Saturday, May 5, 2018

Saturday Morning Hot Links

Gerrit Cole. I mean. I guess nothing more exemplifies the struggling Astros offense more than Gerrit Cole channeling Giancarlo Stanton and going 0x5 with 5Ks. This offense is pathe - wait, what? Oh, I see.

*Gerrit Cole threw 9IP, 1H/0ER, 16K:1BB. He gave up a double in the 5th to Chris Owings. He tied Nolan Ryan for the number of 14+ K starts as an Astro, with two. It was Cole's 7th start. His 77 strikeouts through seven starts are the most for an MLB pitcher with a new team.

You read that correctly. It was his second career complete game. Hinch:
We've had a ton of consecutive really good pitching performances this year, and none is going to top that to this point. Wow. It's hard to describe. It's an incredible display of pitching.

I think it would have been the same outcome if any team in the league would have faced him today. He was just filthy. Hitting the spots, every pitch was working. There is no plan that could work against him today.

I'm in such a good spot physically, like the best I've been in my career. My direction to the plate, my core, I'm just able to repeat at such a high level.

*According to Friend of Astros County (FOAC) Justin Ray, Cole is the 4th pitcher in the last 110 years to throw a CGSHO with one hit and 16+ Ks.

*Cole got the Robe for pitching and hitting, after his 5K offensive outing:
This is the Pitcher of the game robe and this is the Hitter of the Game robe. Since I got the platinum sombrero, that's 21 total strikeouts on the evening. Tied Roger Clemens. It was a good night.

*Even the offense got going. But it was a road game, so it makes sense. Marisnick was the only position player without a hit, and he had a home run robbed by Jarrod Dyson in the 5th inning.

George Springer: 3x5
Jose Altuve: 2x4, BB, RBI
Carlos Correa: 2x5, 3RBI
Yuli Gurriel: 4x5, 3RBI

It was Gurriel's 5th multi-hit game of the season and the 2nd 4-hit game of his career (July 21, 2017 at Baltimore).

*The Astros were 6x17 w/RISP - Stassi was 0x3 w/RISP.

*Fisher, Marisnick and Gattis are a combined 36x209 (.172). Altuve (45), Springer (37), and Correa (37) each have more hits than the Trio of Hopelessness.

*Kris Medlen had not made a Major League start in 725 days, and you could tell.

*Check Kris Medlen's return story in The Athletic.

*Apparently, Ken Giles' selflessness is a red flag to Hunter Atkins, who says the Astros want an Actual Closer.

*John Sickels, over at the esteemed MinorLeagueBall, has some thoughts on Yordan Alvarez. Sickels:
The basics here haven't changed: he's big and strong at 6-5 225, but not just a bruiser. The pure hitting ability has carried forward to Double-A; indeed, his strike zone management has been a bit sharper this year and he's added more isolated power without sacrificing contact. He can drive the ball effectively to all fields and Texas League observers report that he's handled both fastballs and breaking balls efficiently.

As of this morning, Alvarez is hitting .296/.377/.541 with 21K:14BB in 113 PAs. He's six months younger than Kyle Tucker. And lololololol the Astros got Alvarez on August 1, 2016 when they traded Josh Fields to the Dodgers, who would give up 3H/2ER (2HR) in Game 2 of the 2017 World Series. Genius Luhnow strikes again.

*Did you check out yesterday's Spot the Differences?

*Hinch, on Marwin's 2018 struggles:
He's frustrated with his production because he's been so good in that spot coming off of last season. It's what decision you make to swing at what pitches. They've pitched him very tough when guys have been on base, some chase breaking ball and chase changeups. He sees the least amount of fastballs of anybody on the team.

Is that right? Surely that can't be right. Let's look at the number of four-seam fastballs each player on the Astros has seen:

Fisher: 95 of 237 pitches (40.1%)
Gurriel: 101 of 271 pitches (37.3%)
Gattis: 143 of 393 pitches (36.4%)
Correa: 213 of 591 pitches (36.0%)
Altuve: 183 of 522 pitches (35.1%)
Reddick: 155 of 465 pitches (33.3%)
McCann: 108 of 325 pitches (33.2%)
Springer: 203 of 581 pitches were fastballs (34.9%)
Marisnick: 111 of 340 pitches (32.6%)
Marwin: 165 of 532 pitches (31.0%)

Wow, okay. Good job, Hinchie.

So in 2017 Marwin hit .338 with a .638 SLG on four-seam fastballs. This year, he's hitting .257 with a .429 SLG against the four-seamer.

*Jake Kaplan: Lance McCullers is still enjoying his World Series Game 7 RBI.

*Sunday is the 20th anniversary of the most dominant pitching performance in Astros history - Kerry Wood's 20K no- one-hitter. Alyson Footer gives us an oral history. And, because I love those Page Vyoos - which generates 100% of our $0/monthly revenue - I wrote one five years ago (without the access Footer has).

*The Cespedes BBQ guys have a prediction for when Altuve will get his 3000th hit.

*Frankie Tuesday was placed on Fresno's 7-Day DL.

*Speaking of Fresno, McTaggart notes that "it's believed that" the Astros will move their Triple-A franchise from Fresno to Round Rock after this season.

*How about an un-pay-walled story in The Athletic? Ken Rosenthal's great story on Cory Hahn, who suffered a spinal cord injury sliding into second base and is now a rising exec in Arizona's front office.

*Former Astros Great Preston Tucker, who hit .282/.313/.487 for Atlanta in 29 games, got sent to Triple-A to make room for Houston Legend (Bat-Flip Division) Jose Bautista.

*Interesting note on Baseball-Reference this morning: Every AL Central team is currently hosting a below-zero SRS (meaning every AL Central team is currently worse than an average team.)

*Noted domestically violent baseball player Danry Vasquez got a job.

*Brown University's Tucker Halpern was on the path to the NBA, got a severe strain of Epstein-Barr, and is now a Grammy-nominated DJ because sometimes life gives you lemons... The other half of Sofi Tukker (Sophie Hawley-Weld) has an equally weird story.

*You had no idea you needed John Sterling reading "Goodnight Moon" in your life: