Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Morning Hot Links

*Don't let the 2-1 loss to the Red Sox last night overshadow how crucial Mike Fiers has been over the last four starts. Fiers threw 7IP, 5H/1ER, 4K:2BB to mark his 4th straight start with 2ER or fewer and his 2nd consecutive 7+ IP outing. Over his last four starts, Fiers has thrown 25.1IP, 19H/5ER (1.78 ERA), 25K:8BB. We linked to the article yesterday, but just in case, you can credit Fiers' refined curveball with his recent success.

*Hinch:
We played well enough to win. In the big at-bats is where this game swung a little bit. 

Like the 6th inning, where Springer and Altuve drew walks, Correa hit a sharp liner to RF Mookie Betts (who also hit the go-ahead homer in the 8th). Springer tried to score and got thrown out by about a quarter of a mile. Red Sox SP Drew Pomeranz:
Mookie obviously helped me out there towards the end of the game. I don't know what [Springer] is thinking there running. 

On the 7th inning, when Nori Aoki came up with two outs, Gurriel on 3rd, Fisher on 2nd. A nine-pitch AB between Aoki and reliever Joe Kelly ensued, Kelly threw all fastballs (four of them 100mph+) and got Aoki to smoke a liner to third...right into the glove of Josh Rutledge to end the inning. Hinch:
We had a great matchup with Aoki coming off the bench against Kelly, and he hits a bullet to the third baseman. One foot, one inch, one way or the other, up, down, left, right, and we might be talking about a different result. 

Or the 8th, with Matt Barnes on the mound. Springer struck out swinging to lead-off the 8th, but Altuve doubled, Correa singled, and then Altuve stole 3rd, putting runners on the corners with one out. Evan Gattis got the worst possible outcome - an inning-ending GIDP.

*Alex Bregman was 0x3 to lower his slash line to .244/.319/.394 to drop his OP+ to 97, joining Beltran and Aoki as the only Astros with below-average offense.

*The Rangers won, Mariners and Angels lost. The division lead is 11 games.

*Meat Wagon Update:
Keuchel could play catch today or tomorrow.
McCullers may resume throwing this weekend.
Reddick will be ready on Tuesday.
Morton threw 15 pitches, took a break, and threw 20 more. One more bullpen and he may be off to a rehab start.
McHugh threw a bullpen session yesterday, and could face live hitters soon

Hinch:
In my shoes, it's kind of wait and see all the time when guys are coming off of injuries, small or big. We'll watch these guys play catch and then we'll meet with the medical team and assess what's next. 

*ESPN's David Schoenfield has a trade scenario for you: Francis Martes, Franklin Perez, J.D. Davis, and Teoscar Hernandez to the White Sox for Jose Quintana.

*Alex Bregman and Andrew Benintendi: Buddies off the field

*George Springer is not interested in your derby of home runs.

*Brian T. Smith: Fans are starting to come back to Minute Maid.

*Jeff Luhnow talked to the Providence Journal about Ken Giles and evaluating the health of relievers.

*A.J. Hinch talked to Evan Drellich about Dallas Keuchel, Rick Porcello, and following up a Cy Young season.

*Jonathan Mayo wonders if 1st Round pick J.B. Bukauskas could end up in the Astros bullpen...this season.

*Fresno and Albuquerque played a crazy one last night, with the Grizzlies allowing five runs in the bottom of the 9th...but still winning, 15-14 (a day after Fresno lost to Albuquerque, 12-11). Tyler White was 5x6 with 6RBI for his 10th straight multi-hit game. In those ten games he's hitting .565/.596/1.065.

*MLB.com's Terence Moore: The Astros can challenge the 1970 Reds.

*MLBTR has the Top 50 Trade Deadline Candidates.

*Astros fan Pete Van Vleet asked all 30 teams to woo his newborn son.

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