That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: 2019 World Series? Jose Altuve, God given talent

photo from Houston Chronicle: Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) is picked up at home plate after hitting a game-winning, two-run, walk-off home run to win Game 6 of the American League Championship Series in the ninth. Altuve, a 5-foot-6 sparkplug touted as Houston’s heart and soul, didn’t let this one get away.

By Amaury Pi-González

Within seconds of José Altuve’s walk off home-run from Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning of Game 6, which sent the Astros to their second World Series in the last three years, Yankee fans’ hope of winning their 28th World Series banished into the heavy Texas night.

A ‘high and outside’ slider might have been a ball, not a strike if he didn’t swing. But Altuve is one of the best bad ball hitters in baseball. He has not won three batting titles by walking. He comes to the plate looking to hack, most of the time.

This ability to hit pitches that are not strikes is also attributed to some great Hall of Fame players like Yogi Berra, Roberto Clemente, Vladimir Guerrero as well as future member of the Hall of Fame, Adrian Beltré and Albert Pujols and others. Without going that far back in history among great bad ball hitters, the Astros’ current first baseman Yuliesky (Yuli) Gurriel fits that category. Pitchers who know best will tell you the Cuban-born first baseman is one of the toughest outs.

You can analyze all you want about “discipline at the plate,” which is taught in baseball since Little League. I mean, no coach when you are 12 years old tells you to hit a pitch that is ‘head high,” or bouncing two feet before the plate.

These guys are basically born with that ‘God given talent.” You cannot teach these types of guys plate discipline because they just see the ball and hit the ball, regardless where the ball is. They are abundant in talent, talent to hit pitches that many others can only dream of hitting.

These quotes below are courtesy of the Houston Astros Productions.

José Altuve speaking about his faith as a Christian.

“Faith has always been something very important to me and to my family.”

“When my brother and I were growing up, our parents always reminded us to give thanks to God.”

“When we go on a road-trip and I am not with my family, the Bible has always been helpful to me as a Christian. It is like I am born like that, just like being hungry, it is to me to open and read the Bible.”

“Many other players are friends who also are Christians and share the same experiences with me like Robinson Chirinos and Albert Pujols.”

“Nobody tells me what to do, it is a call I have to read the Bible.”

“My favorite verse of the Bible is John: 14.6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

In 2017, after the Astros defeated the Dodgers to win the World Series, Altuve — one of the smallest men in baseball, but one of the biggest talents — was as humble as ever as he said: “I give all the glory to God.”

All of Altuve’s 5’6″ and 165 pounds will be at second-base for the Astros when they face the National League Champion, Washington Nationals, in the 115th edition of the World Series.

World Series
Tuesday, October 22
Game 1
FOX National TV (Bay Area KTVU CH 2)
Time: 8:08 ET
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

Pitchers: Nationals TBD

Astros: Gerrit Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA)

Amaury Pi-González is a pioneer in establishing Spanish Major League Baseball broadcast in the Bay Area since the mid-1970’s with the Oakland A’s. Also, most recently, the Spanish voice of San Jose Sharks hockey and one of the most recognizable voices in multiple sports in Spanish in the country. Pi-González is a longtime contributor to this site.

What just happened? Astros blowout the A’s on Saturday night 11-0

Astros celebrate Photo: @astros

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics ran headlong into reality at 100 mph as the World Champion Houston Astros reminded the “Green and Gold” who they were playing as they were humbled on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park. The Astros shutout the Athletics 11-0 before a delighted sellout crowd who came to see their champs crush the young upstarts.

Lance McCullers Jr. dominated the A’s. In fact, he held them hitless through the first five innings. Mark Canha broke up the potential no-hitter in the top of the sixth inning when he hit a single to center. Stephen Piscotty then singled to right moving Canha up to second and A’s fans began to have hope that their team had solved McCullers’ pitches and were about to break open the game. Bruce Maxwell promptly hit into a double play and Matt Joyce flied out to left field to end the inning. That would prove to be the only two hits that McCullers would allow in his 7.0-innings of work.

The A’s would have only two additional baserunners in the contest as they managed to get a base hit and a base-on-balls off Astros reliever Hector Rondon in the eighth inning. Tony Sipp came in to mop it up for Houston in the top of the ninth to preserve the win.

Oakland used six pitchers who gave up 11 runs (10 earned) off 13 hits which included four home runs. A’s pitchers walked six Astros and struck out six.

On the Hill

This game was really all about pitching. For Houston, it was about pitching to perfection. For Oakland, it was about pitching breakdowns.


