Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday Morning Hot Links

It's high time the Astros were able to beat the cream of the AL Central. Astros win their first series against the White Sox in their last three attempts, last one coming May 17-19, 2016.  The Angels - specifically Yusmeiro Petit - are absolutely useless, losing 6-5 to the Indians last night, so the Astros are still 1.5 GB of Cleveland. The Astros have won 14 of their last 19 games and seven of their last eight, and are 93-58. There are 11 games left.

*The win moves the Astros into a tie for 4th with the 2001 and 1980 Astros. A 7-4 finish will guarantee them 100 wins for the 2nd time in franchise history.

*The Indians have won 27 of their last 30 games and the Astros are still only one back in the loss column.

*Brad Peacock threw 6IP, 1H/0ER, 6K:2BB, giving up a 2-run home run to Yoan Moncada (who is hitting .471/.591/.882 in five games against Houston this season). Hinch, on Peacock's outing:
He was good again. I don't think he was particularly sharp, which is funny to say for a guy that gave up one hit. But he did battle through his outing and didn't give up many hard hits. 

Brad Peacock's MLB wins, 2011-2016: 11
Brad Peacock's MLB wins, 2017: 12

As McCullers' arm seemingly takes forever to recover from fatigue, Peacock is looking like a stronger and stronger candidate to get a postseason start. Peacock:
I'm just not thinking about it at all. Whatever they decide to do, like I've said before, I'll be happy. Whether it's bullpen or starting, just to get the chance to play in the playoffs is going to be cool.

*Joe Musgrove got the final four outs of the game for his 2nd save of the season. Musgrove:
Every time coming out of the bullpen I'm trying to strike everybody out, to be honest. 

*Francisco Liriano threw his second straight perfect inning. Liriano in September: 4IP, 2H/1ER, 5K:1BB, retiring 12 of the 15 batters he has faced.

*Yuli Gurriel was 3x4 with 2RBI. Over the last seven days Gurriel is 10x19 with 3RBI. His 57th extra-base hit of the season broke Hunter Pence's rookie record.

*Altuve Watch: The Toovs was 1x3 with a walk last night, giving him 195 hits on the season. Altuve has a 15 point lead on the AL batting crown (.348 to the White Sox' Avisail Garcia's .333).

*Josh Reddick was 2x4 with a double and a triple.

*Luke Gregerson took a batted ball of the heel of his hand, but X-rays were negative.

*Jake Kaplan notes that Will Harris' fastball is coming back.

*Mike Lupica writes that the Astros are bringing a welcome distraction to Houston.

*Carlos Correa, Carlos Beltran, Juan Centeno, Alex Cora, and Alex Cintron are among the Astros with family in Puerto Rico waiting on word from their families and friends. Correa:
My grandparents are my concern right now. My grandma couldn't fly here when the hurricane hit because my grandpa has Alzheimer's and he's very sick, and he can barely move and he can't fly. She had to stay with him and take care of him. Hopefully when this all goes by and everything...goes back to a little bit more normal, I can fly them over here so they can have a house and power and be able to eat.

*Justin Verlander will be the one starting pitcher the Red Sox don't face in the regular season series finale. I'm pulling for the Astros to catch the Indians for a few reasons, chief among them is I don't want to hear from Sully Sawx-Fan for potentially nine straight games.

*The Ringer's Michael Baumann asks who is the best team in baseball?

*Joel Sherman: Is there such a thing as too many home runs? Including Sunday's division-clinching game against the Mariners in which they hit four, the Astros have seven home runs in their last ten games. So, no.

*Doubtful that Pat Neshek gets a Christmas card from Zack Greinke this year.

*A girl at the Twins/Yankees game was hit in the face by a foul ball and hospitalized, prompting calls for protective netting down the lines. I, a grown man, am terrified of getting hit in the coconut by a foul ball and would support this 100%. As one who likes to sit behind home plate at minor-league games (and for one MLB game), you don't even notice the net after about, I don't know, six seconds.