MLB News: Houston Astros make historic comeback with win over the Rays

For New York Yankee fans that are still interested in the MLB season, most of you would like to see the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays both lose and not go to the World Series. Well, that isn’t going to happen. In the ALCS the Houston Astros fell three games behind in the series and faced elimination last night. Then the near impossible happened the Astros completed their comeback from 0-3 to beat the Rays and even the series at 3 games apiece and force a game seven.

The Houston Astros feat was only the second time in MLB history that a team would come back from 0-3 in an ALCS series. The Astros beat the Rays last night 7-4 at Petco Park in San Diego. The Astros can now look forward to winning tonight’s game and going back to their home state of Texas to compete in World Series in front of a socially distant group of home town fans. The games at Globe Life Field and been played with a limited number of fans in the stands. The games at Petco has been fanless.

Some New York Yankees fans will be hoping that the Houston Astros lose tonight and go back to Houston with their tails between their legs. The Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees in the 2019 ALCS. Because of the win, Jose Altuve was named AL MVP, while the Yankees Aaron Judge came in second. Later MLB found that the Astros electronically cheated in the 2019 season and postseason. The General Manager and team manager were both suspended, but the Houston Astros owner fired them.

Other Yankee fans that are not all that down on the Houston Astros, may hope that the Rays lose the ALCS contest because of the unsportsmanlike antics they displayed after winning the series from the New York Yankees. They after the Tv cameras were off, walked out of the dugout, many smoking cigars while blaring “New York, New York, from the dugout.

Still, there are other AL MLB fans that don’t care who wins as long as it is an American League team, and will route for the winner to beat the National League team in the World Series. Tonight’s must-win game for both teams will be broadcast on TBS at 8:37 pm EDT. The Rays have the edge as they start the 2-0 Charlie Morton, who has an ERA of 0.90 in the postseason. He will start against Astro’s Lance McCullers Jr. who is 0-1 with a 3.93 ERA.

The other game that could be a deciding game will be the National League’s Championship Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves are up in the series 3-2. The Dodgers will have to win the late afternoon game to force a game seven, that will decide who goes to the World Series.  The game is at 4:38 pm EDT on FS1.

 

Yankees get a little salvation in Houston Astros’ awful 2020 batting averages

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve

Both the New York Yankees and Houston Astros will play during the 2020 postseason, but one of the two saw a major decrease in productivity throughout the season.

The Yankees, who suffered a multitude of injuries, similar to 2019, went on serious cold streaks that limited their potential the past few months. With Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, and Gleyber Torres all missing significant time, the Yankees are just now turning the corner with their health.

If only New York could’ve cheated their way to the top, maybe their injuries wouldn’t be such a focal point. The Astros, who were caught in the middle of a massive cheating scandal the past few years, saw reality hit them in the face In 2020. Considering none of the players were adequately punished for their role in the scandal, seeing their batting averages after this year’s regular season is eye-opening.

In 2017, the Astros had three batters hitting over .300, fast forward three years later, and none of them are even breaking .270. It is quite comical to see how vastly their numbers look when taking out the cheating factor, further justifying how guilty they are.

For the sake of baseball, thankfully, we won’t be hearing any trash cans banging in Houston, and if the Yankees happen to find themselves playing the Astros at some point this postseason, things could look quite different.

Houston Astros pitcher suspended 80-games, more cheating?

Kent Emanuel, Houston Astros

The Houston Astros simply can’t get out of the spotlight after being thrown at by Dodgers‘ pitcher Joe Kelly and their primary hitters struggling at the plate. It seems as if the lack of cheating has made them mortal after all, which attests to the more harsh suspension that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred should’ve imposed.

Kelly received an eight-game suspension for his transgressions, representing the ridiculousness that occurred regarding the Astros’ suspensions.

Not a single player was forced to miss games during the 2020 season, but Kelly, who threw two wild pitches on purpose, was banned.

Nonetheless, one Houston Astros pitcher was recently suspended 80 games for testing positive for steroids. Kent Emanuel, who was on the Astro’s 40-man roster, tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

Emanuel stated regarding the positive test:

“I do not know how 7 picograms of the long-term metabolite of DHCMT got into my system, but I know I have never knowingly or intentionally taken oral turinabol,” he wrote.

Take this as you will, but Houston just can’t play the game of baseball the right way. While Kent might disagree with the test and have an alternate explanation, the reality is, somehow and some way, the illegal substance got into a system.

