Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Morning Hot Links

*Man that was a crazy 24 hours for the Astros. After losing David Paulino for 80 games (and the playoffs) the Astros beat the Yankees on a walk-off throw. The Astros are an AL-best 7-3 in their last ten games. They're 55-27 overall with a 13.5-game lead over Anaheim.

*Let's start with what transpired before the game: Reymin Guduan (auto-correct is not a fan of either of those names) was optioned to Triple-A Freshno. Dayan Diaz was recalled and it was announced that David Paulino - this being his side day - would be available out of the bullpen. But because it had been less than 10 days since Diaz had been optioned to Fresno, he would be ineligible to play. And because Guduan had been optioned, the Astros would only have 23 players available for last night's game. Luhnow:
I had assumed it had been 10 days. It certainly seems like 10 days ago or longer to me. It was my fault. I made a mistake and will learn from it. 

AND THEN it was announced that David Paulino had tested positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing drug. Because of the suspension - and because Paulino did not appeal -  Dayan Diaz was eligible to rejoin the Astros for last night's game.

Hinch, on Paulino:
It's disappointing because of all the good that he's done in his career and to be effective, but it's the nature of the business when you try to find a competitive edge. The program's in place to catch these types of actions, and clearly, it worked.

*Luhnow, on Paulino:
He's remorseful. That's all I can really say. He feels bad about it, and he feels bad that he put the organization in this position. He'll learn from it, and I'm sure David will have a long and fruitful Major League career. 

Paulino had made six starts for the Astros since Joe Musgrove went on the DL on May 30. His best game was on June 17 against Boston when he threw 6IP, 3H/1ER, 4K:1BB. In his last outing - June 28 against Oakland - he was tagged for 7H/7ER, but with 8K:0BB in 4IP.

*Boldenone, which is also called Equipoise (root word: equine, as in "f***ing horse"), is the steroid that Jenrry Mejia tested positive for back in February 2016. It apparently helps increase the appetite, leading to bigger lean muscle gains. On Mejia's positive test, ESPN's T.J. Quinn had this to say:

*What does this mean for the rotation? The Astros have 12 pitchers and will have to add someone to the 25-Man Roster today (currently at 24). With a rotation spot available, maybe they can finesse it for a little while until Charlie Morton is ready to start this coming Saturday at Toronto. Morton will throw another rehab start today, in Corpus. Peacock will start Tuesday, with Wednesday's starter TBD. So right now you have (in no particular order): McCullers, Fiers, Martes, Peacock and...probably Musgrove, with Morton the first pitcher back from the DL, which would probably shift Peacock back to the bullpen.

*So on to last night's game against the Yankees. The Astros gave up a grand slam for the second night in a row - and the third time this week, giving the Yankees a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th. In the 8th, a Correa RBI-groundout preceded an Evan Gattis monster shot to left, which preceded a Yuli Gurriel two-run double, giving the Astros a 7-6 lead. In the top of the 9th, Ken Giles got Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier to pop up before Brett Gardner singled and got too aggressive on the bases, and was thrown out to end the game.

*Hinch, on the win:
This game will show you something crazy every day.

*Gurriel was 3x4 with 4RBI, his go-ahead hit off of Aroldis Chapman's 101.5mph fastball was the fastest pitch he had ever hit (according to Statcast). Hinch, on Gurriel vs. Chapman:
He was incredibly patient. That's about as mature of an at-bat as you can get in that situation. It was a really special at-bat.

*Yankees manager Joe Girardi (scroll down past the Clint Frazier-fellating to read anything about the Astros actually winning the game):
Their offense is relentless

*Altuve was 0x3 with a walk and two stolen bases. It's his third 2SB game of the season, and his 2nd in the last four games.

*Frankie Tuesday threw 5IP, 4H/2ER (one of those came courtesy of Will Harris' grand slam), with 7K:1BB but was taken out after 89 pitches. In 21.1IP with Houston, Martes has struck out 23 batters. Hinch, on Martes:
When I went out to talk to him, I told him, 'That's the best I've seen you throw.' I'm proud of him for coming back after a start where he took it on the chin, in an environment like this against a team like the Yankees - that's a big performance. 

*Last night's lineup had as many players (four) with an OPS over .900 as they did players with an OPS under .800. Carlos Beltran is hitting .210/.260/.377 at Minute Maid Park this season.

*Ken Rosenthal's video from yesterday told us two things: the list of Untouchables is basically Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley, and that over the winter the Astros rejected a trade proposal for Jose Quintana because of their insistence on Kyle Tucker.

*Gary Pettis apparently slipped on some wet grass in Minnesota on Memorial Day and tore his meniscus. He'll have surgery on Wednesday and Fresno manager Tony DeFrancesco will act as 3B coach for the next road trip while he recovers.

*The County Mountie wrote about the Astros' defense.

*MLB sent a letter to all 30 teams saying the ball is not juiced.

*The New Yorker: My Dentist's Murder Trial