Monday, April 30, 2018

Monday Morning Hot Links

*The Astros were down 1-0, up 2-1, up 3-1, up 3-2, tied 3-3, then scored five runs in the 7th and 8th innings to run away with it and win their first home series since taking two of three from San Diego April 6-8. The Astros are 19-10 with a two-game lead over the Mariners. The Angels lost to the Yankees last night, who will visit Minute Maid Park starting tonight, bringing a nine-game winning streak and also likely bringing a bunch of fans in track suits with shaved heads and gold chains.

*The Astros' +66 run differential through 29 games breaks the franchise record of +56 set in 2004.

*Astros pitchers struck out the A's 14 times yesterday, giving them 16 10+ strikeout games on the season. Arizona pitchers have double-digit strikeouts in 17 games.

*Gerrit Cole: 6.2IP, 6H/3ER, 12K:0BB. Will Harris allowed Oakland's third run to score, costing Cole the win. Cole now has 13.18 K/9, behind only Robbie Ray (14.64 to go along with 5.53 BB/9) among qualified starters. In April: 41.2IP, 25H/8ER, 61K:8BB - 1.73 ERA / 0.79 WHIP. Cole's 61 Ks in April broke Mike Scott's 1987 record for April strikeouts. Hinch:
Whatever word you want to say probably fits. Whether it's elite or dominant or exceptional or spectacular. It sounds historic with the strikeouts he had in our uniform.

*It was the first time this season that Gerrit Cole has not recorded 21 outs.

*Jake Kaplan breaks down Cole's April.

Gerrit Cole, double-digit strikeout starts, 2013-2017: 6
Gerrit Cole, double-digit strikeout starts, 2018: 4

*Cole, McCullers, Verlander, and Morton rank in the Top 16 among qualified starters in K/9.

*Robert Ford and Steve Sparks mentioned this on the broadcast yesterday: The last time an Astros position player made an error was April 8 against San Diego. Oakland made four errors...yesterday.

*Carlos Correa's hit streak was snapped with an 0x4 day at the plate. He also grounded into his 6th double play of 2018. In 109 games in 2017 Correa GIDP'd twelve times.

*Astros fan Joe Foster got kicked out of Minute Maid Park for interference on Max Stassi's "out." It's not the first time that happened. Foster:
Honestly, watching the replays, maybe the guy caught it, maybe he didn't, but he had a glove and I didn't so maybe he should have.

*The New York Times' Tyler Kepner has a fantastic article on Sig Mejdal and his experiment of going from the front office to the dugout. Mejdal:
It's like you know a secret that's going to rock their world - not next week, but maybe next year or two years from now. And when you care about them, it's just this ominous future disappointment to many of them.

* has a tale of the tape on who's better right now: the Yankees or the Astros.

*Aaron Boone:
Do I think there's extra juice? Maybe, because we understand how good of a club they are and these guys went through such an epic series with them. But...we realize it's April. 

Joke's on Boone because tomorrow it's May.

*Brett Gardner, to the New York Daily News' Mike Mazzeo (who referred to the Yankees as Murderers Row 2.0, and thus should be silenced):
They won the World Series last year, and they're probably a better team right now than they were at this point last year. Obviously it'll be a good challenge for us. We're looking forward to it...They've got a really good team, maybe the best team in baseball. It's a tough place to play.

*Oakland 1B Coach Al Pedrique signed Jose Altuve as a 16-year old. Pedrique:
I remember our first conversation. I asked him, 'Can you play?' He looked me in the eye and said, 'I'll show you.'

*Tanner Duncan tried out for East Carolina's varsity baseball team three times and was cut each time. He signed with Houston as an undrafted free agent. In 7.1IP for Quad Cities this season he has 12 strikeouts.

*The Cubs have played the Brewers seven times in 2018. They're 6-1 with five shutouts.

*Cody Bellinger got benched for not hustling.

*MLB Network looked back at the 1988 Orioles' 0-21 start.