Yankees’ revenge over Astros through crazy Joe Kelly comes with most ridiculous suspension

Dodgers, Joe Kelly

The New York Yankees need to find a different way to get revenge on the Houston Astros after the cheating scandal that led to the Bombers being knocked out of the ALCS in 2019. It also resulted in the Astros winning a World Series in 2017, but for whatever reason, commissioner Rob Manfred was not willing to punish them adequately.

For being honest and working with the league, they were able to retain their World Series title and avoid suspensions for the players. Los Angeles Dodgers reliever, Joe Kelly, was out for revenge two nights ago. He began by throwing at Alex Bregman’s head, which he had no response for. Next up, Carlos Correa, who was nearly hit in the head by a 96 MPH fastball. Kelly can be erratic at times, but two consecutive batters facing baseballs to their skull is not an accident. Kelly was out for blood, more so than Manfred was during the consequence talks.

Kelly was also keen to verbally abuse Correa as he stated, “nice swing, bi-ch.” This was the final straw for the Astro, who began walking toward Kelly and firing insults back. Both benches cleared and began to meet in a more hostile manner. Luckily, nothing more broke out, but it certainly was against the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

The League is still angry:

Other players around the league chimed in and stated that Kelly was right for throwing at them. Considering the Astros players got away with murder and were still able to retain their championship, the situation only angered people around the league. One of them was New York Mets pitcher, Marcus Stroman, who believed Joe’s moves are justified.

Some believed that Joe Kelly’s suspension, which was eight games, was deserved. That is the ridiculous part of it all, Kelly was actually suspended eight games, and none of the Astros players received even one. What does this say about the MLB? You can undoubtedly cheat and get away with it, but the second you try to punish someone for it, you deserve a suspension.

The New York Yankees could very well take their shots at Houston this year, but I imagine letting someone else do the job is the right move. Staying composed and not drawing any unnecessary attention is the Yankee way, and I don’t believe they will make any hostile threats toward the belittled opponent.

New York Yankees: So, how is the Houston Astros 2020 shame tour going?

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees are wondering how much shame will be shown to the Houston Astros once this coronavirus shortened season gets underway.  With the COVID-19 virus taking over the 24/7 news cycle, it has shifted the sports world from the cheating Houston Astros to more important things in our life.  However, even though our attention has been diverted, Yankee fans have not forgotten that they may have been cheated out of a 2017 World Series berth by the Houston Astros.

The simple fact is that with the season delayed the Houston Astros have been given a bit of a reprieve from the torture they will endure once the season actually begins.  Back in March Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred issued his report on the sign-stealing that engulfed the Houston Astros 2017 season.  He issued punishments that included the suspension of their general manager and Field Manager A.J. Hinch, both of which have been fired by the Astros owner.  They got the maximum fine that could be levied and were relieved of their 1st and 2nd draft picks.

But even with the punishments by MLB, fans are not satisfied as they didn’t have to return their Championship rings nor were they stripped of their World Series title.  Because of that and the fact that they haven’t made sincere apologies to teams and fans, they are expected to suffer severe shame as they travel around the country if that happens in this messed-up baseball season.

Fans and players alike have not forgotten how they may have been cheated out of deserved stats, game wins, and awards.  In the case of New York Yankee Aaron Judge, he lost out to Astros Jose Altuve for the MVP award for the 2017 season.  Many pitchers and players have made their feelings of disgust over the cheating scheme.

The Boston Red Sox have been recently exposed for their cheating in their 2018 Championship season.  There manager Alex Cora was fired by the Sox and he was suspended by MLB, not for his Red Sox involvement but for being the Astros ring leader in their cheating scheme.  Although the New York Yankees may feel cheated during that 2018 season, they and other teams may look more kindly on the Sox because they at least had the decency to phone every team and apologize, something the smug Astros have yet to do.

When the season starts, wherever it starts the Houston Astros will be humiliated in many ways.  The obvious is boos when the team is introduced and constant boos for Jose Altuve.  But that will be the least of it.  There will be cheater signs, clanging trash can covers, and the like.  Right now Jose Altuve will take the brunt of the shame.  His lukewarm apology and refusal to take questions further infuriated fans, especially the Yankees and Los Angeles fans that were most affected by cheating.

Altuve was thought to even have buzzers under his jersey to alert him of the pitches coming.  Something he has denied.  But his orders not to rip his jersey off upon reaching home plate certainly puts that in question.  Here’s an interesting fact many fans may not be aware of.  Altuve who is undeniably a good player batted .209 in his away games.  But at his home park, Minutemaid where the cheating went on, he batted .355.  Maybe that is just a coincidence, maybe not.

One thing is for sure, the Houston Astros will be showered with shame during every game they play this season.

