Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Morning Hot Links

*Game 3 will feature Yu Darvish vs. Lance McCullers. FiveThirtyEight's simulations give the Dodgers the nod 51-49. So we might as well just walk into the sea. Or, if the Astros can win three straight at home starting, I don't know, tonight, then we go parading.

Bregman on Darvish:
I think the guys in this room are familiar with him and his stuff. We're going to take the fight to him.

Darvish has changed his arm slot since getting traded to the Dodgers, and Hinch is well-aware:
There's more unpredictability around game plans and approaches in the postseason than ever. You can go in saying this is how he's thrown you in the past, and he can pitch you completely different. We saw that with Tanaka in New York. 

Darvish vs. Astros, 2012: 8IP, 7H/2ER, 11K:2BB
Darvish vs. Astros, 2013: 35IP, 15H/11ER, 52K:12BB
Darvish vs. Astros, 2014: 18IP, 20H/11ER, 20K:5BB
Darvish vs. Astros, 2015: N/A
Darvish vs. Astros, 2016: 16IP, 15H/6ER, 19K:7BB
Darvish vs. Astros, 2017: 12IP, 8H/4ER, 12K:4BB

*I was on SportsRadio 610 yesterday and said that, if you were okay with Hinch continuing to run Springer out in the leadoff spot, then following that logic you should be okay with Hinch continuing to let Giles pitch in high-leverage situations. Hinch agreed:
I did say Giles did play a pivotal role, not in giving up the run [Ed. Note: runs] but in the outs he did get. That's part of my job that I feel good about. I think Ken Giles is going to get another save in this series. I think he's going to get some really big outs. I think when the crowd is standing in this ballpark over the next couple of games, if we can have the lead and he's the right matchup, he's going to get the last out. He's done it awfully well this year.

*The roof will be closed for tonight's game, but may be open tomorrow and Sunday thanks to a poorly-timed cold front. Seriously, if it's going to be 85 on October 26, you may as well just accept that autumn doesn't exist anymore except in fairy tales and books from the days of yore, and just pray the roof can stay closed. Bregman, on playing at Minute Maid Park:
We're happy to be playing in front of our home fans. And there's something special when we play at Minute Maid Park in front of Houston people. 

McCullers is perfectly happy with the roof closed:
That's how we play most of the games here. We're very used to it. I definitely think it's part of our home-field advantage. We play 60 or more like that...which is...why a lot of the guys want it to stay the same. 

Brian McTaggart notes that, if the outside temperature is under 55 degrees, the roof stays closed. Forecasted low in Houston on Saturday and Sunday? 38 and 49, respectively.

*So TMZ had a report yesterday saying that A.J. Hinch was involved in an altercation in the team's hotel bar in Pasadena (California, though I'm sure there have been plenty of altercations in hotel bars in Pasadena, Texas). TMZ:
We're told he was having some drinks - when some hotel guests came in and started talking trash about the Astros. Sources say Hinch "snapped" and unleashed on the other patrons - cursing and yelling in the middle of the bar. One witness tells us the incident turned physical and cops were called to separate the two parties. 

Hinch disputed that account to the Chronicle:
There was no altercation. It's a shame I get asked about some nonsense and fabrications and non-stories, and I have to respond to it on a national stage.

I mean, obviously no arrests were made, but the cops were called. If Hinch (or someone else there in the hotel bar) just says, "Don't you have a Giants fan to curb-stomp?" or "Yeah, I remember my first beer," and waives them off then the police don't get called. But the cops did show up. So something happened, just not enough to warrant (get it?) any action. Regardless, this is the day Hinch truly became president.

*After playing soft 80s rock for the Astros workout at Dodger Stadium, the Astros had the Dodgers working out in complete silence.

*Alex Bregman has been talking to Carlos Beltran a lot this postseason.

*The OC Register's Bill Plunkett wonders if the Astros took the momentum of this series.

*LA Times' Bill Plaschke says Game 2 was Roberts doing what he's done for two years now.

*Jose Altuve was named the Sporting News' Player of the Year. Can't wait for here in about two weeks when we can all go crazy about the AL MVP voting.

*Dallas Keuchel's Gold Glove streak will come to an end. No Astro was selected as a Gold Glove finalist. But Ben Zobrist - who played all of 65 games at 2B - is a 2B finalist!

*Vice: The Alternate Histories of the Craziest World Series Game Ever

*Jayson Stark took to Facebook with some crazy stats about Game 2 (no team in MLB postseason history had ever hit home runs in the 9th, 10th, and 11th innings).

*USA Today: George Springer will not be silenced.

*Joel Sherman: What Aaron Judge can learn from George Springer.

*Well this isn't creepy at all: A new facial recognition app will allow fans to receive a clip if they appear on television this weekend.

*Today is the 26th anniversary of Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. John Smoltz and Jack Morris reflect on it.