|Ender Inciarte - CF||Jose Altuve - 2B|
|Nick Ahmed - SS||Carlos Gomez - CF|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Carlos Correa - SS|
|Welington Castillo - DH||Preston Tucker - LF|
|Aaron Hill - 3B||Evan Gattis - DH|
|Yasmany Tomas - RF||Jed Lowrie - 3B|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C||Colby Rasmus - RF|
|Chris Owings - 2B||Chris Carter - 1B|
|Cliff Pennington - LF||Hank Conger - C|
First, just to follow up on something I talked about in the recap - the cheap home-runs hit by the Astros. The very useful ESPN Home Run Tracker confirms what we thought at the time: that Jason Castro's three-run homer in the fourth, would have been a home-run in exactly one major-league park, and Carlos Correa's shot later in the inning, would have made it out of seven stadia. Both Welington Castillo's and Jake Lamb's tenth-inning shots, on the other hand, were fully legitimate, no-doubters that would have been homers in all 30 major-league parks. I already covered how Minute Maid's layout seems more beneficial to the Astros than their opponents. Let's dig further...
According to the site, there are 19 home-runs at Minute Maid which are listed as zero or one park homers [a home-run can get a zero, if the ball only made it over the fence due to assistance from the elements, such as wind, temperature, etc.] Of those 19, only five were hit by the visiting side, compared to fourteen by the Astros; Luis Valbuena alone has four, being a particular beneficiary of thse "only in Houston" cheap shots. Now, there is something to be said for a team being built for and playing to its home-field advantages. But a close to 3:1 edge in these park-assisted homers seems a bit unfair, arguably bordering on the illegitimate.
Still, it didn't stop us from winning out sixth straight last night. I was seriously thinking we could easily go 3-7 though this road-trip to Seattle, Houston and Washington, but four games in, and that expectation has already been left in the dust. Indeed, now the only way it could be a losing trip, is if the Diamondbacks were to drop six consecutive games. Not impossible, certainly: but you've got to think they'll be able to sneak at least one win the rest of the way, and even going 2-4 would make for an entirely acceptable mark of 6-4. Just when the season looked very shaky - shoe even used the T word! - we've gone on our best run in close to four years. #YouCantPredictBaseball