Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

Just about the only one who gets to take a shower using hot water is Justin Verlander. Pretty much everybody else was slightly-above-room-temperature garbage. The offense couldn't take advantage of what was essentially a Yankees bullpen day and Ken Giles is awesome until he's not.

Our at-bats were less than our best tonight. We didn't have our best night offensively. Whether that was against Montgomery or whether that was against a bullpen we haven't seen a ton is irrelevant.

*In 14 away games the Astros are hitting .280/.366/.441 (an .807 OPS).
  In 17 home games the Astros are hitting .230/.305/.368 (a .673 OPS).

*Justin Verlander threw 8IP, 3H/0ER, 14K:0BB. Did Verlander have enough in the tank (after throwing 105 pitches) for the 9th? Verlander:
It's just kind of that one 30-second break where mentally I thought I was done and I didn't think it was right to kind of re-engage and say 'No, no, no let's go back out there.'

His Game Score of 96 is the highest for an Astro since Mike Fiers' no-hitter of the 2015 Dodgers (who would go on to lose the World Series to the Astros in 2017) recorded a 94. It's the highest for Verlander since his 92 on August 26, 2015 against Anaheim.

It's the 8th 90+ Game Score by an Astros starting pitcher since the beginning of the 1995 season. Clemens never did it. Pettitte never did it. Randy Johnson never did it.

*Giles faced five batters, four of them reached base including Gary Sanchez's three-run home run. Giles:
I tried to be aggressive in the zone and power him down with some sliders. I made a horrible pitch, and he deserved to hit it over the fence. That's how it goes.

Uh, Kenneth? We need to talk:

I mean, I'm not one to comment on another person's mental health but I'd maybe bring somebody in for a chat.

*Yuli Gurriel had two of the Astros' six hits. 5-9 in the lineup went 2x17 with 8K:0BB.

*Trevor Tyler Bauer kinda sorta hinted that the Astros weren't doing anything on the up and up.

National Treasure Alex Bregman responded:

The disrespect is blatant, and gorgeous.

McHugh got in on it:

So did Lance:

*Eno Sarris goes deep on the connection between pine tar, spin rate, and the Astros in The Athletic. Key paragraph:
It might be tempting to point out that Houston has the highest spin rate in the league, but that's also not very damning. When the team got Collin McHugh, they mentioned spin rate as a reason, and on the same list of high-spin pitchers that produced Collin McHugh sat Charlie Morton. It's very hard to prove that a team is using pine tar to increase spin, particularly when that team has already been (known for) selecting high-spin pitchers in the past.

What this will do is (rightfully get) Tyler Bauer soundly booed next weekend if he starts during the Cleveland series. Let's look at that right quick. Bauer started Monday night's game against Seattle. IF he goes every fifth game, here's how it would go:

April 30 v Seattle
May 4 @ New York
May 11 v Kansas City
May 16 @ Detroit
May 23 @ Chicago (Cubs)

Missing in that list is the Houston series, May 18-20. Even if you look at every fifth day, due to the weirdness of their schedule (the Indians have May 7, May 10, and May 17 off), it doesn't work out for Tyler to start in Houston. Of course, it's possible that Tyler Bauer and Terry Francona work the schedule so that he can, but who knows?

What this episode also does is provide ammunition for the sinners who walk in our world with impunity just looking for a reason to hate the Astros. There have been allusions to the incredulity around the Astros pitching staff without anyone coming right out and saying that they have Suspicions:

Giancarlo Stanton:
He's throwing five to eight miles an hour harder than when I saw him last. You do that and mix your pitches, it's going to be a nice little battle.

Jean Segura:
It's unbelievable. He goes from throwing 91 four years ago and now he's throwing 98. I don't get it. I thought when you get older your velocity goes down. 

If you hate the Astros, then you seize on Tyler Bauer's accusations, who provides some Deep State rationale as to why Charlie Morton is...continuing to do what he started to do with the Phillies, I guess, but is now healthy. Whatever. Tyler Bauer couldn't pitch in a playoff game because he hurt himself playing with a drone.

Basically what I'm saying is that, if you don't chant TY-LER at Bauer every chance you get next weekend, what are you even doing with your life?

*With a streak that ended last night Ken Giles is now the owner of the franchise's longest streak (seven games) without allowing a baserunner. Which is kind of like saying, "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the play?"

*A&M grad and Buies Creek starting pitcher Corbin Martin got promoted to Corpus. Martin has thrown 19IP for the High-A club, allowing 4H/1R (0ER), 26K:11BB. That a disgusting 0.00 ERA / 0.58 WHIP. He'll start for Corpus tomorrow night.

*I guess something weird happened on 790 recently. If it makes Deadspin, it's probably not good. And I've seen Zero Evidence that justifies keeping Josh Innes around.

*Mets GM Sandy Alderson threw some serious shade at Matt Harvey.

*Here's a great story on Dan Haren and his new role with the Diamondbacks.