Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Morning Hot Links

Dallas Keuchel did Dallas Keuchel things yesterday afternoon as the Astros fought off Frankie Tuesday and Tony Sipp in an 8-6 win. The Angels beat the Rangers. The Indians beat the Royals to stay 1.5 up on Houston. The Astros are 90-58, becoming the 7th Astros team to win 90 games. The Magic Number is at 1. An Astros win today means we go dogpiling.

1998 Astros: 102-60
1999 Astros: 97-65
1986 Astros: 96-66
2001 Astros: 93-69
1980 Astros: 93-69
2004 Astros: 92-70
2017 Astros: 90-58

The Astros will need to go 13-1 down the stretch to overtake the 1998 team, but going 8-6 will put them in 2nd place in franchise history. Whatever happens, Cleveland needs to go a couple of games worse. 

*Hunter Atkins notes that the Mariners only got one hit on a Keuchel pitch that was at chest level or above. 

*Carlos Beltran, who was 3x4 yesterday:
Winning the division (will be) great but at the end of the day all you want is home-field advantage. 

Beltran has four hits in his last two games after collecting four hits in his previous 13 games (45 PAs). It was his 5th 3+ hit game, and his 27th multi-hit game, of 2017. His double tied him with Cal Ripken, Jr for 24th All-Time with 1,078 extra-base hits. 

Beltran has more extra-base hits than every Astro has hits, save for Jose Altuve and Brian McCann. 

They're getting after it. They see what's at stake. They're playing hard. They're playing well, which is a good sign. 

*Jose Altuve had two hits, raising his season total to 193. 

Francis Martes and Tony Sipp combined to throw 20 pitches, recording zero outs on five hits and a walk. To be fair, Sipp only faced one batter, who got a hit. Martes allowed 4H/4ER, 0K:1BB to the five batters he faced. Martes' last six appearances: 6IP, 9H/10ER, 8K:5BB. Dude is young and inconsistent. In his prior eight appearances he threw 10.2IP, 10H/4ER, 15K:8BB. Then he gave up 5H/6ER, 4K:2BB in the two appearances before that. Gonna be interesting to see what his role is next season. 

*Joe Musgrove got his first career save. 

*Hunter Atkins did some work yesterday and has another good article on how the injuries to McCullers and McHugh means that their role in the postseason is somewhat up in the air. McCullers was not available for comment (and Hinch wouldn't talk about him yesterday) while McHugh opened up:
It's a good problem to have for us. More guys able to throw and ready to throw than there are spots to do it....I've been starting for the last four years. I'm a starter until they tell me different...There's a reason that nobody's saying what's going to happen because we don't know what's going to happen. Time is going to sort itself out.

*2017 1st Round pick J.B. Bukauskas is at Minute Maid Park this weekend:
I've never been down this far on a professional field like this, so it's cool taking it all in. It's a big deal for me to experience it this year as opposed to going into next year, like completely having not seen it. It's going to benefit me. 

*Derek Fisher is running out of time to prove he should be on the postseason roster, but is staying magnanimous about it.

*Jake Kaplan has a great recap from the Astros side of the Verlander deal.

*Congratulations to the 2017 Quad Cities River Bandits on their Midwest League championship! Quad Cities won 12-2 last night. Ronel Blanco threw 6.2IP, 4H/0ER, 10K:0BB while 21st Round pick Chuckie Robinson went 4x5 with a home run and 3RBI to earn Finals MVP.

*You have to scroll down a bit but there's a cool note about catcher Abraham Toro-Hernandez in David Laurilia's FanGraphs column.

*Former Astros Great Jesse Crain is holding a Harvey benefit at Karbach on Monday

*Jerry Crasnick: Why hasn't MLB fixed this roster expansion madness yet?

*According to Jon Heyman, the Mariners are the best guess to land approximately 30 of the Top 25 Free Agents this winter. CTRL-F indicates Heyman thinks the Astros' winter will be quiet.

*Ken Burns and the Vietnam War? Okay.