Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saturday Morning Hot Links

The Astros cannot hit at Minute Maid Park, right now. This is a fact. The Astros got embarrassed by the hopeless shell of a man who used to be known as Cole Hamels and they 05'd Justin Verlander again.

*Hinch, on facing Hamels:
We chased a little bit in, but he did threaten us a little bit. Tonight was a little bit of a different game plan than he has had before and a little velocity spike. We just couldn't get anything going.

*The Rangers are 4-4 against Houston, and 12-20 against everybody else.

*Justin Verlander's last three games: 20IP, 9H/2ER, 29K:5BB, and the Astros have lost all three of those starts because they've scored two total runs.

*The Astros have given Verlander two or fewer runs of support in five of his nine starts. Verlander:
It's easy enough to get frustrated, and I think the one thing you try to do is stay positive. Do you want to win? Yeah. Do I want to win? Yeah. I feel like I help my team the most when I get a win. The most you can do is just go out there and keep your team in ballgames...Runs come and go.

*Roger Clemens made 29 starts for the 2005 Astros. They "scored" two runs five times, one run once, and were shutout in nine games. Clemens lost three straight 1-0 games from April 13-23, 2005.

*On the Astros' hitting woes at home, Hinch:
Everyone wants solutions or answers or takeaways from a small sample size. I'm not the least bit concerned about it. It is what it is. Maybe it's the teams we've played. Maybe it's when we've played at home, we haven't swung the bat the best.

Let's take these in order:
a) On the "small sample size:" The Astros get 81 home games in 2018 and have played 20 of them so far. A quarter of the home games is not exactly a small sample size.

b) The Astros have played 20 games against Baltimore, San Diego, Arlington, Anaheim, Oakland and New York. Their combined record is 109-123 (.470). Of course the Astros went 5-1 against the Orioles and Padres and 5-9 against Anaheim, Oakland, and New York. Anaheim and New York are legit, and the Astros went 2-5 against them. Houston was shutout in three of the seven games they played against the Angels and Yankees.

c) The Astros on the road, 2018: .289/.367/.464
The Astros at MMP, 2018: .219/.293/.342

*Last night was the first time the Astros got one-hit since August 20, 2015 against Tampa, also a 1-0 loss at home.

*The bastard Cole Hamels, who pitched with pinpoint control all night, hit George Springer in the elbow. X-rays were negative. Springer:
It doesn't feel too good. It didn't feel too good at the time. We'll have to see what happens tomorrow and go from there.

*Check out the shift the Astros put on Joey Gallo.

*Jake Kaplan: What the first 40 games have told us about the 2018 Astros.

*Despite the disaster of a season the Astros have endured so far, including Dallas Keuchel "struggling" with a 2-5 record and a 3.53 ERA, SI notes the Astros are currently still Vegas favorites to win the 2018 World Series.

*In something that apparently is supposed to qualify as "news," Evan Gattis won't be catching any time soon.

*Did you check Mrs. Hippie Queen's newest Spot the Differences?

*Our Boy Tyler Stafford has a great look at Carlos Correa's ability to hit inside pitches this year, compared to the last two seasons.

*A.J. Hinch says more stolen bases are coming, though seven of their next ten games are scheduled against lefty starting pitchers.

*The Houston Press' Jeff Balke has five reasons to continue to believe in the Astros.

*Tyler White, Tony Kemp, A.J. Reed, and Reymin Guduan will all receive their World Series rings before tonight's Fresno game against Salt Lake.

*Eno Sarris has a fascinating look at a new metric to gauge pitcher command: Command+

*Lance Berkman would like to be considered for the head coaching position at Rice, and I don't really know how Rice says no.

*Because Rob Manfred can't leave well enough alone, he says MLB is looking at the idea of limiting how many relievers you can use in a game.

*Andrew McCutchen's return to Pittsburgh should give you chills:

*So you think your family's messed up, huh?

*RIP Scott Hutchison, lead singer of Frightened Rabbit.