Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Morning Hot Links

The Astros are 33-18, 15 games over .500 for the first time this season. Charlie Morton allowed two runs so he obviously needs to get DFA'd. The Astros got a pair of three-run homers from the likeliest of sources and beat the Indians 8-2. It's their 12th win in their last 15 games.

1968 Watch
Runs allowed through 51 games:
2018 Astros: 128
1968 Indians: 130

*A.J. Hinch:
It never feels easy, especially against a good team. For us to put up back-to-back big innings is tough for them to come back. It's a nice way to start a long series, and we've got a long battle ahead with some of their strong pitching we're about to face.

Morton: 6IP, 5H/2ER, 5K:3BB. His ERA is 2.04. Trash. Morton:
Having my breaking ball and throwing my breaking ball for strikes [was key]. That allows me to get back in counts...I'm really not throwing the ball where I want to, but my secondary stuff has been good.

All five of Charlie Morton's strikeouts came on his curveball.

*So five days after Mike Clevinger said the Astros weren't all that "special," the Astros used the word "special" in responses to reporters. Charlie Morton:
It was an absolute team win. It's pretty fun to be a part of this special team.

*Is Alex Bregman breaking out? He went 2x4 with a double and a home run with 4RBI. It's an eight-game hitting streak, and he has 2-hit games in three of his past four. In May Bregman is hitting .303/.411/.579.

*George Springer went 2x3 with two walks and two stolen bases. Springer has three stolen bases this season - all against Cleveland. It's his first two-steal game since July 5, 2017 against Atlanta.

*Terry Francona:
These guys are really good. Even last year, before they won the World Series, the way they played the game really stood out. They're fun to play, not because you think you're going to push them around, but because they play so well.

*Jake (Roger Maris)nick hit a three-run home run to straightaway center, and the dugout went nuts:
There was a big roar in the dugout when Jake did that because George called it. Now, George makes a whole lot of other calls that don't come close to happening, but that one he got right.

*ClintShane is...the smartest man alive.

*FanGraphs' Travis Sawchik puts the Astros' 2018 rotation in historical perspective.

*How will Hinch sort out playing time, what with Springer, Kemp, Marisnick, Davis, Marwin, etc? Match-ups.

*Creepy Roommate Tyler Bauer gets to face the Astros on Sunday, pitching against his old UCLA teammate and polar opposite Gerrit Cole. There were a couple of stories on this yesterday.

-Bauer, on Cole, talking to Jordan Bastian:
We had a rocky relationship in college, because he told me that I had no future in baseball and he insulted my work ethic as a freshman. I don't take kindly to those couple things, so we had our issues....Regardless of how each of us feels about anything, we're intertwined forever.

Okay, Tim, that's a little creepy.

Now, Bob Nightengale talked to some people who know both Cole and Bauer and their personalities. Like an unnamed Astros pitcher who said that Bauer's issues with Cole stem from jealousy:
It's just killing him to see Cole have such a great year.

Oh check out Cody Decker:
I like (Bauer) a lot. But I can't tell you I know Bauer. I spoke with Bauer one time, and I said, 'I'll never do that again. I'm good. I got my fill for a lifetime.' So I don't want to say I'm rooting for Cole (on Sunday), but I'm completely rooting for Cole. I would love to see Cole strike out 21 batters. And all on high spin-rate sliders.

That is an all-time quote and I will support Cody Decker until the day I die.

*Read a longer interview with Bauer in The Athletic.

*Corpus' Corbin Martin got done dirty by the offense and his bullpen last night. Martin: 7.2IP, 2H/0ER, 9K:0BB. It went into extras tied 0-0. Erasmo Pinales allowed five hits and a walk and committed a throwing error to give Springfield a 4-0 win. Martin's last four starts: 21IP, 12H/2ER, 20K:5BB.

*No, the Astros aren't thinking of turning J.D. Davis into a two-way player.

*From Baseball Prospectus: An MLB Commission confirmed the ball has changed since 2015.