While residents of southeastern Texas, including the Houston area, are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Laura, which was upgraded to Category 4 midday Wednesday, it seems as if this weekend three-game series between the A’s and the Astros in Minute Maid Park will go ahead as scheduled.
The Angels and Astros were scheduled to play games Monday through Thursday this week, but with the knowledge that Laura was on its way, the Thursday game was moved to Tuesday as part of a doubleheader and the Wednesday game was moved from a night game to a day game.
The doubleheader went ahead, with the two teams splitting. But even moving the game from evening to afternoon wasn’t enough, and Wednesday’s game had to be postponed. So, the Astros will be off for two days before the A’s arrive.
The current plans say that the A’s will fly from Dallas to Houston after Thursday’s game against the Rangers, ready to play on Friday.
Oakland traveling secretary Mickey Morabito, who handles the team’s flights and hotels, said that the current forecast calls for the hurricane, which is not expected to make a direct hit on Houston, to have moved on by Thursday evening. However, both clubs will continue to monitor the situation.
However, the A's are expecting to take a few buses for the trip from Arlington, Texas, to Houston rather than fly.
Although the storm is likely to be hit the area east of Houston hard, the time off will be helpful for the Astros, who were swept by the A’s in three games in Oakland Aug. 7-9. Since then, the Astros have gone 11-5, including an eight-game winning streak, although the Astros have lost four of their last six and are four games behind Oakland in the American League West entering the A’s-Rangers game Wednesday night.
Astros pitchers will have a chance to regroup after the doubleheader’s second game, in which manager Dusty Baker burned through eight pitchers to cover seven innings. The Angels beat up Houston with a dozen runs, thanks in large measure to 10 walks by Astros pitchers.
At the same time, Houston injured outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley will have time off to recover. Springer, hit by a pitch Monday, sat out both games Tuesday. Brantley did play in Game 2, but he’s coming off a quad injury that kept him out of games from Aug 12-22.
Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3
Click the "follow" button in the top right corner to join the conversation on Inside the Athletics on SI. Access and comment on featured stories and start your own conversations and post external links on our community page.