The Houston Astros have defeated the Oakland A’s 11 of 12 after Sunday’s win, going back to last year. Houston is getting timely hitting and good pitching.
The Astros have lost 20-of-26 against the Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers of Arlington since 2015, including 12 losses by 2 or fewer runs last year, and eight losses by one run during the same time period.
It’s unfair to compare a team against only one other team when you play against a total of 29 other squads in Major League Baseball. But then, it’s the frickin’ Rangers, who are just Baja Oklahoma. We all have friends who have called to rub it in, and let us know they think the only things Houston is known for besides losing to the Rangers are mosquitoes, humidity and summer heat (all right, we’ll give them those three).
One of my “friends” pointed out that if the Astros had lost only half of their recent games to the Arlington-based team, then Houston likely would have been in the playoffs last year. Let that soak in.
The numbers continue to suck. Texas leads the all-time series with Houston 95-53. AndTexas has won the season series — called the Silver Boot Series — 12 of 16 years. The local boys of summer have not looked good in this series.
The day I cheer for the Rangers is the day of mistaken identity or paralysis has set in. They were lean and mean last year, but this year’s version of the Rangers has the personality of a Pete Rose haircut. Open the roof and let them experience Houston humidity first-hand — use it as an asset — and give the Pete Rose cut some frizz.
And, hey, Nolan Ryan is from here and pitched here first.
Houston has 16 wins so far this year and it doesn’t feel like they have really played well. I hope the Astros beat the Rangers this week, so that my friends in Dallas become the most-likeable arrogant people I know — you know, changing the subject when I ask or not answering the phone when I call.
It’s just another series, some say. But it’s the frickin’ Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers of Arlington. And it’s time for payback.
BREGMAN BATTING 9TH — I remember when the young son of a friend pointed out that a kid on the opposing Little League team he was playing against was not very good because the opponent was batting ninth in the order. I had to stop him and explain that things changed when a league has the designated hitter. A person in the ninth position is like a second lead-off hitter, since the lead-off hitter follows him in the batting order. So, if Bregman hits third or sixth or ninth, he still will have a chance to use his uncanny ability to get on base and have others hit him around. It’s not necessarily a demotion to bat ninth when you have a designated hitter.
KEUCHEL ON FIRE — Dallas Keuchel — the only Dallas we like in Houston — tied a team record with Sunday’s win against the A’s. He is 5-0 in six starts in April, tying Roger Clemens.
ROCKETS-SPURS TIME — The series get under way today. Jeff Springmeier has a really strong preview of the series here.
ROCKETS SHOOT FROM OUTER SPACE — The Rockets had an article in the Wall Street Journal, about how they shoot from well beyond the 3-point arc. Specifically, the story mentions how James Harden started that trend, which is now practice more and more by all NBA teams. How significant is the story that Chronicle has already written? The WSJ doesn’t have a daily sports section, so that means that the Rockets are getting noticed on the East Coast. And the East Coast is where a lot of NBA MVP voters live.
CUBS FANS TAKEN DOWN — The people who run the stadium TVs in Cincinnati recently showed Cubs fans in Cincinnati, and troll them about Cubs trivia. This is what the Internet was made for – this is comedy gold.
CLASSICAL NOTE — Holst wrote a series of music called The Planets. Each planet has their own theme. The best one, if you are in the mood, is Mars, the Bringer of War. The music is in 5-4 time (five beats to a measure instead of the more-normal four beats to a measure), which means it is difficult to follow for beginners. Some like the off-beat rhythm and others cannot handle it. What say ye?
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.”
— Oscar Wilde, who probably had friends from Dallas.
HOTTIE OF THE DAY