5 Thoughts: Astros Vs. Angels Sunday Finale

July 19, 2022, Cooperstown, New York. The emblem of the Houston Astros baseball club and a baseball.

5 Thoughts: Astros Vs. Angels Sunday Finale

  1. What happened: The Astros bats came alive and rolled in a 9-1 victory over the Angels on Sunday, winning the series two games to one. Jose Altuve went 3 for 4 and drove in three runs. The Astros got off to a fast start, putting up five runs in the second inning. It started when Kyle Tucker hit a two-run home run – his 23rd – scoring Trey Mancini who had walked. The Astros are now the leader in Major League Baseball in scoring first (64%) on the road. David Hensley kept it going driving in two runs and scoring Yuli Gurriel, who had singled and Mauricio Dubon, who had been hit by a pitch. It gave the Astros a 4-0 lead and Altuve added a double to score Hensley and top off a five-run inning. Altuve’s double was his 33rd on the year and ninth best in the American League. Altuve hit a home run to left field to make it 7-0 Astros in the 7th inning, scoring Dubon, who had singled. Altuve has 23 home runs on the year. The Astros added two more in the top of the ninth with Yordan Alvarez returning to the lineup and driving in two runs – Hensley, who had singled, and Chaz McCormick, who had walked. The Angels got their only run on a solo homer by Mike Trout in the eighth inning.
  2. Another solid start: Starting pitcher Josè Urquidy went 7 innings, with 4 hits and 8 strikeouts. He was great on the mound today. You could make a solid argument Urquidy is the third best Astros starter right now and should be a major factor in the playoffs.
  3. Big return: Alvarez returned to the lineup today after missing the previous five games with a right-hand injury. He started in left field and batted third in the lineup. After Sunday’s game, Alvarez is hitting .294, with 31 home runs and 82 RBIs on the year. Having him back in the lineup is a major difference maker.
  4. Day of rest: Alex Bregman got the day off today according to Houston Chronicle beat writer Chandler Rome, Bregman came into Sunday’s game with 126 starts. He won the American League Player of the Month in August with a slash line of .347/.436/.644 and has not missed a game since August 1. Bregman has really come to life after a slow start to the season and with Alvarez back the playoff lineup is taking shape.
  5. Exciting debut: Hunter Brown will make his Major League debut tomorrow against the Rangers, while with the Sugarland Space Cowboys he posted a 2.55 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .186 opponent batting average, and 134 strikeouts in 106 innings (24 starts). Fans have been buzzing about Brown for months, and now we will see what the hoopla is about. He will likely both start and relieve down the stretch for the Astros. ˇMonday’s game is at 6:10 p.m. CT and Brown will oppose Martín Perez (10-5, 2.89 ERA) of the Rangers.

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