Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Morning Hot Links

*The 2017 Astros, a team the likes of which we have never seen before, are finally back to doing things we've never seen before. About time, idiots. The Astros seemed destined to complete a 2-5 homestand and instead scored four runs on Beltran's fielder's choice, Bregman's two-run triple and Official Hero Juan Centeno's game-winning RBI. Astros win 7-6. The Mariners split their doubleheader with Kansas City, so they are 15 games back. The Astros are 71-40, there are 51 games left.

*The Astros' win expectancy in the 8th inning was 2.2%. Hinch:
It's nice to end a homestand on a better note than we've been playing. When you get a walk-off against one of the best closers in the league, we go from a pretty down flight to a pretty happy flight. However improbable it was, our guys kept fighting. 

*Bregman, who has an 8-game extra-base hitting streak:
We didn't have the homestand we wanted to, but hopefully this gives us a little energy on the road. We need to keep doing what we're doing. We're 31 games above .500. There's going to be ups and downs throughout the season, and we need to stay the course. 

*Juan Centeno's first three games as an Astro: Home run, home run, game-winning RBI single. Hinch:
He's taken advantage of any small opportunity that's been given. It's hard to impact games the way he is. You get noticed and you get more opportunities.

*Carlos Beltran enjoyed his 24th multi-hit game, and his 4th 3+ hit game with a 3x5 day, and scored the tying run from 1st base, so he'll need to spend the next 24 hours in the hyperbaric chamber. Since the All-Star Break Beltran is hitting .329/.351/.471.

*Mike Fiers threw 6IP, 4H/5R (4ER), 6K:3BB to raise his ERA to 4.06. It's the first time his ERA is at/above 4.00 for the first time since June 16. Reddick got ejected in the 9th. The reason?
I felt Fiers wasn't getting the pitches that he deserved were strikes & it was the right time to let (the umpire) know about it.

*Richard Justice: Sunday's win was just another magical moment in a season full of them.

*With the off-day today, the Astros are looking at tomorrow for George Springer's return to the lineup. Springer:
I've got some stuff I still gotta go do, so we'll see what happens. It feels good. I'm taking it day by day and just feeling better every day. I'm happy with it so far.

*Will Harris will start a throwing program today and will make at least one rehab appearance in the minors.

*Off-Day Playoff Odds Check:
-FanGraphs (101-61): 100% to win division, 16% to win World Series
-FiveThirtyEight (102-60): >99% to win division, 19% to win World Series
-Baseball Prospectus (101-61): 100% to win division, 18.0% to win World Series

I don't know why it's so important to me for the Astros to break the 1998 team's franchise record for wins in a season (102), but it is. In order for that to happen the Astros need to go 33-18. Also, I guess I didn't realize that the Astros have only won 90+ games in a season six times. Barring some historic collapse, 2017 will make seven.

*Though any kind of momentum is "unclear," the Tigers and Astros have talked this month about a possible trade for Justin Verlander. Five of his last six starts have been quality starts and in that span has thrown 39IP, 31H/10ER, 44K:13BB for a 2.31 ERA / 1.13 WHIP. Verlander is also 90.2IP away from matching his 2016 innings total. Luhnow sat down with KHOU (whose name KHOU misspelled twice) and said that a deal, any deal, is "possible but not probable."

*The Astros have made some minor changes to the batter's eye.

*Toronto Star: Yulieski Gurriel is setting a high bar for his younger brother.

*Hooks catcher Jamie Ritchie sealed the deal (wink) and hit for the cycle in yesterday's loss to Frisco.

*Buies Creek's Hector Perez threw 6IP, 3H/0ER, 6K:2BB in a 9-1 win over Carolina. Myles Straw was 1x2 with 3BB and has a 64K:74BB line this season.

*Leeds United beat Bolton Wanderers 3-2 in their season opener. Chris Wood remains a golden god.

*The backstory behind one of the most iconic Mickey Mantle pictures.

*How a girl in Harrold, Texas (2017 graduating class: 9) - west of Wichita Falls - saved the town's 6-Man football season.