Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

*Charlie. F. Morton. The Astros enjoyed a career night from Alex Bregman and a 5-run 8th inning that they didn't really need in order to beat the Blue Jays, 7-0. Houston is 53-28.

*The Astros' +173 run differential after 81 games is the 5th-best mark in AL history, and the best since the 1939 Yankees.

*Charlie Morton: 7IP, 4H/0ER, 13K:2BB.

Morton came into last night's game with 109 strikeouts in 88.2IP. In 2011 he had 110 strikeouts in 171.2IP. It was Morton's 5th 10+ K start of 2018.

Double-digit strikeout games, Charlie Morton:
2008-2016 (161 starts): 1
2017-2018 (41 starts): 8

Hinch, on Morton:
Just incredibly dominant. The swings that he was getting. The takes that he was getting. When he's got 97-98, locating it where he did, and the big power breaking ball was exceptional tonight. He as in attack mode. Everything was working.

By the time you realize Charlie Morton is in attack mode you're already dead.

*Blue Jays starting pitcher Ryan Borucki held the Astros to 6H/2ER, 3K:4BB over 6IP in his major-league debut.

*Alex Bregman was 4x5 with three doubles and a home run and 2RBI. He's the 4th player in franchise history with four extra-base hits in a game, joining Kevin Bass, Jeff Bagwell, and Jose Altuve. It's the second 4-hit game of his season and career. He has six hits in his last nine PAs. He had not had more than two extra-base hits in a game this season. The last time Bregs had three extra-base hits in a game was July 24, 2017 - two doubles and a homer. Bregman raised his OPS from .834 to .866 last night.

*Jose Altuve was 1x1 with 3BB. It's his 5th career 3+ BB game. You have to go all the way back to June 23, 2018 to find the last time Altuve walked three times in a game. In 2011 Altuve needed 184 PAs from July 20 through September 9 to record three walks.

Altuve is hitting .419/.571/.774 in his last ten games, with 4K:11BB.

*Josh Reddick was 3x4, his first 3-hit game since April 4. He has made 11 starts since returning from the DL and has a hit in ten of them. Last night's double was Reddick's first extra-base hit since May 20.

*Jake Marisnick was 2x3 with a walk and a three-run home run. Look for the incoming 10-year extension later today. From June 2-12, Marisnick was 0x10 with 7K:2BB. Since then he's hitting .381/.458/.762.

*George Springer snapped an 0x20 skid with a double and asked for the ball.

*Carlos Correa was out last night with back stiffness, and Christian Boutwell notes that the upcoming schedule is why.

*The Washington Post's Neil Greenberg says that the Astros are on pace to be one of the more dominant teams in MLB history.

*Mike Scott's division-clinching no-hitter is David Schoenfield's pick for the most dominant pitching performance in Astros history.

*Buies Creek's Hector Perez threw a CGSHO against Myrtle Beach yesterday: 7IP, 7H/0ER, 8K:0BB. Perez's last four outings: 20.2IP, 11H/2ER, 27K:6BB.

*Dean Deetz - suspended 80 games for testing positive for a PED - was reinstated yesterday. The Astros' 40-Man roster has 38 Men on it.

*SI: The Second Act of Sammy Sosa.

*Jayson Stark in The Athletic: The future of starting pitching is ominous. Stark:
When a Max Scherzer or Gerrit Cole spins off an epic 15-strikeout, 2-hit kind of evening, that's baseball theater at its greatest. But when it's seven pitchers combining for a three-hour, 36-minute, 15-strikeout, two-hit kind of evening, that's "mind-numbingly bad baseball."

*Craig Calcaterra: Dayton Moore's defense of child molester Luke Heinrich "stinks to high-heaven."