Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday Morning Hot Links

Hope y'all are safe this morning, and in the mornings to come. Keep Space City Weather bookmarked for non-hysterical analysis of Harvey. If you're on Twitter, I put together a list of some necessary follows for the next week. The Houston Chronicle took down its paywall during the hurricane.

*The Astros beat the Angels 2-1 in Anaheim last night, in a game of which I did not watch a minute. I instead elected to watch the Weather Channel and see if Jim Cantore would do a live shot with a mouth full of teeth he had filed down into jagged, bloody points, thirsty for blood and satiating his desire for human flesh. McHugh, Devenski, Musgrove and Giles shut the Angels down and the offense did just enough to squeak out a win. The Astros are 78-50 and the Red Sox lost, as well. The lead is now 12.5 games over Seattle and five games over Boston. There are 34 games remaining.

*Last night's win was Houston's 41st road win, guaranteeing a winning road record in a season for the  second season in a row. Related: I had no idea the Astros had a winning road record last year. The Astros have consecutive winning records on the road for the first time since 1998-1999. Their next road win will be the most in an Astros season since 2004 (44-37). So the Astros are 82-61 in their last 143 road games just a few years removed from winning 72 road games from 2011-2013.

The franchise record for road wins in a season is 49, set by the 2001 Astros who most definitely did not share the NL Central title with the Cheatin-Ass Cardinals.

*The Astros are 18-21 since the All-Star Break, outscoring their opponents 187-184. It's the 27th time the Astros have been held to two or fewer runs - they're now 6-21 in those games.

*Key moment in the game was Devenski loading the bases with two outs for Mike Trout, and then getting him to pop up to end the inning. Hinch:
That's what people pay to see is that type of matchup. One of our best relievers, an All-Star, against one of the best players in the game. A 3-2 count and nowhere to put him. To be able to beat Trout when everybody in the ballpark knew he had to throw a strike - [what] a big moment, a great moment for everybody.

*Collin McHugh threw 6IP, 3H/1ER, 8K:2BB, lowering his ERA to 3.63. In three starts since getting lit up at Chicago, McHugh has thrown 17.2IP, 15H/3ER, 17K:4BB. McHugh:
Any time you can beat a division opponent, it's big. We have a really good division [Ed. note: awaiting confirmation on whether McHugh gave the hand-wank motion while he said this] We've got five quality teams, and four of us are in the playoff hunt. So, you know, every game down the stretch, especially against a division opponent, is going to be a playoff game essentially. 

Talking to Jake Kaplan, McHugh:
I don't have the luxury of having a full season behind me to kind of find my groove and get into the swing of things. Every start down the stretch for me is a practice in intensity to be ready to pitch in the playoffs, to be able to pitch in October. 

*The Astros have been held to three runs or less in six of their last eight games. Parker Bridwell, who was acquired by the Angels from Baltimore for a PTBNL in April, took his first loss since June 30.

*The Astros got eight hits on the night, six of them coming out of the top third of the lineup.
Springer, Bregman, Reddick: 6x12
Bottom two-thirds of the lineup: 2x23

But one of them was J.D. Davis' 2nd career home run, tying the game in the 3rd.

*In 141 ABs since the All-Star Break, Bregman is hitting .348/.413/.645 with 17K:15BB.

*Jose Altuve was out of the lineup with a sore neck. Hinch:
He's fine. He's still having a little bit of symptoms with his neck. He's not going to play until we feel like he is not going to irritate it anymore. Given the travel we had yesterday, I didn't really expect him to play coming into the ballpark. 

Evan Gattis was activated as the Astros played some transaction games, putting Max Stassi on the 10-Day DL with "hand inflammation" after apparently tearing a blister on his palm on Wednesday.

*Bench coach Alex Cora was ejected after ten pitches because umpire Laz Diaz apparently refused to check the ball for a scuff mark.

*Lance McCullers took the L last night in his 1st rehab start for Fresno. He threw 3IP, 3H/3ER, 1K:5BB (one IBB), WP, HBP. He threw 33 of his 59 pitches for strikes. Tony Sipp threw a perfect inning while Will Harris allowed 2H/2ER, 1K:1BB in 1IP. Carlos Correa got the night off. A.J. Reed hit his 29th and 30th home runs of the season. He has 10 games to hit four more home runs in order to break Fresno's single-season home run record.

*The restructuring of the front office/scouting department continued yesterday, as Quinton McCracken will not return to the Astros in 2019, while Mike Elias and Kevin Goldstein were promoted. No word on Jon Heyman's hand-wringing.

*Jose Quintana, for the Cubs since his NL debut: 39IP, 38H/23ER, 41K:17BB. 5.31 ERA/1.41 WHIP.

*Don't miss Richard Justice's story on Joe Musgrove.

*The Astros are keeping an eye on Hurricane Harvey. Their current plans are to fly to Houston from Anaheim on Sunday and have an off-day in Houston before starting a three-game series with Lower Carrollton. Hinch:
Honestly, our travel is the least of our concern. It's more dangerous for the people that are there.

Stay safe.