Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday Morning Hot Links

*The Astros have basically won six games six different ways so far this season. I think we can all agree that we as fans can get used to winning six games per week. Yesterday the Astros beat the Orioles for the sweep, 3-2. The Astros have won 14 of their last 16 games against Baltimore, including nine straight in Houston.

*Reddick singled three times. Bregman and Stassi were each 1x3 with a walk. The Astros were 1x8 w/RISP as everyone seemingly dealt with a hangover from the ring ceremony.

*Dallas Keuchel needed 104 pitches to get 15 outs, allowing 5H/2R (1ER), 3K:4BB. It was the second time since the beginning of the 2015 season that he walked more batters than he struck out. Keuchel:
I thought my command on the glove side with my cutter was a whole lot better than it was in Arlington, so that's a plus. I just didn't lock it in on the arm side of the plate.

It's nice to get a win in an otherwise pretty sluggish day for us. I didn't think we were at our best on a lot of levels, but we kind of grind through the game, and Dallas gets through a tough outing of his own and we kind of piece it together and come up with a big hit.

Of course there was manufactured drama in letting Brad Peacock (3IP, 2H/0ER, 5K:0BB, 39 pitches) close out the final three innings of the game, and not using Ken Giles for the 9th inning. Hinch:
The move today is no indictment on Ken Giles. It's not a message being sent to the matchup that we liked with the way Peacock was spinning the ball and the team we were facing and how he was pitching, all led me to want to leave Brad Peacock in.

*Today's Off-Day means it's the first Playoff Odds Check-In (POC-I) of the season!
-FanGraphs: 95.3% to win the division, 98.9% to make the playoffs.
-BP: 87.6% to win the division, 95.7% to make the playoffs.
-FiveThirtyEight: 74% to win the division, 88% to make the playoffs.

*Jexas has your Orioles sweep recap.

*Hunter Atkins says it's easy for Hinch to manage different lineups.

*From The Athletic:
-Jake Kaplan writes about how the rings tell the story of the 2017 season.
-Levi Weaver talked to Rob Manfred about minor-league pay and his answers made no sense whatsoever.
-Rob Manfred is satisfied with how the Astros handled Gurriel's five-game suspension. Manfred:
He served his five-game suspension. He lost his five days of pay. He's now on a 15-day disabled list stint. I think what they did was completely consistent not only with the rules but with the intent of the rules.

Someone want to tell Manfred that it's a 10-Day disabled list now? While we're talking about The Athletic, I would like to mention why their stories are included in the Hot Links:

1. The Athletic has really good journalism that looks at the game from a slightly different angle.
2. That's pretty much it.

Yes, you have to subscribe to The Athletic in order to read the articles. I typically don't include articles you would need to pay to read in the Hot Links each morning but The Athletic is worth the subscription price. If you don't want to pay to read the articles, you don't have to click the link. The Athletic has also given me, personally, an outlet for a wider audience and I feel that highlighting what they're publishing is okay. If you are offended, I deeply apologize but will make no effort to rectify the wrongs inflicted on you.

*I did the Where Did These Guys Come From for:
-Buies Creek
-Quad Cities

*Jim Callis has a list of where the Astros' Top 30 prospects will start the 2018 season.

*FanGraphs: The four-man outfield and position-less baseball.