Monday, July 2, 2018

Monday Morning Hot Links

Tropicana Field is stupid and no one should ever play there. Not even the Rays, who should be relocated to Nashville or Portland or Montreal or Mexico City. The Astros lost three of four against the Rays and four of seven in the season series. Sure hope the Astros don't catch them in the playoffs. Houston is 55-31, and 16 of those losses have been by one run.

*A.J. Hinch:
We didn't do enough to win the game or win the series. We made some mental errors, we had some big moments that they executed some pitches. One-run games, a couple of losses this series, are tough to swallow. We'll take it to the next city, but this one sucks.


*Houston had the bases loaded with one out in the 8th. Altuve struck out on a 10-pitch PA and Gurriel grounded out to end the inning.

*Houston has scored two or fewer runs in four straight games, breaking the previous season-high of three games from April 30-May 2.

*Charlie F. Morton threw a deliciously symmetrical 6.2IP, 6H/2ER, with 11K:2BB and most definitely did not deserve to lose. Both runs were actually allowed by Chris Devenski. It was his second straight double-digit strikeout game for the first time in his career. Morton has struck out 24 of the last 54 batters he has faced. Morton threw a first-pitch strike to 21 of the 28 batters he faced yesterday.

*Mallex Smith hit what proved to be the game-winning home run. It was his first home run since tagging Yu Darvish on July 21, 2017.

*Blake Snell is a legit starting pitcher. In two starts against Houston this year he's thrown 14.1IP, 7H/2ER, 16K:8BB. He walked seven batters in his start last weekend. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his last nine starts.

*The Astros got five hits. It's the 17th time this season that Houston has recorded five or fewer hits. They're 4-13 in those games. They went 0x14 w/RISP in the series.

*Evan Gattis got two solo home runs to account for all the scoring. It was Gattis' 3rd 2HR game of the season, the 11th such game of his career. All seven runs the Astros scored in this series were via homer.

*Josh Reddick hesitated on throwing a ball into the infield to protect a 1-0 lead. Reddick:
I just kind of froze. There's no excuse for screwing that up. I've got to get the ball in, and even if I throw it home early, we're still playing the ball game right now.

*Cionel Perez was optioned back to Corpus without having thrown a pitch, but I guess he got to sleep in a nice hotel in Tampa. Why? With Springer nursing a back injury, the Astros decided to keep A.J. Reed.

Common Opponents with the Mariners:

Anaheim: Houston 3-3, Seattle 4-2

Arlington: Houston 10-4, Seattle 5-4

Baltimore: Houston 3-0, Seattle 4-0

Boston: Houston: 2-2, Seattle 3-4

Chicago WS: Houston 3-0, Seattle 2-1

Cleveland: Houston 4-3, Seattle 5-2

Kansas City: Houston 5-1, Seattle 5-1

Minnesota: Houston 1-2, Seattle 5-1

New York: Houston 2-5, Seattle 0-3

Oakland: Houston 8-1, Seattle 6-3

San Francisco: Houston 2-0, Seattle 1-1

Tampa Bay: Houston 3-4, Seattle 5-1

Toronto: Houston 2-1, Seattle 2-1

The Mariners won another one-run game. 26 of their 54 wins have been by one run. This is extremely stupid.

Off-Day Playoff Odds Watch:

Projected Record:
FanGraphs: 103-59
FiveThirtyEight: 103-59
Baseball Prospectus: 101-51

% to win AL West:
FanGraphs: 95.2%
FiveThirtyEight: 82%
Baseball Prospectus: 89.7%

% to win World Series:
FanGraphs: 24.5%
FiveThirtyEight: 23%
Baseball Prospectus: 16.5%

*Josh James threw 5IP, 1H/3ER, 12K:4BB in a hard-luck loss to Sacramento. Fresno out-hit Sacramento 10-3, yet lost 3-1. Myles Straw was 4x5 with a stolen base, his 44th of 2018.

*Andy Pineda, a 21-year old CF who has been in the Astros' system since 2014, playing in his 6th game of 2018 and his 2nd above Tri-City, hit two home runs for Corpus in a 5-2 win.

*Seth Beer was 4x5 with an RBI in a 3-2 Quad Cities win over Kane County. He has seven multi-hit games in his 15 career pro games.

*Here's a great piece from Jesse Sanchez on the five ways MLB teams get international talent.

*Jon Heyman writes that the price tag on Padres' lefty reliever Brad Hand is going up.

*SI's Lee Jenkins: How Lebron ended up in LA.