It’s been an interesting week to say the least. From the last time I wrote about baseball, the Miami Marlins have won 4 out of 6 games. Miami now finds themselves five and a half games behind the Colorado Rockies for the second National League Wild Card spot. The even bigger story coming out of South Beach these days is the torrid pace that Giancarlo Stanton is hitting home runs at. Since we last spoke, Stanton has hit 5 round-trippers, and became the first player since Chris Davis in 2013 to hit 50 home runs in a season. He is sitting on 51 as I write this, and it isn’t even Labor Day yet!
Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton leads the Major Leagues with 51 home runs.
Last Wednesday night a rarity occurred at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Rich Hill pitched the game of his career. Hill was perfect going into the ninth inning of a scoreless tie with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jordy Mercer lead off the Pirates half of the ninth by hitting a ground ball to third base. Dodgers’ third baseman Logan Forsythe booted the grounder to break up the perfect game. Hill would get out of the inning without allowing a hit. This would’ve put the finishing touches on the second no-hitter of this year, except the game was still scoreless! Josh Harrison lead off the tenth inning with a home run. His walk-off broke up the no-no and pinned Hill with a loss after nine innings of no-hit pitching.
Rich Hill takes the loss after pitching nine innings without allowing a hit.
Last Friday night, life changed forever in Southeast Texas. Hurricane Harvey battered the Texas Gulf Coast during the night and into the morning as a Category 4 storm, that was just the beginning. It would stall over the Houston metropolitan area as a Tropical Storm and flood the city and surrounding areas until yesterday. Over 50 inches of rain fell in some places.
As a result, fun and games came to a halt in Houston. Over the weekend the Astros were out in Anaheim playing the Angels. The NFL Texans were in New Orleans on Saturday night playing the Saints in a preseason game.
Flooding from Hurricane Harvey outside Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The Astros and Texans were supposed to come home on Monday, neither of them did. Both teams arrived in Dallas on Sunday. The Astros were scheduled to host their cross-state rival Texas Rangers this week at Minute Maid Park, while the Texans were scheduled to host their cross-state rivals from Dallas on Thursday. It was to be the preseason finale for both teams.
The city of Houston was in no condition to host sporting events this week. After moving the Texans-Cowboys preseason tilt to AT&T Stadium in Dallas, the NFL cancelled the game altogether so the Texans could return to Houston to tend to their families and neighbors.
The Astros and Rangers are also scheduled to play a three game series in late September in Arlington. The Astros approached the Rangers about swapping the two series’ and play this week in Arlington and in Houston in September. Much to the shock of most fans, the Rangers balked at the idea of going to Houston in September. This writer is still floored by the decision of Texas Rangers’ brain trust. This is how you handle a crisis in YOUR state?? This situation was about real life, this wasn’t about a Wild Card race and the prospect of playing on the road late in the season! Terrible decision, guys.
Hat’s off to the Tampa Bay Rays who opened their ballpark to host the three game series. And yes, the Rangers get to play host in September. GO ASTROS!
I dedicate this article to everyone affected by the tragedy that has hit Southeast Texas. I was made aware of two families that my friends are personally connected to that lost everything. Thank God they are all alive and safe and able to rebuild their lives. It hit me personally knowing that businesses that I work closely with suffered major damage in Port Aransas, and Fulton as well as in Port Arthur. Many were not as fortunate, the death toll will rise in the coming days.
The population of Houston, Galveston, Beaumont and the surrounding areas desperately need help. In addition to financial donations, simple supplies are needed such as toiletries, towels, clothing, and diapers. So many common items were washed away, so many lives are gone, or stripped. Be strong Texas!