The Astros are great, and they might get even better

The Astros have a 14-game lead in the AL West. They’ve lost 16 games this season, and the next closest team to them has 30 losses. They’ve scored 106 more runs than they’ve allowed, and they have the best record in baseball.

It’s possible, if not likely, that the Astros are the best team in baseball.

Marc Normandin has already talked about the infamous Sports Illustrated cover, but I want to bring it up one more time. Back in 2014 like, they had Playstation 4s and everything back then it was considered hilarious for a magazine to suggest that the Astros would win the World Series in four seasons. They were butt-slide bad, and I had to write a response to the article that took a brave stance of Hold on, it might not be such a wild idea. It would have been imprudent not to hedge your bets after 324 losses from the Astros over the previous three seasons.

Stolen bases are rad, though. We can agree on that. I will vote for you in a general election if you run on a More Billy Hamiltons platform.

Cody Bellinger is a symbol of how baseball has changed, yes. He’s not a symbol of how it’s broken. This is something to watch. It’s also something to WATCH:, in internetese. While I agree that baseball needs something more than the three true outcomes, and while I fear that the Rob Deer Fan Club has moles employed at the highest levels of the game, I’m still OK with the balance. There are more strikeouts. There are more home runs. And there are still an awful lot of baseball plays in between.

Keep an eye on the strikeouts and homers. For now, however, I will enjoy baseball go boom and big man throw rock hard. It’s a little more extreme than it used to be, but this sport isn’t unrecognizable to me.

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NCAA Baseball Tournament 2017 scores and bracket: Davidson is your new favorite team

Sunday of the NCAA baseball tournament’s first weekend is a rough one for one-loss teams, since they have to win twice just to stay alive in the postseason. A number of No. 1 seeds faced just that scenario Sunday, including Florida State, Kentucky and No. 2 overall seed North Carolina.

The Frogs scored none in the bottom of the third, then big time bat Brendan McKay led off in the fourth and immediately blasted a homer to right, thus chopping TCU’s lead in half, 4-2. Devin Hairston followed that up with a single to left center, and the Cardinals were back in the fight with no outs.

TCU started a buildup in the bottom of the fourth, after Wanhanen dropped a single into center and Watson walked. These two worked in impressive tandem all evening, harrying Louisville’s staff into manufactured runs of the old school variety. Nothing came of that one-two, as Watson was tagged out trying to steal second, and off to the fifth they went.

The top of that inning ended Lodolo’s night immediately, after Logan Taylor slammed a big league homer over the right field wall. With the score 4-3, the Frogs couldn’t risk further damage that early in the evening, and so on came the alliterative Cal Coughlin to handle swing duties until the later innings.

Coughlin lasted just two outs, however, and Sean Wymer was brought in to handle mop up duties. He pushed the Frogs through the fifth, putting down the side in the top of the sixth. Big time arm Sam Bordner came on for Louisville in the bottom of the frame, in the hope that he could finish out the game with no more water taken on.

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College World Series 2017 scores and bracket: TCU drops Louisville from Omaha

Florida State became the third team eliminated from this year’s College World Series on Wednesday night, dropping a more subdued loss to LSU, 5-4, after a wild affair on Saturday to fail out of Omaha yet again. In the other bracket, Louisville and TCU faced off in an elimination game, after both teams had been beaten by Florida in the CWS’ opening weekend.

TCU eventually eliminated Louisville in a 4-3 victory.

Neither team could break through in the first, with TCU’s Nick Lodolo and Louisville’s Nick Bennett sitting down each other’s sides in order to commence proceedings. Louisville was blanked in the top of the second, but in the bottom of the frame TCU third baseman Elliott Barzilli singled into right, then stole second, then third, and Connor Wanhanen knocked him home on a double to left center.

When you’re a young player and older players start making derogatory comments like that, you’re sitting in your stall and you’re just like, ‘what does that mean?’ and ‘how do I process that?’ Maddon said. You’re asking how that impacts you and if you did something wrong. There’s not even a thought of, ‘how can I make this right?’ or ‘how can I make this better?’ because you can’t.

You’ve got to suck it all up and it kind of tears at your fabric when you hear it, Maddon said. As a person and as a player, when you go out there, you’re not the same cat. You’ve now heard all this garbage kind of stuff, and it impacts the whole group.

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