Lance McCullers Jr. was in command on the mound Photo: @astros
  • Lance McCullers Jr.: he picks up his third win of the season to raise his record to 3-1 in five starts. He pitched 7.0-innings giving up no runs off just two hits. He walked none and struck out seven A’s batters. He threw 100 pitches (65 strikes).
  • Hector Rondon: he had the rockiest inning of the night for the Astros giving up a hit and a base-on-balls in his 1.0-inning on the bump. He threw 21 pitches (11 strikes).
  • Tony Sipp was brought in to work the top of the ninth and he did his job very well. Sipp gave up no runs, no hits, allowed no baserunners and struck out one.


  • Daniel Mengden: Mengden would not want to use this as an excuse but he did bury his grandfather in Austin on Friday. He worked just 2.1-innings giving up five runs (4 earned) off six hits. He walked one and struck out one. Mengden was not sharp on Saturday and took the loss as his record drops to 2-3 on the young season.
  • The A’s used five relief pitchers in the contest.
  • Oakland has to be concerned about the performance of Wilmer Font who they just picked up from the Dodgers. Oakland hoped that Font would be able to work long relief and possibly spot start. On Saturday night, he gave up three runs (all earned) off three hits which were all home runs. That is not the way any pitcher wants to start out with a new team. It may be time to go back to the drawing board on that decision.

At the Plate


  • Jose Altuve: “The little big man” showed why is worth the “big bucks” by going 4-for-5 in the game scoring two runs and picking up two RBI. He hit his second home run of the year off Font and picked up his fifth double the season off Mengden. The man is a monster.
  • Alex Bregman had a big game for the ‘Stros. He went 2-for-3 at bat picking up two RBI. He also walked twice. Bregman now has 12 RBI for the young season.
  • George Springer hit his fifth HR of the season. He upped his RBI total to 17.


  • They had three hits: Chapman, Canha, and Piscotty. All singles.

Up Next

Because the A’s had the big win on Friday night, Sunday becomes “the rubber game” of the match. Yes, the Athletics have the opportunity to win the series on the road in Houston if they can beat the Astros on Sunday afternoon.

Houston is going to send RHP Gerrit Cole to the hill on Sunday. Cole is 2-1 on the year in five starts. He has struck out 49 batters and walked just eight. Cole has allowed just three home runs. He has a WHIP of 0.77.

The A’s will counter with Trevor Cahill who is 1-0 on the season in two starts. He has an ERA of 2.25 in 12 innings pitched. Cahill has struck out 14 hitters and walked just four. He has a WHIP of 1.08.

This game has the potential of being a real pitchers duel. Game time 11:10 PDT.

Let’s Play Two Day in Oakland: Game Two A’s win 11-5 to sweep Doubleheader

Chad Pinder celebrates his second HR of the night Photo: Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service

by Charlie O. Mallonee and Jordan Chapin

The Oakland Athletics had not swept both ends of a doubleheader since September 22, 1998 when they did it against the Detroit Tigers. The A’s ended that drought on Saturday as they swept the doubleheader from first-place Houston Astros (86-56).

Oakland won the second game 11-4 after having won the first game 11-1. You are not reading a typographical error. The last-place Oakland Athletics (62-80) just outscored the Houston Astros — the team with best record in the American League — 22 to 5 in a doubleheader.

The two victories also mean that the Athletics have won the opening three games of this four-game series with the Astros. No matter what happens on Sunday, the A’s have won this series with Houston.

The Athletics are now 41-33 at home for 2017 season. That means they have matched the Astros home win total for the season. Only Baltimore and Boston have more wins at home in the American League than do the Oakland A’s.

The big problem for the Athletics is they are 21-47 on the road which is the worst road record in the Major Leagues.

Game Two

Daniel Mengden took the mound for the A’s in the nightcap. After being with the big club briefly early in the year, Mengden spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Nashville. The A’s have always had big hopes for Mengden but things have not worked out the way either party would have liked things to go.

Saturday Mengden worked six innings giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits. He struck out four Astros, walked two and gave up one home run. Manager Bob Melvin was pleased with his starter’s performance.

The outing was also Mengden’s longest of the year in the majors. He went just 3.1 and 4.2 innings in his two previous starts at the beginning of the season.

