Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday Morning Hot Links

Will Harris, man. Harris gave up two home runs in the 7th, one right after walking #9-hole .196-hitting Jackie Bradley, Jr, to turn Verlander's 3-2 lead into a 5-3 deficit. The Astros got one back but lost another 1-run game.

*The Astros are 37-23, a .617 win% that is .04 points behind the Mariners (.621) for 1st in the AL West, out of 1st for the first time since May 7. The Astros are 4-12 in 1-run games. And are still projected to finish the season 63-39.

*Verlander: 6IP, 3H/2ER, 6K:2BB. Verlander:
Top to bottom, these guys have a great lineup. That's two lineups in a row that have grinder, and that's the difference between great lineups and good lineups and mediocre lineups. The great ones, they find a way to grind you down. Myself personally, a little disappointed in a couple of walks that both ended up scoring, but overall not quite as consistent today as I have been.

*It's Verlander's 11th straight Quality Start. In 13 starts this season, Verlander has left the game with the lead eight times. The Astros are now 7-1 in those games. When he leaves the game ahead or tied, Houston is 7-3. The four runs are the most the Astros have scored in a Verlander start and lost. /side eyes Will Harris.

*Verlander and Harris combined to walk three Red Sox batters. All three scored.

I didn't do my job. I got behind Vazquez and grooved a heater, 3-1, and he hit a home run. I walked (Bradley) after getting ahead of him and then got ahead of (Benintendi), and he put a good swing on a good pitch, so yeah, I didn't get the job done.

*Lefties are 2x22 against Tony Sipp this season.

*David Price:
This is a place I feel like I've had success and a team I've had success against. Just went out there and tried to execute pitches and enjoy it one pitch at a time.

In his regular season career, Price has made 11 starts against the Astros and thrown a quality start seven times. But let's split this into two eras:
2008-2014: 38IP, 28H/12ER, 37K:6BB
2015-2018: 27IP, 24H/9ER, 38K:7BB
2017 postseason: 6.2IP, 5H/0ER, 6K:2BB

Okay, yeah, he's right. Career 2.95 ERA / 1.02 WHIP against Houston. But at Minute Maid Park, career: 31IP, 27H/14ER, 32K:7BB - 4.06 ERA / 1.10 WHIP.

*6-9 in the lineup (Gattis, Stassi, Marwin/Kemp, Marisnick/Davis) combined to go 1x15 with 5K:1BB.

*Alex Bregman hit his 6th home run of the season. He hit his 6th home run of 2017 on May 31 - the Astros' 54th game of the season. Four of his six home runs have been to left field. After hitting four solo home runs to start the season, Bregman's last two have come with runners on base. It was his 2nd career home run against a former Cy Young winner (Felix Hernandez on June 23, 2017).

*JAKE MARISNICK DREW A WALK. And after being down 1-2 in the count! Marisnick had been in a 1-2 count 24 times and had struck out 15 of those times. AFTER a 1-2 count, Marisnick had gone on to strike out 30 out of 47 times. With 52K:2BB, Marisnick's K:BB ratio is a minuscule (Ed. Note: I've been spelling "minuscule" wrong for 38 years) 26.0.

*Justin Verlander is May's AL Pitcher of the Month. He led all MLB starters with 2.0 fWAR in the month of May alone. Verlander posted 0.86 ERA (1.68 FIP, 3.43 xFIP) as well as a 10.80 K/9 and 1.51 BB/9.

*Harris had not allowed a home run since ALCS Game 3 (the Astros lost 8-1) and had never given up two home runs in an appearance before.

*Marwin Gonzalez was injured after he tweaked his knee making a leaping catch at the wall.

*Tony Kemp's job is safe for now. Derek Fisher was activated from the DL and optioned to Fresno. Next question is who joins Fisher in Fresno when Reddick gets activated: Marisnick or Davis.

*Speaking of Josh Reddick, he will join Corpus for a minimum of two games starting today at Tulsa, and Tuesday at Whataburger Field. Reddick:
It's felt great for the last five days. No pain. Walking was an issue a (week) and a half ago. But now, with no issues, there's no limping or anything like that. So it feels great walking around, running, doing baseball activities - everything feels great.

Baseball Activities is such a great descriptor. Yesterday morning I did Dad Activities as I signed the family up for a Y membership and then went to Lowe's and then got tacos for everybody. Dad Activities.

*ESPN will broadcast tonight's game from the Crawford Boxes.

*Here's a great Q&A with Gerrit Cole from ESPN's Marly Rivera. Stay for the Altuve/Vlad comp and read all the way through how playing catch with Justin Verlander in Spring Training blew Gerrit Cole's mind. Cole:
I think this is the best pitcher that I've been in my career so far. But it's not the best that I am going to be.

*After tonight's game the Astros have an off-day and then get a weird two-game home series against Seattle. Astro-Killer James Paxton will face Dallas Keuchel Tuesday.

*Kyle Tucker hit his 8th home run of the season and Tyler White hit his 9th and 10th home runs of the season in a 5-2 Fresno win over Albuquerque. Trent Thornton threw 6IP, 4H/1ER, 6K:0BB. Thornton's last seven starts: 38.1IP, 29H/10ER, 45K:6BB.

*Down 2-1 with two outs in the top of the 9th, Corpus' Alex De Goti hit a two-run home run. Kit Scheetz threw 3.2IP, 0H/0ER, 2K:0BB in relief of Alex Winkelman, who threw 4.1IP, 4H/2R (1ER), 4K:2BB.

*Buies Creek's Hector Perez was all over the place against Potomac, allowing 5H/4ER, 2K:6BB with 3 wild pitches in 4.2IP

*Quad Cities OF and UH guy Corey Julks hit a walk-off pinch-hit two-run double in a wild 10-9 win over Beloit. Quad Cities were down 6-2 and 7-3 before taking an 8-7 lead going into the top of the 9th and a 9-8 lead going into the top of the 10th.

*Tommy LaStella: How baseball's best pinch-hitter delivers off the bench.

*Aaron Boone isn't happy about the Yankees' upcoming make-up schedule that has the Yankees playing a Sunday Night Baseball game before a Monday doubleheader.

*I teach in a school that is 40% Hispanic and once ran around my classroom yelling "Dos a Cero!" So no, I will not be referring to Mexico as "America's Other Team."