Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday Morning Hot Links

In a stunning betrayal, I guess my body is back to waking up at 5:30am no matter what. The Astros rallied late to extend their winning streak to 11 games, matching their best streak from 2017 and is one short of the franchise record of 12, set in 2004.

*The Astros are 48-25, 1.5 up on Seattle. They went 10-0 on the road trip, outscoring their opponents 74-35, a +39 run differential (incidentally, the Astros' run differential in their last ten games is 17 runs better than the Mariners' run differential for the season). Houston's ten wins in their last ten road games is better than Baltimore's nine road wins all season. The Astros have scored 246 runs on the road this season; Baltimore has scored 248 runs total.

*ESPN notes that Houston's 10-0 road trip is the 6th such road trip in the last 65 seasons. The 11-game win streak is tied for the 5th-longest by a defending World Series champ in the last 80 years.

*Hunter Atkins: If only the Astros could hit at home like they do on the road. Atkins notes the lack of gaps in the outfield at Minute Maid, thanks to the Crawford Boxes. Springer:
The Crawford Boxes create a positioning where you don't have to play left field. You essentially have an extra defender - that's the wall.

*The Astros are 11-5 against the AL Central and have not yet played the Tigers.

*Houston is outscoring opponents 135-77 in the 7th inning and later. They have 19 comeback wins.

*Houston has hit a home run in eleven straight games, and 22 of their last 23, thanks to Carlos Correa's 8th inning home run.

*Evan Gattis was 3x4 with an RBI. 7-8-9 in the lineup (Gattis-Marwin-McCann) went a combined 6x11 with 3RBI.

*George Springer was 0x5 with two GIDPs. The Astros GIDPd four times yesterday, a season-high and their most since August 7, 2014. Houston had four GIDPs in a single game three times in 2014 and went 0-3.

*Tyler White hit a pinch-hit double for his first MLB hit of the season.

*Lance McCullers: 6IP, 6H/4R (2ER), 9K:2BB. The nine strikeouts are his most since April 17, and tie his total strikeouts in his last two starts combined.

*Tony Sipp, Ken Giles, and Hector Rondon threw 3IP, 0H/0ER, 2K:2BB.

Sipp has not allowed a run since May 7, a span of 13 appearances.
Giles enjoyed his first 3-out clean appearance (0H/0BB) since May 9.
Rondon has not allowed a run since May 13, a span of 13 appearances.

*Mike Moustakas and Danny Duffy were ejected in the 3rd inning by umpire Mike Tumpane thanks to Marwin's throw to the plate that got Moustakas. Duffy:
We all thought (Moustakas) was safe. Maybe I'm seeing it with biased eyes and there wasn't enough to overturn it....We were pretty much all in shock. But we get punched by replay all the time. I'm personally tired of getting punched by Tumpane. I think we all are. And I think it needs to be looked at. I'm not saying there's bias there but I'm sure it will go back to whoever it needs to go back to.

Duffy set a record for the most times saying "punked" in a paragraph since 2005.

*A.J. Hinch doesn't mind some of the Astros' aggressive base-running mistakes.

*Bill Brown will fill in for Steve Sparks for this series against the Rays.

*New dads on the Astros and Royals reflected on their first Father's Day.

*The Rays are going to use Ryne Stanek as an opener for tonight's game against the Astros.

*Corpus beat San Antonio 8-6 yesterday, and whoever wins tonight will claim the first-half division crown and an automatic playoff spot.

*The Mariners start a 10-game road trip against Boston, New York, and Baltimore.

*Celebrating Mexico fans set off earthquake sensors after their deciding goal against Germany yesterday.