Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday Morning Hot Links

We did it. We survived the first stretch of 9pm starts. Three down, just 20 more to go - next 9pm start is May 7-9 at Oakland. Bats back? Bats back. 7-1 win over Seattle. The Astros are 12-7, 1-1 when the Rockets play a playoff game. The Rockets are 2-0 in playoff games when the Astros also play.

*Turning point in the game was Derek Fisher's over-the-fence grab of Jean Segura's flyball to left in the bottom of the 5th, when the game was 1-1. Hinch:
It was a big momentum play with the way the game was going. Everybody exhales and then we come back and score a lot of runs. So it obviously was a turning point.

*The Astros' six-run 7th inning is a new season-high for an inning - they had scored five runs in an inning twice this season. Eleven Astros came to the plate. FACT: Eleven Astros didn't come to the plate in the entire game combined against Bartolo Colon.

*Houston got five extra-base hits - all doubles - for the first time since April 2. They had four extra-base hits in their three previous games combined.

We're a good offense, don't forget that. It was coming and there's more to come. As the game went on our at-bats got better and better, which is encouraging. I don't think we can allow a rough patch to get in the way of the reality that we're a really good hitting club.

*Mariners SP Mike Leake:
I left a few balls up. And with a lineup like that, you don't get many chances.

*Jose Altuve grounded into two double plays, his first GIDPs of the season. The last time he GIDPd twice was April 7, 2017 against the Royals, and it's just the 9th time he's done it in his career.

*Marwin was 2x4 with two runs scored, yet has not had an extra-base hit since April 9.

*The Astros struck out ten more times, giving them 10 double-digit strikeout games in 19.

*Derek Fisher was 0x4 with 3K. Fisher and Marisnick are a combined 10x77 with 41K:2BB in 80 plate appearances.

*Gerrit Cole was lights out, throwing 7IP, 5H/1R (0ER), 5K:2BB. Only five strikeouts? Garbage. ESPN Stats says Cole is the 6th pitcher in MLB history to strike out at least 40 batters in his first four starts with a new team.

*Joe Smith and Collin McHugh retired the 8th and 9th inning in order.

*Last night was the 11th time in 19 games the Astros have allowed two or fewer runs.

*In The Athletic, Jake Kaplan breaks down where the worry spots are for the Astros' offense.

*Collin McHugh brought some grasshoppers down to the clubhouse last night.

*Check this slideshow from the Chronicle with 15 album covers reimagined with Astros players.

*The Dallas Keuchel Smoke Stack 60 claimed its first victim.

*Ben Reiter - the Sports Illustrated Guy who wrote the 2017 World Series Champs article back in 2014 - has a book coming out in July called Astroball: The New Way to Win it All.

*There's a debate over whether or not Allie LaForce - reliever Joe Smith's wife - should have asked LeBron for his thoughts on the passing of Pop's wife.

*Mike Scioscia thinks Ohtani's next start will come in Houston next week.

*Hardball Times: The physics of Bryce Harper's broken-bat blast.

*How Hiram Bithorn Stadium was salvaged in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

*From Eno Sarris in The Athletic: How Adam Ottavino designed a new pitch.

*Derrick Goold has a great piece about John Brebbia and minor-league pay.