Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday Morning Hot Links

*Last night I swear I had a dream that somehow Ken Giles imploded and Southwest Texarkana won 5-4. I woke up, panicked & sweating, half-naked, and scrambled for my phone. At 3:42 this morning I was relieved to learn that Dallas Keuchel had absolutely shut down the Ramgers, 7-1. It's the Astros 8th straight win and they are 39-16.

*The Astros have won eight straight road games for the first time since they won ten straight (over three separate road trips) in May 1989.

*Keuchel won in Arlington for just the second time in his career, throwing 6IP, 3H/0ER, 7K:
I could have the best record against a team or the worst record, and I still think I'm going to go out and do my job correctly. Any time that the opposition takes out lefties because you're pitching, it means you're doing something right. 

Keuchel, on the Astros winning in Arlington for the 11th time in their last 43 games:
It just seems like we've turned a corner. I'm sure that they're feeling like we were the past couple years, searching for answers, searching for anything. It's not a good feeling, but a lot of that was bound to turn around, and we've been playing some really good ball, and we're going to look to build on it. 

*Dallas Keuchel is the second pitcher in franchise history to start a season 9-0 (Clemens, 2004).

All a two-hour rain delay did was delay what seems inevitable at this point, the Rangers falling a little hopelessly farther back of the Astros.

[Break for levity]

*Carlos Correa hit a three-run homer off Yu Darvish in the 5th to break a scoreless tie. Hinch noted that Darvish had gotten Correa twice earlier in the game, but:
(Correa) got a good pitch to hit, pulled it just over the fence, but it really did ignite our dugout and felt like we broke through. With Keuchel on the mound and a fresh bullpen, we felt pretty good with a three-run lead. 

The Astros have the best record in the league. We knew we would have our hands full but we felt we could win this series. We have to find a way to be more consistent. 

The at-bats together, when we put them in tandem are really good. We never feel like we're out of innings because somebody can get on base. 

*George Springer hit a three-run homer in the 8th. Since the beginning of the Oakland series on April 28, Springer is hitting .302/.380/.508 with 7HR. He has five home runs in his last six games. 

*The big news from the Ramgers side of the matchup was catcher Robinson Chirinos talking about the Astros stealing signs. Chirinos, talking to Friend of AC Levi Weaver:
Knowing when we played with Carlos Beltran here last year, the guys (on the Astros) steal signs like crazy on second base. That's why I was going to the mound every pitch, switching signs, making sure those guys wouldn't relay signs to the hitter. I think when we struck out Correa, we switched the signs just before he went to hit; if you see his swing, he was late because they thought we were trying the slider. (It's because they were relaying the wrong signs from second base. We knew that when we went to play in Houston, that's just something we have to do when we're playing Houston because we know those guys are relaying signs when they have a guy on second base. 

Big, if true. Petty, if not. 

*The Astros got the Player of the Month (Correa) and the Pitcher of the Month (McCullers) in the same month for the first time in franchise history. Farmers Branch gets to face both tonight.

*Correa and McCullers show Jeff Luhnow's ingenuity, writes Richard Justice

*Hunter Atkins says this team compares favorable to the 2001 Astros team. Bullpen catcher Javier Bracamonte, who was on that 01 team:
This team has more energy with all these kids.

*Joel Sherman said in this video that the Astros could trade for Justin Verlander, Justin Wilson, and J.D. Martinez (which doesn't make any sense).

*The Brewers and Dodgers combined for 42 strikeouts last night.

*In a pretty strong troll move, MLB will host a home run derby in England...on July 4.