On the hill


  • The game got very shaky for the A’s when the bullpen took over in the seventh inning. Sam Moll faced two batters and gave up a double to Carlos Beltran followed by a single to Brian McCann that moved Beltran to third. That was all for Moll who would be charged with an earned run after Beltran scored on a sacrifice fly.
  • Chris Hatcher 1-1) took over for Moll and ultimately picked up the win in the game. He not only shut down the scoring in the seventh, but he pitched a scoreless eighth inning as well. Managers love relievers who can post “Goose Eggs” in the score book.
  • Santiago Casilla worked the ninth inning and also put up a “Goose Egg” (zero runs) on no hits with one strike out and one walk.


  • Brad Peacock (10-2, 3.05) made the start for the Astros and had the game under control until the sixth inning when the A’s figured him out. Peacock went 5.0-innings giving up two runs (both earned) on five hits while striking out nine. Matt Olson’s two-run home run in the sixth chased Peacock from the game. He did not figure in the final decision.
  • The Astros used four relief pitchers and they all broke the rule of the “Goose Egg”. Each reliever gave up at least one run. Michael Feliz gave up four. It was a bloodbath.
  • Chris Devenski (8-4) took the loss. For those of you who are still into antiquated stats, he was also charged with blown save number six of the season.

In the batter’s box

Franklin Barreto scores go ahead run in the seventh inning Photo: Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service


  • So many stories — so little time.
  • Boog Powell went 2-for-4 with three Rbi and a run scored
  • Chad Pinder hit two home runs in the game (13,14). One home run tied the game and the other just “Wowed” the crowd.
  • Matt Olson went 2-for-4 with a home run, run scored and two Rbi.
  • Franklin Barreto was 2-for-4 with a triple, Rbi and two runs scored.
  • Oakland scored 11 runs on 14 hits. They were 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The A’s left just four runners on base.
Boog Powell rounds the bases after his home run Photo: Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service


  • Carlos Beltran went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored.
  • Josh Reddick (1-for-3) extended his hitting streak to eight games.
  • Jose Altuve hit his 10th career home run against the A’s in the sixth inning. He was 1-for-4 with two runs and an Rbi in game two.

Star of the doubleheader has to go to the Athletics Matt Olson

The rookie first baseman went 4-for-7 in the two games with a home run (16), a double, two Rbi and two walks. Olson is one of the big reasons the A’s feel their future is very bright.

Athletics end three losing streaks with 2-1 win over Astros on Saturday night

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Astros alternative logoA's primary logo

The Oakland Athletics ended a five-game losing streak on Saturday night in Houston with a 2-1 win over the Astros. The victory also ended a 10-game winning streak by the Astros over the A’s that carried over from the 2016 season. Houston was 3-0 this season versus Oakland until Saturday night.

It’s not often that a team can end three losing streaks with one win.

This game was all about the pitching


astros triggs
Andrew Triggs won his fourth game of the season in Houston on Saturday night
  • RHP Andrew Triggs returned to his winning ways as he posted his fourth victory of the season by scattering five hits over seven scoreless innings. Triggs walked none while he struck out nine Houston batters. Triggs’ ERA dropped to 1.84. His record is now 4-1 for the season. He is tied with Dallas Keuchel and Ervin Santana for the most wins in the American League.
  • Ryan Dull (0.1-innings) and Sean Doolittle (0.2-innings) combined to handle the eighth inning. Doolittle allowed the Astros to score their only run of the game when Jose Altuve hit a solo home run (3) over the left center field wall with two out and no runners on base.
  • Santiago Casilla recorded his fourth save of the year by closing out the game. He gave up an infield single to Carlos Beltran who led off the ninth inning but was able keep the Astros from scoring and closed the game preserving the win for Oakland.


astros joe mosgrove
Joe Musgrove pitched well but took the loss for the Astros
  • Joe Musgrove (1-2) took the loss for Houston. Musgrove spread five hits over 6.1-innings while he struck out six batters and walked just one. His one major error came in the fourth inning with one out when Jed Lowrie hit his second home run of the season to right center field with no one on base.
  • Tony Sipp and Michael Feliz came in to close out the seventh inning for the Astros.
  • Will Harris came out of the bullpen for Houston in the eighth frame. Harris retired the first two Oakland hitters but then he had to pitch to Khris Davis. Davis took a Harris pitch deep to right center field for his 10th home run of year. That would turn out to be the game winning hit and run.
  • Brad Peacock worked the top of the ninth for the Astros. He had to face five A’s hitters to retire the side but he did so without allowing another run.

