I'm going to feel really stupid voicing Concerns about a team that's 9-2. If I'm a Twins fan, I'm livid right now. The Twins had:
-Runners on the corners with nobody out in the 6th
-Bases loaded with one out in the 8th
-One on when Byron Buxton hit a freaking bomb in the 9th that curled JUSTFOUL.
And lost 2-0. Hinch:
We knew we were going to have to score one run to try and scratch and claw and get the lead, and those leads feel really big in elements like tonight. Definitely a different game when it's played in these elements. We thought it would be low scoring, but we didn't know how difficult it would be to finish the game.
The Astros got seven hits - two for extra-bases - and still struck out 13 times, tying a season high. It's their 7th game with double-digit strikeouts. They went 1x10 w/RISP (Twins went 1x11). Carlos Correa was 2x4 with a double.
-Jake Marisnick has struck out 13 times in 28 PAs.
-George Springer has struck out 14 times in 50 PAs.
-Derek Fisher has struck out 12 times in 26 PAs.
*But Verlander was dominant, throwing 7IP, 4H/0ER, 9K:1BB. Verlander:
We don't need to score a ton of runs to win every single day. Honestly, one through five, the starting pitcher has a chance to do something great and limit the other team. Our offense knows that and it keeps them in the game, too.
The Astros' pitching staff has allowed one run in their last three games, seven runs in their last five. They've held their opponent to two runs or less in seven of the eleven games in 2018.
*Chandler Rome highlights Ken Giles first save of the season with a tale of two quotes.
Hinch: Kenny needed that. We wanted a confidence builder for him and getting the last out was going to be huge for him, if he could do it.
Giles: I don't need a confidence booster. I believe in myself and I believe in the guys behind me.
*Twins starter Lance Lynn is beating himself up, folks. Asked whether the cold led to the four walks and his early exit, Lynn:
(Verlander) pitched in it too and got through seven, right? I didn't do my job.
*The 1972 Astros also started 9-2, winning nine straight after dropping the first two games of the season to the Giants. The 1972 Astros' 9th win of came on a walk-off against the Cubs, their 2nd walk-off against the Cubs in three days. Led by Cesar Cedeno, Jimmy Wynn, Bob Watson, Lee May, Don Wilson, and Larry Dierker, the 1972 Astros would scuffle down the stretch, finishing the season 84-69, 10.5 games behind the Reds.
Astros through 11 games:
*It was 35 degrees at first pitch last night, the second-coldest first pitch in Astros' history.
*A 24-hour bug has gone through the clubhouse like Padres pitching. Yesterday it got Josh Reddick. Hinch:
If he has a fever, he'll be the warmest guy in the room.
*Hunter Atkins wonders if Brad Peacock is now the Astros' closer, and notes that Justin Verlander worked with Ken Giles before Sunday's game. Atkins:
Before Sunday's game, Giles worked on sharpening his mechanics with starter Justin Verlander in the outfield. It looked like Verlander was reviewing the importance of staying on top of the ball and squatting deeper with his lower half.
*Yuli Gurriel will be ready by Friday.
*McTaggart notes that Former Astros Great Jason Castro was pretty happy for the Astros - especially George Springer - last year.
*JC Correa - Carlos' brother - has committed to Lamar.
*The New York Daily News' John Harper has apparently at least checked Baseball-Reference and decided that Gerrit Cole would have been a pretty good call for Brian Cashman:
Again, (Cashman) might be proven right in the long run. At the moment, however, Cole looks like he would have been well worth the cost.
*Whataburger Field in Corpus will have a third base-line bar open until midnight during every home game.
*Check out this drone footage of the inside of the Astrodome.
*Jay Jaffe says the Dodgers will (probably) be fine.
*Looking forward to reading Bob Klapisch's forthcoming book on the 2018 Yankees and the (ideal) heartbreak that will come with getting owned by the Astros (again). But Bob Klapisch is Good and I like him.
*Evan P. Grant writes that Cole White Privilege Hamels is in a new phase of his career: a finesse lefty who no longer has overpowering stuff.
*Alex Rodriguez wishes he never would have signed with the Rangers and followed his heart to the Mets.
*MLB players have routinely said that Boston is the roughest place to play and I'm shocked. I mean, 38,000 dudes named Sully getting drunk on Narragansett while watching baseball in a living history museum? Inconceivable.
*You already know the Marlins' leadership was terrible. Now FanGraphs' Sheryl Ring shows you just how terrible.
*This honky ate a California Reaper - the world's hottest chili pepper - and then got "thunderclap headaches".