Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday Morning Hot Links

Last Wednesday I had to put my sweet dog, Angus, down. Yesterday my car caught on fire trying to jump the battery and damn if that isn't a metaphor for...something. Screw it. Last day of school. I'm going to Dallas to pick up a new car today. Whatever let's get to the clustershow that was last night's game.

Czech Jexas' series recap.

*The Astros are 35-22. They're 19-11 on the road. Twenty of their first 57 games (about to be 24 of 61) have been against 2017 playoff teams, in which Houston is 8-12. They've allowed 160 runs, 72 fewer than the Mariners for lowest in the AL West, 26 fewer than the Nationals for best in MLB. Houston has scored the 3rd-most runs in MLB (behind the Red Sox and Yankees). Their +123 run differential is 34 runs better than the 2nd-place Red Sox.

*The Astros lost the season series to the Yankees, 5-2. Get ready to hear about that for the next four and half months from some dude with a shaved head, track suit, and gold chains.

*Oh hey the Astros lost to the 27 RANGZ because...I don't really know. Because we live in a fallen world? Because Adam and Eve, like Pete Rose millennia later, did literally the one thing they weren't supposed to do, and got banished because of it? The Astros had a 2-1 lead but immediately gave it back and couldn't overcome the deficit against Luis Severino. Hinch:
[Severino] is elite for a reason and I think we saw why tonight. They're a good team and you have to play well to beat them. And there are a couple of games here we should have beat them.

*Severino: 7IP, 4H/2ER, 11K:1BB. In two starts against Houston this season, Severino: 16IP, 9H/2ER, 21K:2BB.

*Keuchel: 5IP, 7H/4ER, 7K:3BB. He also threw two wild pitches. Keuchel:
It helps out we see each other just in May, and hopefully we'll see each other in October. There's a lot of baseball left, and that's why we play series like this, to see where we're at, at the end of May, and see what kind of adjustments we need to make and go on from there. 

*Having given up an earned run in one game prior to May 27, Collin McHugh has now given up a run in consecutive outings. He threw 3IP (saving the bullpen for a night), 1H/1ER, 3K:1BB. His ERA is a washed 1.05.

*Max Stassi was basically the lone bright spot on offense, going 2x3 with both of the Astros' extra-base hits (a double, a home run) and driving in all three of the Astros' runs.

*Carlos Correa was 0x4 with 3Ks. It's his first game of the season with three strikeouts. The last time he was 0x4 with 3+ Ks? September 9, 2017. It's the 7th game of his career with zero hits and 3+ strikeouts.

He is 18x96 in May with 28K:1BB - a .188/.284/.365 line. That said, his home/road splits are remarkable (yes, I know he's finishing up a seven-game road trip):
Road: .321/.394/.495
Home: .189/.286/.400

*Jake Marisnick was 0x2 with two strikeouts. So that's 51 strikeouts in 103 plate appearances...and one walk. When we watch the 2018 Astros World Series documentary, we'll look back at the bottom of the 8th inning on April 28, 2018 when the Astros were up 10-0 on Oakland and get misty-eyed watching Marisnick draw a leadoff walk against Emilio Pagan and think, "That's the point in which the season...well it wasn't a whole lot of fun at that point...but good ol' Marisnick, drawing a walk."

103 plate appearances, and Marisnick has gotten to a three-ball count 12 times (he struck out in five of those).

*Aaron Boone:
When I look across that that club, I look at them as, they're a really good team. We know that. I certainly think we have their respect, and we know we're a really good team. But we recognize it is only May.

*Here we freaking go again. The Red Sox [Bart Scott voice] can't wait to get at the Astros tonight. So listen to some rando reliever named Matt Barnes, who I wish was the actual basketball douche Matt Barnes:
It's going to be an exciting series. I think everybody wants another shot at them. They're the defending champions. It's them, and we've got to go in there and show them that we mean business.

Come get this business, Not-Basketball-Douche-Matt Barnes.

*Alex Cora says that, without the 2017 Astros, there's no chance he's ready to be a major-league manager.

*There is no update on Brian McCann, and Josh Reddick continues to work out at Minute Maid Park and get back in shape after a "mysterious infection" above his knee has held him out.

*FanGraphs' Travis Sawchik: The Astros' quiet catching advantage.

*David Paulino's right shoulder hurts but the Astros don't know if it's serious, so why not just let him sit out and hope everything goes great.

*Forrest Whitley threw a simulated game earlier this week as the Astros take it slow from bringing him back after his 50-game suspension and lat strain. Luhnow:
I'm hoping it's a blessing in disguise because (a) other players will not end up in his situation and (b) we saved a couple bullets in his arm there that may come into play later this year...I think he's going to be anxious to make up for lost time. The motivation is there, he's learned a lesson. We're going to need him down the road, whether it's this year or next year. I think he's going to play an important role for our organization this year.

Close your eyes and think about Whitley pitching in Houston out of the bullpen in September and October.

*Crazy game in Fresno as the Grizzlies had a 3-1, 5-1, and 8-3 lead before allowing Albuquerque to tie it up. Fresno scored three runs in the top of the 10th, and then Albuquerque scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th. Fresno got one across in the top of the 11th for the 12-11 win. Kyle Tucker hit home runs in the 1st and 2nd off of Former Astros Great Brett Oberholtzer. Jon Kemmer was 4x6 while Tyler White and catcher Eduardo de Oleo went 3x6 each.

*Taylor Jones hit two home runs as Corpus beat Springfield 11-4. Myles Straw, Josh Rojas (HR), Randy Cesar (HR), Stephen Wrenn (HR, 2B), and Alex de Goti (2B, 3B) each had three hits.

*Brett Adcock threw 5IP, 2H/0ER, 6K:0BB in a 1-0 Buies Creek loss to Down East. Large Adult Pitcher Adcock, 2018: 44.2IP, 21H/11ER, 51K:23BB.

*In 1990 the Astros were so hot for high school catcher Jason Varitek that they offered him a six-figure bonus.

*Former Astros Great Kirk Saarloos will interview for the Rice head coaching job.

*A look at Former Astros Great Armando Galarraga's imperfect game (which is actually more memorable than had he correctly gotten his perfect game).