 

New York Yankees: No Astros, Yankee fans have not forgotten, you will be punished

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Jose Altuve

The horrible coronavirus has taken the spotlight away from the Houston Astros and their cheating ways.  But, the New York Yankees and fans have not forgotten.  They will pay, and they will eventually feel the shame.

I remember as a young boy stealing a small bottle of maraschino cherries from my local A&P supermarket.  I sat behind the store with a friend and ate the whole bottle.  Later at home, I got sick and had to admit to what I had done.  My mom marched me back to the store and made me apologize to Mr. Blue, the store manager. I didn’t mind so much as I felt ashamed for my misdeed.  The disappointment in Mr. Blue’s face who I knew and that of my mom was more punishment to me than having to apologize.

The Houston Astros players are not young boys, they should know better.  According to their bringing up, some will remain unrepentant, but some will feel the shame of their deeds as they visit baseball parks all over the country, once the baseball season begins.  They will be most likely treated poorly by the New York Yankees fans when they eventually visit Yankee Stadium.

As most sports fans know, the Astros used electronic equipment at Minute Maid Park to steal their opponents’ pitching signs. Then Astros players would signal their teammates whether the next pitch would be a breaking ball or fastball by banging on trash cans in the dugout and possibly electronic signals beneath their jerseys.

MLB’s Commissioner Rob Manfred, after a lengthy investigation determined that the Astros had cheated during the regular and postseason of 2017.  New York Yankee fans also know that that cheating could have cost them a World Championship.  The Astros in the postseason went on to beat the Yankees in the ALCS and then on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.  You can be sure that the Dodgers feel cheated as well.

The effects of Astros cheating goes far beyond who won those games.  It may have affected every single player that played against them during the 2017 season and beyond.  If outcomes had been different, the stats of players around the country were compromised.   A good Yankee example is that the Houston Astros Jose Altuve won the MVP that year, and Yankee star Aaron Judge came in second. Judge felt cheated when he found out about the scheme.  CC Sabathia was mad as hell that he may have been cheated of wins in his final year of play.

The Astros team was fined, the Astros manager A.J. Hinch was suspended and fired, and the Astros General Manager was also fired.  Arising from the scheme for their involvement, new Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Mets manager Carlos Beltran also lost their jobs.  Are the New York Yankees satisfied?  No, they are not.  They didn’t lose their World Series title, their rings, or their World Series shares.  But most important to the Yankees is that no Astro player was punished.

Since the reveal, the Astros has been more or less repentant, most apologies seemed insincere and half-hearted, even smug.  During the brief spring training this year, the Astros played their first spring training game in Florida;  they were booed when introduced and booed when a video was shown celebrating the Astros’ 2019 American League pennant.  And these boos came from Tiger fans that were hardly affected by the cheating scandal.

The players who seem to be unaffected by the boos will know that fans are, not were, still holding them responsible for their deeds.  The coronavirus may have diverted attention away from them, but they will suffer throughout this season and possibly for seasons to come.  The Astros had their chance to relinquish their title, their rings, and such, but they didn’t, and the New York Yankees and fans are not going to forget.

New York Mets: Offense Finds New Life in 7-4 Against Astros

New York Mets, Rick Porcello

Tuesday’s game between the New York Mets and Houston Astros was not typical of the Mets Spring Training. The pitching did not dominate, pitching in and out of trouble throughout the day. Their offense showed up, but it came from mostly players who are trying to make the team.

Rick Porcello scattered nine hits over 4.2 innings and only allowed two runs. He only struck out one, which shows he was not dominant by any means. Porcello had a baserunner on in every innings he pitched but managed to keep the Astros from mustering anything significant off him.

Offensive Revival

Rene Rivera had a big day going 2-for-4 with an RBI as he tries to steal the backup catcher job from Tomas Nido. Robinson Cano added a two-RBI single on the day and has hits in back to back games. The bench crew was led by Matt Winaker’s solo home run to give the Mets the lead in the eighth inning. Jake Hager also added an RBI single in the Mets three-run eighth.

Pedro Payano picked up the six-out save, despite allowing four base runners. The newly acquired reliever has a 3.52 ERA so far. Chasen Shreve struggled again, allowing a solo homer to Drew Ferguson to give up the Mets lead.

On Wednesday, Jacob deGrom makes his second start of the Spring as he takes on the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets will face a familiar foe in Carlos Martinez. The game will be at Port St. Lucie at 1:10 p.m. and is on SNY.

MLB: It’s only Spring Training and things are already rough for the Houston Astros

The Houston Astros haven’t even begun regular-season games yet and fans are already ruthless at their games. The main executives and players have apologized for the 2017 season but that isn’t stopping fans from holding back during their Spring Training games.

