Monday, June 4, 2018

Monday Morning Hot Links

So here's how today is going to go. I'm actually chaperoning a week-long college trip, but clearly have internet access, albeit with no time between 7:20am - 10:30pm. The 2018 Draft is this evening. I'll be able to do a write-up on the 1-28 later tonight. On to last night's game:

*The Red Sox fought back to earn a split in the series, and Jexas has your wide-angle view of these past four games.

*Seattle won another 1-run game and are now one game up on the Astros, who are 37-24, 1-2 on Sunday Night Baseball. The Astros are 4-6 in their last ten games, 12-8 in their last 20.

*Just another opportunity to lament missed opportunities. The Astros lost 9-3 after going 1x14 w/RISP. Altuve was 0x3 w/RISP (including staring at a fastball straight down the middle of the plate from Matt Barnes with two on), Gattis and Correa were 0x2 each. Springer, Gurriel, Davis, and Stassi were each 0x1 and Alex Bregman - who hit a two-run single to make it 6-3 Boston in the 7th - was 1x3. Carlos Correa is 14x56 (.250 average) when hitting with runners in scoring position.

*Charlie Morton: 5.1IP, 9H/6ER, 7K:1BB. Morton:
It was just one of those nights that I felt like my back was against the wall because they were putting together good at-bats. I wasn't locating. I wasn't getting ahead.

*Alex Cora knows what's up with Charlie Morton. As Chandler Rome notes, Morton allowed a .164/.255/.262 slash line and a total of six home runs to left-handed hitters in 2017. Last night the Red Sox lefties got Morton for five hits, four of them for extra-bases, and two of those home runs.

It was the first time he has allowed 6+ ER in a start since April 7, 2016.

*Rick Porcello:
I think these last two games were big for us. It's early June, but we dropped the first two games and felt like we needed to kind of punch back a little bit. We had a tough time with them last year, in the last series and going into the postseason. We definitely took a couple punches the last two games, so it was good.

*The Astros put the leadoff man on base in the 1st (technically, because George Springer homered to lead off the bottom of the 1st), 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th innings and only managed the lone Springer run.

*Jose Altuve struck out three times in a game for the first time since August 14, 2017. That was his only 3K game of the season.

*Last night was the 3rd time the Astros have allowed 9+ runs. In 14 games in which Houston has allowed 5+ runs, they're 1-13. The 2017 pitching staff gave up 5+ runs in a game 68 times, and the Astros were 24-44.

*6-9 in the lineup (Gattis, Davis, Stassi, Kemp): 0x13, 2K:1BB.

*It was the Astros' 13th straight day with a game - eleven of those games were against 2017 playoff teams. They've played a game in 35 out of their last 38 days (and went 20-15). Hinch:
It's nice to have a home off day, and we need it right now. Physically, we're a little bit tired. Mentally, we're a little bit tired and we showed that a little bit. But we'll be fine. We're a pretty resilient group that just went through a little bit of a rough travel schedule like a lot of teams do.

*Don't look now but Tony Sipp's last 13 outings: 9.2IP, 6H/1ER, 9K:2BB.

*Ken Giles, man. He had a string of seven straight appearances, from April 9-30, in which he didn't allow a baserunner. Then there was the Right Cross game against the Yankees, which has started a different streak where he has allowed at least one baserunner in nine of eleven outings. Giles gave up 3H/2ER with 2K:0BB.

Giles, March-April 2018: 10IP, 6H/2ER, 7K:0BB.
Giles, May-June 2018: 9IP, 17H/9ER, 11K:1BB.

Giles has faced 80 batters and walked exactly one of them. He's just pounding the zone and his slider isn't right, so he's easier to hit. He has a 5.21 ERA.

*RELATED: Ken Rosenthal thinks the Astros could be in the market for a lefty reliever.

*Buster Olney: The Astros should be all-in on the potential for a dynasty (even though we all know this season is as good as over /eyes roll out of head). Olney:
They are right in the middle of their window to win, as they have a historically great rotation and a dangerous lineup. But they'll have to run the AL gauntlet in the playoffs before they have a shot at back-to-back titles, and they'll probably need a better bullpen to survive the Red Sox/Yankees/Indians steel-cage matches. Whether it's Giles or somebody else, they could really use a lockdown closer. 

*Here's a cool Tyler Kepner article on the 69-year old Brent Strom and how he has embraced the Astros' data-driven approach, and the weird story about how he landed with Houston in the first place.

*Our buddies over in England are trying to figure out who the 2018 Astros really are.

*The 33-23 Corpus Christi Hooks got bombed by Tulsa yesterday, but Josh Reddick was 1x4 in his first rehab appearance.

*A problematic agent is leaving the baseball industry over $33,000.

*Over at The Athletic, Our Boy Levi Weaver started a profile on Tyler Bauer's buddies at Driveline Baseball.

*With the World Cup starting in ten days (looking forward to that World Cup NIT match between the US and Italy), ESPN UK has a look at underground fighting in Russia, and Russia's new school hooligan culture.