed | News Archives
McCullers Sharp In Return; Astros Sweep
- Astros Daily
On deck: Astros at White Sox - Houston Chronicle
A strong, strong team built to win - Houston Chronicle
Vazquez fitting right in with Astros - Houston Chronicle
Urquidy, Verlander highlight upcoming Astros-White Sox pitching duels - Houston Chronicle
Terry Puhl and Tal Smith inducted to Astros Hall of Fame - Astros.com
'You hit one for Uvalde': Bregman delivers special HR - Astros.com
Astros ride momentum, surging offense to sweep - Astros.com
Javier goes 6 strong, Bregman homers as Astros down A's 6-3 - Associated Press
How Astros pitching infusion will trigger fascinating domino effect - SportsMap
For Astros, its next man up vs. As - Field Level Media
Athletics head into matchup with the Astros on losing streak - Associated Press
Valdez talks life outside of baseball - KRIV-TV
Tucker's slam sends Astros past Athletics - Field Level Media
Brantley has season-ending surgery on shoulder - Astros.com
McCullers set to start tonight - Astros.com
Red-hot Tucker belts decisive slam, keys win - Astros.com
On deck: Oakland As at Astros - Houston Chronicle
Astros hometown hero's big return headlines can't-miss Hall of Weekend - CultureMap
Athletics aim to break slide in game against the Astros - Associated Press
Astros look to give Garcia more run support vs. As - Field Level Media
Baker's response to lineup questions: 'Its just not straight OPS' - Houston Chronicle
Valdez gets $200 million vote of confidence after dominating win - Clutch Points
Valdez deals, Astros take 2 of 3 from Rangers - SportsMap
Valdez's gem lifts Astros past Rangers in series finale - Houston Chronicle
Valdez, Maldonado fuel Astros past Rangers - Field Level Media
Somehow, Astros are making Mancini controversial - Houston Chronicle
High-quality stuff: Framber nearing franchise history - Astros.com
Baker back after missing 5 games with COVID-19 - Associated Press
Houston Drops Rangers
- Astros Daily
Baker back after missing 5 games with COVID-19 - Associated Press
Dog day scuffles magnify apparent internal power struggle inside Astros - SportsMap
A Cy Young campaign at 39 years old? - Yahoo Sports
Astros take on the Rangers with series tied 1-1 - Associated Press
Rangers out to stick to plan in series finale vs. Astros - Field Level Media
Taveras comes through in 10th as Rangers beat Astros - Field Level Media
How to watch Rangers-Astros on YouTube - Astros.com
McCullers to make long-awaited return for Astros on Saturday - Astros.com
Yordan, Tucker showing 'the signs we're looking for' - Astros.com
Taylor to start rehab assignment - Astros.com
Astros to bring 500 Uvalde residents to Sunday home game for 'Uvalde Strong Day' - Texas Digital Reporter
Verlander leads Astros into tilt vs. Rangers - Field Level Media
Here's why reaching this critical milestone is vital for the Astros - SportsMap
Diaz hits slam, Astros tag Perez, rally past Rangers 7-5 - Associated Press
What happened to Dusty Baker and when could he return for the Astros? - The Focus
Astros, Mets set to pass Yankees in the standings - NJ.com
3 Astros players who wont be on the roster by September 1 - FanSided
The extraordinary Justin Verlander is 39 and the best pitcher in baseball - The Guardian
Diaz's slam keys Astros' win over Rangers - Field Level Media
Lineup decisions become more complicated as stretch run looms - Houston Chronicle
McCullers awaits next move - Astros.com
Diazs 2nd slam of season sinks Rangers' ace - Astros.com

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- Bob Hulsey