Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Morning Hot Links

*A three-run 7th inning helped propel the Astros to a 5-2 win over Seattle, stopping the Mariners' win streak at six. Lance McCullers made his first start in 16 days and threw 5IP, 4H/1ER, 8K:0BB, getting pulled after 76 pitches. McCullers:
You just feel really, really fresh, so that's something to get used to. But, I got out there and just trusted (McCann), and tried to think about my mechanics more than how my arm was feeling. 

*Josh Reddick was 1x4 with a 2-run home run and made two run-saving diving catches as a left fielder. Reddick:
Fortunately I got some good breaks tonight and was able to hold onto the ball and keep them out of the lights. If either of those balls gets in the lights I might be in trouble. Just got to keep working at it.

*Ken Giles sure did make things interesting in the 9th. With a 5-1 lead, Giles gave up a double and walked three batters.

*The Astros are 51-25 (remember they were 51-111 in 2013) and are 28-9 on the road. Every other AL West team - besides Seattle, of course - won last night, so the lead is at 12.5 games.

*Brad Peacock is at home with his wife and new baby, so Frankie Tuesday will start in his place today at Seattle. Which means that, with McCullers' activation yesterday, Jordan Jankowski was recalled from Fresno and Joe Musgrove was sent down. Hinch, on Musgrove:
We've got to get him back to executing the way that he does when he's successful. He's had a hard time executing his pitches, specifically late in the count, and he's had some big innings implode on him in the outings in which he's struggled. The other reason is we need a full complement of relievers to keep guys rested and make sure I'm not overusing guys, and we have an opportunity to accomplish both of those things by sending Musgrove out. 

In 82 Plate Appearances in which the batter was ahead against Musgrove, he has allowed a .426/.573/.885 slash line.

*Marwin Gonzalez was a late scratch Saturday with oblique tightness.

*Sporting News took a look at the 2017 Astros' numbers and whether they held up against the famed SI cover's predictions.

*Kyle Tucker hit his 4th home run in his last six games in last night's Hooks win. In 20 games Jason Martin is hitting .354/.386/.633 and also homered last night for Corpus.

*Astros 9th-Round pick Michael Papierski hit two home runs - one from each side of the plate - to help LSU beat Oregon State and go to the College World Series finals.

*This Tacoma columnist compares the 2017 Astros to the 2001 Mariners.

*Ken Rosenthal says a trade involving Johnny Cueto could be problematic for the Giants because of his opt-out clause.

*As someone who deals with this occasionally, it took some courage for Roberto Osuna to talk about his anxiety.

*Written a while ago, I just got around to reading this excellent postmortem of the University of Buffalo's elimination of the baseball program and how, even in western New York, football ruins everything.

1 comment:

dome_daze said...

I feel like it's time for a serious discussion about contingency plans for our nerve-racking "closer" Kenny G. I have to imagine anyone who watches the games on a consistent basis can easily see beyond the high strikeout rate and slightly encouraging FIP. However, it's not exactly encouraging that his BABIP is lower than average. Basically, I just want to save myself and all Astros fans from having to watch Giles entrusted with a slim lead in a playoff game (as will inevitably happen.) He just seems very hittable, and can't find any consistency locating his fastball to set up that Lidge-esque slider. For all the talk of acquiring a starter, I think it's actually more important to get an experienced reliever who can close if necessary. I certainly don't care about Giles' feelings since winning the World Series is the attainable goal here. Even the best relievers on the market this year won't cost as much as any one of the controllable starters they're after. There's no way anyone gets a Miller or Chapman haul for any of the guys that will be available this year, right? David Robertson might be the closest comparison. I'm just not going to be satisfied with a loogy before the deadline. They have the prospects to get any reliever they want, and while I don't want to get ripped off for a guy who might just be here for the rest of the year, but an experienced guy in the bullpen who has closed games in the past is something that they could use. A kind of Carlos Beltran for the bullpen, except a bit younger and having a better year; just someone the rest of the guys can look up to and can provide some insurance for the possible down year from Gregerson and the eternal volatility of Giles. That's not even to mention the added benefit of soaking up some quality innings to keep one of the more valuable (and previously susceptible to overwork and ineffectiveness in October) set-up guys in Will Harris. The irony is that Giles was meant to solve this very nightmare October meltdown scenario two off-seasons ago. I get we traded some valuable (but luckily not-yet regrettable) young pitchers for him, but this obviously really feels like the year and there's more work to be done in the bullpen after all. I'm just picturing the heart of the order for Boston or Cleveland coming up against Giles in a tight elimination game. From what I've seen of him the last two years, that's a no. Just no. Devenski would be so much better in that spot, but let's be honest; he's probably already been used earlier in the game in the unique role that is actually too valuable to remove him from. Giles can be our "need a strike-out guy" and maybe even remain our de facto closer depending how he finishes the year, but it can't hurt to light a fire under his ass and have another guy who would probably love pitching for a world series contender waiting in the wings incase he fails. With Kuechel and McCullers coming back, McHugh slowly returning from the dead, Martes and Paulino looking pretty promising and effective, Fiers proving he's still a valuable starter, and the over-rated Morton (good for a bunch of strikeouts before inevitably getting into serious trouble) all coming back, I just have an old-Astros sneaking suspicion that it will come down to the last few outs.