Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thursday Morning Hot Links

AL West Recap: Baseball is dumb and we're dumb because we like a dumb thing. The Rangers sweep the Astros with another 4-3 win with another game in which the Astros left quite literally a ton (2000 pounds) of Astros on base. Be sure you read the Masked Marvel's excellently heartbreaking recap here. The Astros were 3x20 with runners in scoring position in just the last two games of the series and left 22 men on base in the three games overall. Anyway, so the Rangers won, and the Angels won on a walk-off wild pitch. Seattle and Oakland both lost. The Astros are two games up on the Angels, five up on the Rangers, with 53 to play. FanGraphs gives the odds of the Astros winning the AL West at 65.1%, with an 88.2% chance of making the postseason. 

Game Links

The Astros drew a season-high eight walks. The last time the team drew 8+ walks and lost was September 18, 2013 when they drew nine walks and got thirteen hits and still managed to lose to the Reds, 6-5. You can read the recap of that dumpster fire game here.

*Scott Kazmir, on the three unearned 1st-inning runs, starting with his error:
It all started with me. I didn't set the tone well. An easy play right in front of me. I just rushed it. I didn't get in front of the ball, and it cost us. A couple of errors like that early on and to give a team like that momentum, it's tough.

*A.J. Hinch, to Fox Sports, unironically:
I think the whole game starts in the first inning. We just didn't get into the game.

Other Links

*Following Tuesday's loss, the Astros designated Dan Straily for assignment and called up Asher Wojciechowski to serve as a long reliever. Luhnow:
We haven't had a situation like this, this year. The fact that we used two of our starters in one day (Monday's 12-9 loss in which Fiers had to piggy-back McCuller's disaster start) and we were dealing with a six-man rotation and a short 'pen, it's important that we add somebody in the bullpen that is a long man. We don't want to be in a situation like we were in Monday.

*Wojciechowski is ready to help the team.

*When Joe Thatcher was DFA'd last month, he rejected the assignment to the minors and tested free agency. It apparently didn't go so well, because Thatcher has signed a minor-league deal with the Astros. 

*FanGraphs: The Astros have altered their fate.

*Brett Phillips talked to MLBTR about being traded.

Non-Astros Link of the Day yet, in an odd way, the perfect link for getting swept by the Rangers

Mental Floss: The meanings behind the weird symbols on 20 beer labels.