Jose Altuve has received some of the most boos during his at-bats. Despite what Carlos Correa said in defense of his teammate, Altuve is still heckled a ton during their games – even their home Spring Training games.

I don’t see it getting any easier for the Houston Astros for the rest of the year. Away games are going to be rough for the team and it’s going to be interesting on how they handle everything. It will especially be tough for the team when they go to the Bronx to play the New York Yankees after knocking them out in 2017 and 2019.

There’s already been talks that pitchers in the league are going to be throwing at the Houston batters this season despite what the commissioner said about punishments for pitchers who choose to do that.

Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling was among those who weren’t happy about what the Astros did. He has said he wouldn’t be against the idea of throwing at an Astros batter if an opportunity presented itself. “I would lean towards yes,” Stripling said. “In the right time and the right place.”

Yankee and Dodger fans have been the most vocal about the scandal since they were two teams that were knocked out during the 2017-2019 seasons. Even though the Astros don’t play the Dodgers this season, if the Astros somehow find themself playing the Dodgers in the postseason, it’s gonna be a tough series.

I could see the Astros doing one of two things this season. They are either going to have a terrible season since the pressure is on and every series is gonna be tough, or the team is going to use this to come together and put a good season in place. Regardless of what happens, it’s going to be interesting to watch.

Matz Strong Outing Helps Give the New York Mets a Win

All of Steven Matz’s Spring Training starts for the New York Mets will be watched with heavy scrutiny. Matz took the mound for his second start against the Houston Astros and pitched very well. The offense was quiet once again but the pitchers delivered in the seven innings following Matz.

For good reason, Matz sees himself as a starter and its proving why so far. Over two innings of work, he allowed one hit and struck out one. Another promising sign for Matz is the other five outs recorded all came on ground balls. Compared to Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello, Matz has the upper advantage as the calendar turns to March.

Polar Bear in Hibernation

Pete Alonso continued his slow start to Spring Training. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and dropped his average to .067 for the Spring. There is still plenty of time to get himself right but as each day passes the struggles grow more and more concerning.

Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto both mixed in hits and stolen bases in their efforts. The third stolen base came from Dominic Smith as the Mets continue to push their initiative of being more aggressive on the bases.

The minor leaguers got the job done to secure a victory. Will Toffey started the ninth-inning rally with a walk and it was followed by a Jake Hager double to tie the game. Max Moroff traded places with Hager to tie the game and steal the lead from the Astros.

The minor league relievers cost the Mets some games early in the Spring but they were dominant on Saturday. The six pitchers combined to pitch seven innings, allowing five hits, two walks, one run and struck out seven batters. Jordan Humphreys and Adonis Uceta combined for 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth to secure the win and save respectively.

Split Squad Sunday

Jacob deGrom makes his Spring debut at Port St. Lucie against the Washington Nationals. Michael Wacha makes his second start of the Spring against the Miami Marlins in Jupiter.

New York Mets: Syndergaard and Diaz Opposite Spring Debuts

Wednesday’s matchup between the New York Mets and Houston Astros came with plenty of headlines. Noah Syndergaard and Edwin Diaz made their first appearances of the Spring, and the villain Astros made their first trip to Clover Park. Syndergaard was dominant, Diaz struggled, and the Astros were booed.

Syndergaard had his good stuff working over his first two innings of work. He only allowed one hit and struck out two batters, both with his revamped slider. The slider looked brand new from 2019 with a more downward tilt and got four swings and misses on it.  Syndergaard’s velocity on his slider was in the 97-98 range as expected, with the four-seamer touching 99.

Diaz Struggles

Anxious was the word that summed up Diaz’s first outing of the Spring. He gave up three runs on two hits while striking out one over his only inning of work. The inning was no different than the ones that defined his horrible 2019. Electric stuff but inconsistent location. All three hits we hit extremely hard, and everything was center cut. The poor outing could be first outing jitters, but nothing was promising, which is an early concern.

Ryan Cordell was a late entrant into the Mets lineup but made a considerable impact, building on his strong Spring. He went 2-for-4 with a homer and a diving catch in Center Field. Cordell is 4-for-11 through his first four games. Despite being a minor league invite to camp, his strong play is giving him an outside chance at a roster spot in the future.

Thursday in Jupiter

The Mets travel to Jupiter on Thursday to take on the Miami Marlins as Rick Porcello makes his second start. He allowed a run on two hits during his first outing of the season against the same Marlins. Miami is the final undefeated team in Spring Training and hopes to make it six in a row to begin the Spring schedule.