All the scoring came via the long ball


astros davis hr 2
Davis is tied for the lead in home runs in the American League
  • Khris Davis hit his 10th home run of the season which scored the A’s second and winning run. With 10 home runs, Davis is tied with the Yankees Aaron Judge for the lead in that category in the American League. It was his 17th RBI which ties his him for ninth in that stat. It’s also the second time this season he has gone yard in back-to-back games. The other time was against the Astros in Oakland on April 14 and 15.
  • Jed Lowrie hit his second home run of the season and upped his RBI total to five. He was the only Athletic to have a multi-hit game going 2-for-4.
  • The A’s collected a total of eight hits. Others in the hit parade were: Healy, Alonso, Vogt, Phegley and Pinder.
  • The A’s were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They left eight men on base.


astros altuve hr

  • Jose Altuve put up his third home run of the year in the game and it gave him his eighth RBI of the season. He was the only Astro with a multi-hit game going 2-for-3.
  • Others posting hits were: Reddick, Beltran, Gurriel, Gattis and Bregman for a total of seven.
  • Houston was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

Key stat for the A’s

The Athletics committed no errors in the game. This is a very important stat to a team that is dead last in fielding percentage in the American League.

Up next

The A’s and Astros will close out their three-game series on Sunday morning 11:10 am PDT from Houston. RHP Jesse Hahn (1-1, 2.08) will take the hill for the Athletics. The Astros will send the undefeated Dallas Keuchel (4-0, 1.22) to the mound to the face the A’s in the “rubber game” of the series.

Oakland A’s Wednesday game wrap: The Astros find a way to win, sweep the A’s in one run loss 4-3

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Oakland A’s Jake Smolinski (5) is greeted by teammate Chad Pinder (18) after scoring in the second inning off the Houston Astros on Wednesday at Minute Maid Field

Houston- The Houston Astros swept the three-game series with the A’s Wednesday afternoon in Houston as they came-from-behind in the bottom of the eighth to beat the A’s 4-3. The A’s starter, Ross Detwiler, had an excellent outing. He pitched seven innings and allowed just three hits and one run while striking out seven. Detwiler, in his five starts with Oakland, has had three terrific games. He also had two poor starts, too.Detwiler pitched well enough to win, but Liam Hendriks could not get the job done. Hendriks, who had improved his game after being on the DL earlier this year, gave up the three runs that propelled the Astros to victory. The Houston starter, Mike Fiers, went five innings, allowed eight hits and three runs, two of which were unearned. As  Bob Melvin would say, doesn’t matter if they are earned or unearned, we’ll take them. However, the A’s neither scored nor got a hit after the fifth inning as the Houston bullpen stopped them cold.

The A’s scored three runs in the second inning. The key play was a Carlos Correa error that led to two unearned runs for Oakland. Jake Smolinski drove in two with a triple, and Bruce Maxwell had a single to drive another run.  The ‘Stros scored one in the bottom of the fourth as Correa made up for his error by driving in the first run of the game for Houston.

Bob Melvin summoned Liam Hendriks from the bullpen to start the eighth inning. Hendriks retired the first two hitters but then the roof caved in on him. George Springer tripled to put a man on third with two out. The next hitter, Alex Bregman, struck out swinging, but the ball got by catcher Bruce Maxwell. Springer scored, and Bregman reached first safely. Jose Altuve tripled to drive in Bregman, and Altuve scored on an Evan Gattis single to put Houston ahead 4-3. Ken Giles earned his seventh save of the year as he closed out the game to secure the win for Houston.

Game Notes- The Astros now lead the A’s 10-6 for the season. The two teams will conclude play against each other when the Astros visit the Oakland Coliseum September 19,20 and 21.

The A’s recalled Joey Wendle from Triple-A Nashville to replace the departed Coco Crisp. Wendle, 26-years old, made his Major League Debut Wednesday in Houston. Wendle went hitless but did score a run.

The A’s are off on Thursday as they return home for a three-game series this weekend with the Boston Red Sox. David Ortiz will be visiting the Coliseum for the last time as he is retiring at the end of the season. The A’s then play the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners to conclude the homestand.

Too many men left on base – A’s lose 2-1

MLB: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics
Photo Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Oakland – There is no such thing as a pretty loss. By their very nature, all losses all are ugly. But, some losses are “uglier” than others.

The Oakland Athletics had one of those very ugly losses on Sunday afternoon as they dropped a one-run game to the Houston Astros 2-1 in the series finale. The A’s did take the series two games to one.

It looked like it was going to be a high scoring, power game the way things began. All-star second baseman Jose Altuve took a one-one curveball over the left-center field fence for a home run to lead off the game for the Astros. Since the ball carries very well in the Coliseum during the day, everyone settled in for a “slug fest” that never happened. Instead, a pitching duel broke out in Oakland.

