HOUSTON — Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch occasionally bristles at conventional methodology Youth Chukwuma Okorafor Jersey , particularly given the availability of superior data and how its dissemination shapes decisions.
For instance, last Friday in Kansas City, the Astros (50-26) recalled first baseman Tyler White to take the roster spot of left-handed reliever Reymin Guduan, who made one appearance two days earlier before being placed on the paternity list for the birth of his child.
That move left the Astros one arm short in the bullpen and, when Guduan exhausted his time on the paternity list, the organization returned him to Triple-A Fresno instead of recalling him to Houston.
The Astros have completed two series with an extra position player on their bench, a move that some might consider unorthodox but one Hinch is reticent to harp on, despite being asked about his roster configuration more than once in the past week.
“In the heat in Kansas City, it was nice to have an extra guy when we won by a lot,” Hinch said of a 10-2 victory on June 16. “Maneuvering some pinch-hit opportunities has been key. Obviously, it allowed us to start an all right-handed lineup (Tuesday against Rays left-hander Blake Snell) and give (second baseman Jose) Altuve most of the day off.
“Our starters have gone pretty deep … the last two outings, which has allowed the bullpen to get rested. It feels a little different to have seven relievers, but in actuality, that’s too many. I’d have five position players on the bench if I could.”
The Astros, who will open a three-game series with the Royals on Friday at Minute Maid Park, will stand pat with seven relievers for the immediate future.
Right-hander Joe Smith, currently on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, has begun a throwing program and is poised for a return to the active roster that could reset the bullpen balance.
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 4.15 ERA) will start the opener for Houston. He is 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Royals and picked up the win over Kansas City in his last start Customized Los Angeles Rams Jerseys , allowing two unearned runs, six hits and one walk with five strikeouts in six innings in a 10-2 victory on June 16.
Keuchel had been 0-3 with a 7.33 ERA in his previous five starts.
The Royals will counter with left-hander Danny Duffy (3-7, 5.55 ERA) on Friday. Duffy surrendered seven runs (six earned), seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts in six innings of his previous start, a 10-2 loss to the Astros on June 16. He is 2-3 with a 5.29 ERA in eight career appearances (five starts) against Houston.
Kansas City (22-52) has dropped nine consecutive games and 15 of 16 overall, including all three games during a series against the Astros last weekend at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are batting .188 this month, their worst record in any month under ninth-year manager Ned Yost.
The Royals last won a road series on May 21-23, taking the final two games of a three-game set at St. Louis.
WASHINGTON — On what was supposed to be a day off, the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals will try on Monday to finish what they started in May.
The Yankees travel to Nationals Park to complete a game halted by rain on May 15 with the score tied 3-3. The teams will then make up a game that was rained out on May 16.
Slumping Bryce Harper gets the game restarted when he leads off the bottom of the sixth inning.
New York’s Sonny Gray (4-4, 4.98 ERA) opposes Erick Fedde (0-1, 5.91) 30 minutes after the completion of the suspended game
Both teams are coming off a loss, though for the Yankees it’s a blip and for the Nationals a trend.
Washington (37-31) completed a five-game trip through American League parks with an 8-6 loss at Toronto. The Nationals went 1-4 on the trip, ending with a sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays.
After failing to score in three of their previous five games, the Nationals produced 13 hits Sunday, only to see rare poor performances from a starter and a late-inning reliever.
Tanner Roark lasted just four innings and reliever Ryan Madson allowed two homers in the eighth inning, the first he has given up since June 4, 2017, when he was a member of the Oakland A’s and Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman homered.
“You never want to get swept, but I’m glad we swung the bats today Customized Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys ,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez told MASN.com. “We haven’t been swinging very well. … I’ll take our chances every time we score six runs, I really will. I’m proud of them, they didn’t give up, they fought the whole game.”
Roark’s short outing came at a particularly bad time. The Nationals used four relievers Sunday and the pitching staff is looking at 12 or more innings of work Monday.
“I stunk today,” Roark told MASN.com. “Didn’t really have much working for me.”
Anthony Rendon, Brian Goodwin and Wilmer Difo each collected two hits, but Harper went 0-for-5. He is now batting .163 (7-for-43) in June with four walks and 20 strikeouts.
The Yankees (46-21) dropped a 3-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday but have won 13 of their last 17. That includes splitting two games with the Nationals last week.
CC Sabathia was the hard-luck loser Sunday when the Yankees went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
“Always,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters when asked if he expected three runs not to be enough against his team.
“And that’s no disrespect ever to the opponent, it’s just I always know that we’re some traffic away from popping one,” he added. “We had a little traffic and threw some hits out there, but we just couldn’t get over the hump. They held us down and kept us at bay today.”
The Yankees (.687) remained ahead of the 49-24 Red Sox (.671) in the AL East. New York leads the majors in runs per game, homers, homers per game, slugging percentage and OPS.
That’s despite the continue struggles of Giancarlo Stanton (.243), who went 1-for-3 Sunday with a walk and two strikeouts.
“He’s still working to be ‘on time’ and get started to his rhythm of hitting. … That’s what he’s struggled with: consistently being on time. That’s when you have a tendency to expand or be behind on the fastball or behind on the breaking ball,” Boone told MLB.com.
However, Stanton is hitting .279 (34-for-122) with nine homers and 18 RBIs away from Yankee Stadium. And at Nationals Park, he has a career average of .289 with 20 homers and 41 RBIs in 54 games.
Gray is 0-0 with a 4.74 ERA in three starts against the Nationals. He gave up a three-run homer to rookie Juan Soto last Wednesday in a 5-4 loss to Washington when he allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings.
Fedde gave up four runs and six hits in five innings in a no-decision last week at Yankee Stadium.