It's not exactly breaking news when I tell you the Houston Astros are a really good baseball team.
They're relentless at the plate, have a pitching depth managers only dream of, and blow a train whistle every time the team hits a home run.
"I was busy for the most part this series," Bobby Dynamite told NBC Sports California. "If I'm busy, that usually means good things are happening for us. In this case it was against our top division rival."
The "Astros' train guy" was one of many who watched the series which ended in a 4-2 loss finale in Houston.
Currently, the A's sit 6.5 games back in second place behind the 'Stros with a 58-45 record in the AL West.
Knowing, at the moment, the Astros will be the Green and Gold's biggest threat in the division, Billy Beane, David Forst and the A's have no choice but to make some moves at the July 31st deadline.
NBC Sports California's Ben Ross recently profiled five potential trade targets for the team, and every one of those guys is a pitcher. The addition of Homer Bailey to the rotation from the Kansas City Royals is a small sample size at eight strikeouts in just as many innings and a 1-1 record. It's still too early to tell what the veteran righty is going to be able to do for Oakland, but the team needs the pitching assistance. Not only for the stretch toward the postseason but to eat up some time as we wait for some of the younger arms to be promoted.
And speaking of, there remains some good news coming from some lefties.
A.J. Puk made his Triple-A debut on Tuesday night during a rehab assignment following Tommy John surgery where he got the win and left an impression:
Man AJ Puk looked good in his second inning of work just now. Sitting up 98 mph fastballs with late life and tossing in 91 mph sliders for good measure. Good grief.
— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) July 24, 2019
Across two frames, the 6-foot-7 pitcher had two strikeouts, giving up just one hit.
Sean Manaea will be making his debut for Las Vegas as well in his comeback from surgery. He will have a 75 pitch limit in his start on Wednesday night against the Padres' Triple-A affiliate El Paso Chihuahuas.
But for now, the skipper isn't sweating what the team's going through too much.
"We're fine -- there's a lot of baseball left," A's manager Bob Melvin said to reporters following the loss.
A lot of baseball would be easier to play if there's more pitching depth.
Just ask the Astros ...