Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Morning Hot Links

I student of mine told me yesterday as he left class, "If you make Darvish work in the 1st inning, you'll win the game." Well he gets a 0 for witchcraft, because that's pretty much what happened. The Astros touched up Darvish, got McCullers into the 6th and leaned on Brad Peacock for the final 11 outs of the game to take a 2-1 series lead.

Four runs in any game is big. Four runs in the World Series is huge. To get that kind of momentum started, get the crowd into it, have a lead, it puts a ton of pressure on the other dugout.

Dave Roberts, on Darvish:
The fastball command wasn't there, and the slider was backing up. He just really didn't have the feel and couldn't get any type of rhythm going.

What happened, happened. I've just got to learn from it. It's not like I slacked. I was well prepared and they just got to me. I have to learn from it and get ready for next time. 

ESPN notes that the winner of a Game 3 in a 1-1 series has gone on to win the series 67.9% of the time.

*Darvish's 18 Game Score was the worst in a World Series game since Josh Fogg's 14 in 2007. Related question: Josh Fogg started a World Series game?

*Seven teams in MLB history have won seven home games in a postseason. All of them won the World Series. Altuve:
It's always good to play in front of your fans, especially in this city. They've been here since we lost 100 games three years in a row, and they kept coming to the ballpark and supporting us. I think this is the time for us to pay them back.

This place is loud, this place is wild. There's 40-plus thousand on top of you. The stands are close to the field, so it's a different vibe I would think for a lot of teams.

*The Astros are trying to focus on winning Game 4, not the whole World Series. Altuve:
You know what, it's really hard not to think about that because you're talking about a World Series champion. We want to stay humble, stay quiet, but it would be so nice to win the championship here in front of our fans. It would be a dream come true, not just for us, but for everybody, the fans, the city.

*FanGraphs' simulations give the Astros the World Series 70.8% of the time.
FiveThirtyEight gives it to the Astros in 67% of their simulations, with the Astros at 53-47 for Game 4, and 50-50 for Game 5, which would be Kershaw vs Keuchel.

*McCullers' line: 5.1IP, 4H/3ER, 3K:4BB. He struck out Cody Bellinger all three times. Three of the walks came in one inning, where he loaded the bases with nobody out and managed to get out of it with only a single run crossing the plate.  He threw his curve 54 times in 87 pitches. Hinch, on the 3rd inning:
It just looked like he fell apart mechanically, and just his command fell apart, three walks in a row, and he created his own mess. I don't know if it was the layoff with the big inning or if it was just some poorly executed pitches, but we just wanted to settle him down. 

*Peacock's line: 3.2IP, 0H/0ER, 4K:1BB. Richard Justice has some notes on just how dominant Brad Peacock was:
-Peacock's 3.2IP was the longest hitless relief appearance in a World Series game since 1964.
-Click the link for more.

And please remember that the Astros have Brad Peacock because they didn't want to get Dan Straily'd. Said Luhnow at the end of Spring Training:
There's no question in my mind if we made him available he would be snapped up by another club. I think he's an important piece of our inventory...We all know that year in and year out you need eight, nine, 10-plus starters to get through the year, and we feel like he's a guy that is a valuable piece to have in our arsenal.


All the fans have been outstanding during the postseason. And to tell you the truth, when I was out there a couple of times, I got the chills from them screaming so loud. That was an unbelievable feeling. They got me going, and I'm just glad I was able to get it done, for sure.

*Four of the six hits the Astros got off Darvish went for extra-bases. They still only went 3x14 w/RISP and left 12 on base.

*Evan Gattis was 1x1 with 3BB - the 2nd 3BB game of his career (previously only done on April 9, 2017, against the Royals).

*5-9 in the lineup (Gurriel/Reddick/Gattis/Marwin/McCann) went 9x18 with two doubles and a home run, scoring all five of the Astros' runs.

*Let's not forget that George Springer damn near hit a grand slam off Ross Stripling:

*The Astros' defense carried them in Game 3, David Barron writes. Hinch:
The defense has been steady since the beginning of the postseason. And we have athletes all over the field. We do execute plays. We handle the ball pretty cleanly. It's something we talk about a lot. 

*God dang Yulieski Gurriel is facing possible discipline from MLB for making a racist gesture towards Yu Darvish and then mouthing "chinito," a derogatory term that describes anyone from the entire continent of Asia as Chinese. It came after Gurriel hit a home run in the top of the 2nd, while he was back in the dugout. I somehow didn't see anything about it until this morning. Darvish:
I feel like, of course, Houston has Asian fans and Japanese fans, and Asian fans live all over the place. And acting like that, it's just disrespectful to people around the world, to the Houston organization. It's not OK.

Gurriel was surprised that it turned into A Thing. There's not a way to explain it away. No one in the history of making said gesture has ever been able to say, "No, see, I was trying to get sleep stuff out of my eyes, but more efficiently than one eye at a time." It's indefensible. I'd be mad if a 12-year old did it. It's stupid for a 33-year old man to do it. Take that L, Gurriel. Oh, and fans: You should probably go ahead and prepare yourself to hear about this for the rest of Gurriel's contract.

*Jon Heyman says Gurriel should be suspended. So does Jeff Passan.

*Here's the LA Times' take.

*These dudes got tickets for $72.

*Jenny Dial Creech: Carlos Beltran provides added motivation for the Astros.

*Cool article on how some Harvey-affected fans are enjoying the World Series.

*Holla if you thought you'd read "Hinch" and "managerial genius" in a headline after a World Series game at the end of the 2014 season.

*Here's Baseball America with a good piece on Hinch and Roberts' history in a Pac-10 game.