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Astros need a new lineup, Houston comedy, QB trash talk, Andy Huggins and more: The Oct 19 update.


If that header looks weird it’s because I replaced the letter “o” with the number of runs the Astros scored in game 5 of the ALCS.

There’s just no way around it; the Astros are sucking right now. I hate using the “C” word, but it kind of feels like this team is choking. How else could you explain a team that’s been one of the best offensive teams in baseball all year suddenly not hitting anymore.

chokinghazardAre they choking? Is the Yankees pitching staff that good? Have the bats gone cold? Is it a combination of both?

Well, probably, yes, yes and yes.

A.J. Hinch is taking a lot of heat for the way he’s managed the games on the road in New York, and rightfully so. For starters, I don’t know that I would have pitched to Judge with a base open late in game 4.

I also question if the right thing to do was to start Keuchel in game 5 on the road. Not that he’s been terrible on the road, but his ERA is much better at home (2.26) versus his road ERA (3.53). And as I mentioned on my show (The Usual Suspects – ESPN 97.5 daily from 1p-4p) I would have started Peacock in game 5. If you win, great you get two chances to close it out at home. If you don’t you have Keuchel and Verlander at home to get you two wins.

But the unthinkable happened and Keuchel lost game 5, so instead of coming back down 2-3 with Keuchel and Verlander left, they come back down 2-3 with either Morton or McHugh going in game 7 against C.C. Sabathia.

I like my way better.

Something else I think Hinch needs to do is change up the lineup. You can’t have two guys at the top of the order struggling (and that’s putting it nicely) like Springer and Reddick are. Springer (.111 avg, .238 obp) and Reddick (.000 avg, .056 obp) are a combined 2 for 35, with Reddick being hitless in his 17 ALCS at-bats.

I would change up the lineup as follows for game 6 and 7:


Some of you will see that and ask why not move Springer down? For the same reason you wouldn’t move Altuve and Correa. You have to let your stars hit themselves out of their funk. In the case of Reddick, you don’t. Gurriel is the only hot bat right now so moving him to the three hole makes sense for a couple of reasons.

I don’t know why Hinch insists on running Beltran out there. Even against right-handed pitchers Gattis has a better average for the year than Beltran did, so what are they losing if he’s not in the lineup?

I said on the show today that if the Astros lost game 5 that they would probably lose game 7, and I’m standing by that.

I’ve never wanted to be more wrong about anything in my whole life.

Houston Comedy

The Houston Chronicle did a piece on the history of comedy in Houston, and while I applaud them for discussing comedy at all (because it rarely ever gets mentioned anymore in the local media) it was quite honestly pretty terrible as far as covering the history of Houston Comedy.  So much of the history of our comedy scene was excluded in what amounts to lazy (at best) writing.

But I’m not bringing this up to bitch about the article. I bring it up to tell you that this city, our city, used to be a mecca for comedy in America. Sadly, that’s not the case anymore. At one point there were 10 comedy clubs in Houston. Today, there are 2.5.

I could go on and on about what’s caused the decline. but the fact of the matter is, people aren’t going to shows anymore. Mostly because they can get their comedy fix on YouTube or Netflix or any other number of sources. Back in the day, it used to just be the club and the occasional album release.

It’s a shame that attendance at comedy clubs and shows is down in Houston because we have some of the  best comics in the nation right here in our own backyard. Our city, for whatever reason, creates strong comics. I see and hear it all the time when I travel. People will comment about how strong the comics from our city are compared to the city that I’m in.

So go out and enjoy a show this weekend. Make it a habit to see a show once a quarter or twice a year. And no, I’m not just talking about the big tours that you can catch at an arena. I’m talking about going to the Joke Joint Comedy Showcase (my home club) or the Houston Improv or The Secret Group. Catch an off night show on a Thursday or a Friday. Go to the open mic at Rudyard’s British Pub on Monday.

To do my part to help promote our scene, I’ll be featuring a new comic every Friday on The Usual Suspects. It could be a local comedian that you may have never heard of, or somebody with a connection to Houston. As part of that, and since I have the platform, I’ll also be trying to post them here in advance as well.

Andy Huggins

Today I’ll be featuring Andy Huggins. Andy is not only a friend but also a mentor to me. He’s pretty much done it all. He was a member of the legendary Texas Outlaw comics (a group that also including Bill Hicks and Ron Shock). He’s got his name on the wall at the world famous Comedy Store in L.A., where he would sit up in the belly room and talk baseball with David Letterman for hours. He’s also written for Jay Leno and the Oscars. On top of all that, he’s absolutely hilarious.

If you enjoyed it, you can buy Andy’s album “Inspired By True Events” on iTunes and Google Play



“It’s tough getting older. I went into an antique store, they wouldn’t let me leave.”Andy Huggins



Look, I know she’s been posted here before, but we need some good karma headed into Friday.


About Barry Laminack (40 Articles)
Talented, funny, handsome, creative, fun to be around, well endowed, great body,smart, liar.

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