Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

Hey guess who forgot they hadn't done their taxes and has/had (depending on when you're reading this) to be at H&R Block by 7am!? Last night was our first late night Astros Baseball Experience of the season, the first of three this week. So if you like not sleeping and extreme mood swings, then the next 72 hours are for you.

*This run that the Astros are currently on is impressive, actually. Oh, and hey, me predicting the Astros would get two hits last night was supposed to be a joke. They got three. The Astros are 10-7. As a team they are "hitting" .233/.317/.362 - a .679 OPS. "Good enough" for 18th in MLB, and 9th in the AL. They just dropped two of three games at home to one of the teams lower on the list. Their wRC+ (a stat that measures offense relative to the league in which 100 is average) is 97.

*Mariners pitcher James Paxton was typically dominant against Houston. Paxton vs Houston since the beginning of last season: 27.1IP, 19H/5ER, 27K:9BB. That includes his September 15, 2017 start in which he threw 1.1IP, 4H/3ER, 0K:2BB. Springer (who had two of the Astros' three hits), on Paxton:
He's tough. He throws hard and has a great angle on high ball. It's kind of one of those things where I'm looking for something to hit, and hopefully I don't miss it. 

*The Astros have six hits in their last 19 innings played. Since hanging ten runs on Baltimore on April 3, the Astros have scored 30 runs in those eleven games, and that includes the eight runs they scored in the 9-8 loss at Minnesota. They've lost five of their last six games. Hinch:
That's how it's been the last couple of days. We just have no margin for error, but our starter keeps giving us plenty of opportunities. If we keep doing that, we're going to be happy with it. 

*The Astros have scored 0-2 runs in six of their last ten games.

*Dallas Keuchel had an impressive complete game start: 8IP, 6H/2ER, 6K:1BB, but starts the season 0-3 for the first time in his career.

*The Mariners are now 6-20 against Houston since the beginning of 2017. The Astros are 7-3 at Safeco in that span.

*Gerorge hit his 4th home run of the year, the first against a pitcher not named Cole Hamels.

*Jake Marisnick was 0x3 with two more strikeouts, giving him 20 strikeouts in 41 plate appearances. He has not yet drawn a walk this season. In 41 plate appearances, Marisnick has worked the count to three balls seven times and has not seen a 2-0 or a 3-0 count. He's 1x11 with 6Ks w/RISP and two outs.

I think our at-bats over the last few weeks have been great. It's not like we're facing a bad guy out there. These guys are tough, these guys are good, that's why they're up here.

*With his first out of the game, Dallas Keuchel became the 16th pitcher in Astros history, and the 5th lefty, to throw 1000IP for the club.

*Tonight, Bob Dutton notes, Jose Altuve will play in his 1000th game for the Astros. Altuve:
I didn't know that, but thanks to God for the opportunity to be part of that club. To have 1,000 games in the big leagues means a lot to me. Hopefully, I can play many more. 

*Justin Verlander was named the AL Player of the Week after he threw 15IP, allowed one earned run, and struck out 20 Twins and Ramgers. In nine regular season starts for the Astros from 2017-2018, Justin Verlander has allowed eight earned runs in 60.2IP. Lance McCullers Jr. (whom I love as my own son) allowed eight earned runs in the 4th inning against the Twins last week.

*Tony Sipp is eligible to come off the DL tomorrow and the Astros will meet to determine if he needs a rehab stint.

*SI's Jon Tayler has an excellent look at just how unlikely Sunday night's game could have been.

*Yahoo's Tim Brown has another pair of eyes on Gerrit Cole and compares him to Max Scherzer. He also makes a really good point about all these cancellations that made me delete a paragraph I had already written about it.

*Here's Our Boy Jake Kaplan with a look at how A.J. Hinch is playing the late-and-close matchups, using three pitchers to finish games so far this season.

*The Athletic'$ Tim Britton brings it with an oral history of Patriots Day 2013, or how the Red Sox helped heal Boston after the Boston Marathon Bombing.

*Elite marathoner Shalane Flanagan needed to use the restroom. Desiree Linden waited for her, and then won the Boston Marathon.