Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday Morning Hot Links

So the Astros came within one of the dumbest walk-offs in MLB history of getting swept at home in a four-game series to Oakland. That's cool. Not irritating at all. Everything is fine. The Astros blew a four-run lead, their 15th loss of the season in which they had a lead. The Astros are 62-34.

*Oakland scored six unanswered runs. Houston was outscored 21-13 in the four-game series. Let's get something out of the way: Oakland is a pretty good team - a team that, outside of the three games they played in March, has a winning record in every calendar month of 2018. They're 31-19 in their last 50 games. I'm bad at math but that's a .620 winning percentage - oh wait that extrapolates to a 100-win season for almost a third of the year. Streaks happen, but don't sleep on Oakland.

We knew coming in they were playing well and we see why. They did a lot more right than we did during the series. They completed games, made us work and kind of wore us out and came up with big at-bats when they needed to. We got outplayed this series. 

Pretty terrible. They're a good team. They battled. There's no easy outs in that lineup, and they threw the ball extremely well.

The last four games stunk. I'll tell you that straight up. They're playing really good baseball. They've got a good, young core over there that can play really well and they can put some at-bats together, and we saw that this series.

Oakland is more of a long-term threat than Seattle. Mark it down.

*Charlie Morton: 4.1IP, 6H/3ER, 5K:2BB. 104 pitches to get 13 outs. It's his 2nd straight start throwing fewer than 6IP for the first time this season.

*Chris Devenski: 0.1IP, 4H/3ER. He has allowed at least one earned run in three of his last four outings.

*Every A's hitter got at least one hit except Jonathan Lucroy. JONATHAN LUCROY. He is definitely cursed for rejecting a trade to Cleveland to go to East Fort Worth.

*Alex Bregman and Tony Kemp had two RsBI each. Bregman was 1x4, Kemp was 1x2 with a stolen base and a two-run shot - his 3rd of the season. McTaggart notes that Bregman is the fourth player in Astros history to have 30 doubles before the All-Star break, and the 3rd player in club history with 50 extra-base hits before the Break.

*Evan Gattis went hitless for the series, going 0x16 with 5K:1BB. His OPS dropped from .832 to .789 in the series.

*George Springer was 0x2 with 2BB. He's hitting .248/.333/.417. That's a .750 OPS. Here are the OPSs of yesterday's lineup, following yesterday's "game."

Springer: .750
Bregman: .934
Altuve: .874
Gurriel: .770
Reddick: .738
Gattis: .789
Marwin: .652
Stassi: .804
Kemp: .824

So, a team that's 28 games over .500 has five of nine hitters with an OPS under .800. Also, Bregman is a BAWSE.

*Two good Jake Kaplan stories in The Athletic yesterday:
- Kyle Tucker's old-school approach
- Q&A with Alex Bregman on the Home Run Derby messing up his swing, where he has made improvements, and Powerade.

*Jon Heyman writes that the Astros make the most sense in a trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, while Jon Morosi says that the Astros have been in contact with the Rays about catcher Wilson Ramos.

*Over at FanGraphs, Marc Hulet posted an updated Top 10 Astros Prospects list.

*Yordan Alvarez and Jamie Ritchie hit their first Triple-A home runs in a 4-3 loss to Tacoma. Myles Straw was 4x5 with 2 SBs, his 49th and 50th stolen bases of the season.

*Midland scored four runs in the bottom of the 9th for a 6-5 walk-off win over Corpus. Hector Perez made his Corpus debut, and he threw 2IP, 3H/1ER, 2K:0BB.

*There were more errors (9) than runs (7) in Quad Cities' 4-3 win over Dayton, who committed six of the errors. Peter Solomon (4th Round - 2017) threw 5IP, 1H/1R (0ER), 5K:2BB.

*'s Jonathan Mayo took a question from @StrosBros1 and discussed Seth Beer and the quality of ACC baseball compared to the lower-levels of the minor leagues. Mayo:
As an advanced college hitter with good plate discipline, this is what he should do during his pro debut. Most pitchers in the lower Minors don't have outstanding command and don't yet know how to set up hitters with approaches as good as Beer's. 

*Drunk-ass bitch Papa John lamented not being able to say the N-word in a conference call and had to resign from the board of Papa John's and just watch his billion shares of his company depreciate. Minute Maid Park has a Papa John's. The Marlins and Rays ended their relationship with the trash pizza chain. Apparently the Papa John's at Minute Maid Park is actually owned by a third-party group  and since they're not the ones who dropped the N-Bomb, the Astros will just remain disappointed, like there's not twenty better local pizza joints in Houston that could step in and raise the quality of the offerings at Minute Maid Park. The Astros:
The Astros are incredibly disappointed with the statements made by Papa John's founder John Schnatter. We do not condone discrimination in any context and his comments do not reflect the mission, vision and values of our organization. The Astros are proud of our 10-year partnership with Houston Pizza Venture, a local Houston business and owner of the local franchises. We feel confident that the local franchisees and their employees share the Astros commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

Cool. /eyes roll out of head

*ESPN: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tries to figure out, "What now?"

*India's plan to build the world's tallest statue has divided Mumbai.

*Tonight Mike Fiers goes against Dallas Keuchel and I swear if any of you slanders Mike Fiers, then you will taste my pain. From May 30-July 26, 2017 Fiers made 11 starts when pretty much everyone in the rotation was on the DL and threw 65IP, 48H/19ER, 76K:24BB for a 2.63 ERA. That man will get a ring on Saturday and everybody in attendance should cheer.