When the smoked cleared, the day belonged to the Houston Astros.

On the hill

LHP Rich Hill (3-3, 2.53) started the game for Oakland. After giving up the home run to Altuve, he settled down and got himself out of the first inning.

Hill set the side down in order in the second inning but struggled with the Astros in the third.

Houston managed to load the bases and Colby Rasmus hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field that allowed catcher Jason Castro to score from third. The Astros took a 2-0 lead and their scoring was over for the day.

Hill pitched 6.0 innings giving up just two hits (one home run) and allowing just two runs (both earned). He walked four and struck out four batters. Hill threw 106 pitches (61 strikes). It was the type of performance that would result in a win on many days.

The A’s bullpen did their job on Sunday. Liam Hendriks, Fernando Rodriquez and Mark Rzepczynski worked a combined 3.0 innings giving up no hits and no runs.

Hill was charged with the loss.

Veteran RHP Doug Fister (2-3, 4.60) started the game for the Astros. Fister was not overpowering or mystifying. He simply pitched to contact and the A’s kept hitting ground balls right at the defense.

Fister did allow the A’s to get seven hits but he kept them from being able to string them together until the seventh inning when Oakland would score its only run.

Fister pitched 6.2 innings giving up seven hits and one run (earned). He walked just one batter and struck out five. He threw 95 pitches (66 strikes).

The Houston relief corps worked 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.

In the batter’s box

In the batter’s box is where it was ugly for the A’s today. They were facing a starting pitcher who came into the game with a 5.56 ERA. As a team, you have to take advantage of that situation. An ERA that high screams of a pitcher who is struggling. As Don Henley says, “You kick ‘em when they’re down.”

Oakland had a pitching performance from their starter and relievers that was worthy of a victory. A win was not achieved for one simple reason – men left on base.

The A’s left eight men on base in the game. Even more disturbing was the fact they were just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. That is an ugly stat that make this an ugly loss.

The Astros struggled as well. They picked up seven base-on-balls in game and were unable to really capitalize on them. Houston left seven men on base and was 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

On offense in general, this was a very strange game.


Just a note on defense. The Astros employed the defensive shift more than any team I have seen use it before in a game. They seem willing to play the percentage game and take their lumps if the opposition is able to beat them at their game.

The A’s were able to beat the shift several on several occasions but the Astros were successful using the defensive ploy. We will do some statistical follow up to see how successful the defensive scheme is over the long haul.

Up next

The Athletics open a 3-game home series with the Seattle Mariners on Monday night. Kendall Graveman will take the mound for the A’s facing the Mariners Nathan Karns.

The Astros return home to begin a 3-game series with the Twins.



A’s survive Astros’ assault, 7-5

By George Devine, Sr.

Despite Oakland’s being in contention all season, and Houston’s doing the opposite, an A’s-Astros game is frequently hard-fought, and tonight’s was no exception. An announced attendance of just over 15,000 went to enjoy a balmy (80 degree) evening at Coliseum and saw a competitive game that had the fourth inning beginning well after the hour-and-a-quarter mark.

The A’s scored first in the second inning when Yoenis Cespedes singled to center, reached second on Nate Freiman’s base hit past shortstop Jonathan Villar, and third on a fielder’s choice, scoring on Chris Young’s bunt back towards Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel. In the third, the Astros’ first three batters – Villar, Jose Altuve and Trevor Crowe – all hit Oakland starter A.J. Griffin (with a double for Villar) and all scored, the latter two on Matt Dominguez’ single. That made it 3-1 for the visitors. But in the bottom of the frame, The Athletics’ first two batters – Josh Donaldson and Jed Lowrie – followed a similar pattern. both hitting doubles, to tie it at 3. In the next inning Villar bunted for a single and brought Brett Wallace home from third. Advantage Houston, 4-3. But the Oaks scored two runs in the bottom of the inning, on a hit by Lowrie and a groundout by Cespedes. Donaldson’s two-run homer to left in the sixth broke the game open.

Houston added a run in the ninth when Villar singled to short and Altuve to right, with Crowe reaching on a force attempt with an error by second baseman Eric Sogard; Villar scored.

Keuchel took the loss (5-9; 3.1 ip, 10 h, 5 er, 2 w, 3 k) and Oakland starter A.J. Griffin is the winner (13-9; 7 ip, 4 er, 1 w, 9 k). Grant Balfour got his 37th save.

The A’s are once again in the lead for the AL West. The two teams meet again at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday, September 7 with RHP Dan Straily (8-7, 4.38 ERA) opposing LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-4, 5.91).