Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday Morning Hot Links

The Astros managed to hold on despite the best efforts of umpire Clint Fagan to sweep the A's 6-5. Evan Gattis homered twice to become the first Astro with 30 home runs in a season since Chris Carter in 2014. In fact, here is a complete list of Astros to hit 30+ homers since 2007:

1. Chris Carter, 2014
2. Evan Gattis, 2016

Just trying to finish strong...You don't want to limp out of the season. You kind of want to sprint, you know? 

*Hinch, on the win:
We're really taking this one game at a time, which is the worst cliche you can use at this time of year, but it's the reality of how we show up every day....We know if we win, good things can happen to us. 

Here's how the Wild Card race looks now:
Toronto: 83-69 (+1)
Baltimore: 82-70 (-)
Detroit: 80-70 (-1)
Houston: 81-71 (-1)

*FanGraphs has the Astros' odds at 28%. FiveThirtyEight has it at 36%. This is remarkable

*Worth noting that George Springer - who has admittedly had a down year - is really struggling in the 2nd half:
1st Half: .262/.359/.473, 19HR, .302 BABIP
2nd Half: .234/.346/.415, 9HR, .306 BABIP

August: .246/.360/.412
September: .200/.326/.373

But that was a pretty sweet slide to score a run yesterday.

*Colby Rasmus had a remarkable interview yesterday with the Chronicle on why he's not playing as much down the stretch. Rasmus:
I just haven't been feeling like myself out there on the field, so I just felt that it may be better for somebody else to get in there. (Tony Kemp) got in there and did something cool. Just taking a little breather...I just don't feel that I can get out there and do as good a job as somebody else. So I don't think that it's fair for them or fair for the team for me to try to just get out there if I'm not feeling like I can get the job done. 

I've never heard anything like this from a player before. This goes to the very heart of something I've wrestled with: if you're struggling, is it more admirable to try to play through it - hurting your team in the process - or do you have an obligation to take the field every time you're called upon, regardless of how it turns out.

*MLB overturned one of the error calls on Altuve last week, to give him 203 hits on the season.

*FanGraphs: The Astros gave the Rangers a quality outfielder named Carlos Gomez. Pro tip: Don't read this.

*Hardball Times: Jose Altuve and the quest for .400.

*Preston Tucker had surgery on his shoulder blade, ending a season of pain. Hinch:
It bothered him a little bit in the Minor Leagues before he got called back up, and he was able to tolerate it as long as he didn't swing and miss or have an awkward swing.

Oh, okay. Tucker should be ready for Spring Training.

*David Paulino has been added to the Arizona Fall League roster.

*Happy birthday, Carlos Correa and Larry Dierker:

*An oral history of Vin Scully.