Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

*Well well well. How the turns have tabled! Mike Fiers was hot garbage yet again - more on him soon AND later today - but the Astros turned yet another 5-run deficit into a W. After Jonathan Lucroy hit the Rangers' 4th home run of the game in the 4th inning, the Rangers had a 92.3% Win Expectancy.  Altuve's 2-run homer still gave the Rangers the a WE of 79.3%. But Marwin's grand slam in the 8th shifted the probability 71.2% in the Astros favor. Luke Gregerson had to make it interesting, but Will Harris shut the door to preserve the Astros' come-from-behind win.

*Beltran, who went 3x5:
As a team we believe in ourselves and we know we're a good-hitting ball club. At one point people are going to get hot and we're going to be able to do just what we did. 

*That was Marwin's first career grand slam, and the second 2HR game of his career. Furthermore, he hit a homer from both sides of the plate last night. Marwin, on the grand slam:
It was an unbelievable moment to be able to come back in the game like that. We have been doing that the whole year, and hopefully we can keep doing that and we're going to be in a good spot for playoffs.

SHHHHH you don't talk about playoffs in May, Marwin, come on you know better than that.

*Mike Fiers is now allowing 4.26 HR/9 innings. Among pitchers in 2017 who have thrown at least 20IP, that's the worst in baseball by almost a full home run. Among qualified pitchers in 2016, the league-worst HR/9 was James Shields, at 1.98 HR/9. In fact, from 1962-2016, the qualifying pitcher with the highest HR/9 was the Patron Saint of Lima Time Time, Jose Lima, who gave up 2.20 HR/9 for the 2000 Astros.

Also, 46.2% of the fly balls he is giving up end up leaving the yard. For as long as they've been keeping track of HR/FB, Jaime Garcia allowed an all-time worst 20.2% HR/FB rate in 2016. That is obviously unsustainable, but maybe because the Astros can't afford to see if it's unsustainable. I know they have the best record in baseball, but Fiers is a train wreck right now. What options do they have? Well, the best starting pitcher in Fresno - Brady Rodgers - had Tommy John surgery yesterday. Within the confines of the 40-Man roster, the Astros could flip Peacock and Fiers, but who knows if Peacock's success is owed to him embracing his new role as a Devenski-style long man? For now I think the Astros just strap Fiers in a seat, pry his eyelids open Clockwork Orange-style, and make him watch film of his mechanics. Fix your crap, Fiers.

*Collin McHugh may start playing catch this weekend, putting his return approximately around the time the Astros won't need him anymore.

*This was the 3rd time the Astros have come back from a five-run deficit this season, and because symmetry is just gorgeous, it's also the third time the Rangers have blown a five-run lead.

*The Astros have scored 68 runs off of relief pitching in 27 games. The 2013 Astros didn't score 68 runs all season this is a fact.

*Shoutout to James Hoyt for striking out five in 2IP.

*Regarding Rodgers and his Tommy John surgery, Luhnow:
...We felt like he could really make a difference up here this year. It's not going to happen. 

In response, the Astros purchased the contract of LHP Casey Coleman and sent him to Fresno. Coleman will be 30 in July and appeared in parts of four seasons with the Cubs and Royals. He has a career 5.72 ERA/1.69 WHIP.

*Cole Hamels was scratched from his scheduled start last night due to tightness in his oblique during warm-ups.

*Carlos Gomez is still salty about the dust-up between McCullers and Napoli:
You want to hit him, hit [him], why do you want to be a tough guy? 

[Pause to remember that McCullers, in fact, did not hit Napoli, but threw a ball behind his shoulder blades. This resulted in a catastrophic lack of injury to Mike Napoli, God preserve his soul.]

Gomez, on McHugh:
He is standing up in the dugout when he is on the DL and yelling. If he has something to say, say it to me. He is not man enough to stand in front of me and say it.

*Evan Grant says an Astros/Rangers rivalry is good for baseball.

*David Paulino threw 2IP in an extended spring training game yesterday.

*Adam Jones went to town on the Red Sox organization.

*If you're looking for a starting pitcher that won't cost half of your Top 20 prospects, Buster Olney says Trevor Cahill could be available.

*Grant Brisbee on the fan reading the newspaper about the Giants winning the 2014 World Series from his front row seat at Dodger Stadium.

PreStros Report - Games of May 2:

Fresno (11-15) fell to Sacramento 5-4 last night with Brian Holmes allowing 6H/5ER, 2K:4BB in 3.1IP and pushing his ERA to 7.89. Kevin Comer, Tyson Perez, and Dayan Diaz threw 5.2IP, 2H/0ER, 6K:1BB in relief. Tyler White went 3x4, Derek Fisher was 2x5 with a double and an outfield assist; Andrew Aplin was 2x2 with 2BB and 2RBI. Reid Brignac hit his 3rd homer of the year.

Corpus (15-10) lost the opener of a series at Midland, 6-1. Rogelio Armenteros wiggled in and out of trouble, allowing 7H/2ER, 3K:2BB in 3.2IP. Eric Peterson allowed 4H/3ER in 1.1IP. Josh James allowed 4H/1ER, 3K:2BB in 3IP. Bryan Muniz was 2x4 with an RBI. Jon Singleton was 1x3 with a double and a walk.

Buies Creek (18-8) allowed the tying runs to score in the bottom of the 9th but a Kyle Tucker homer in the top of the 12th gave BCA a 4-3 win over Carolina. Matt Bower threw 5IP, 5H/1ER, 3K:2BB; Carlos Sierra threw three hitless innings. Ryan Deemes got the BS/W with 4H/2ER, 3K:2BB in 3.1IP.  Kyle Tucker was 1x4 with the aforementioned homer, walk, and 2RBI. Osvaldo Duarte and Arturo Michelena had a triple and a walk. Jason Martin was 1x4 with 2BB.

Quad Cities (13-10) scored the last six runs of the game for a 9-5 win over Fort Wayne. Enoli Paredes went 5IP, 3H/2ER, 8K:3BB; Ryan Hartman allowed 2H/3ER, 4K:3BB but got the win. Jake Rogers was (wink) a triple shy of the cycle with 3RBI; Randy Cesar was 2x3 with a double, two walks, and 2RBI; Rodrigo Ayarza was 1x2 with a homer and 2RBI. Stephen Wrenn was 2x5 with an RBI.