Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday Morning Hot Links

The Astros beat the White Sox to complete the four-game sweep. They're 61-31, 30 games over .500 for the first time this season. At their current pace (.663) Houston is on track for a 107-55 record. Real life has no meaning. Houston is 24-6 in their last 30 games, the best 30-game stretch in franchise history. I have no thoughts on Keuchel's pre-game comments regarding Photo Day.

*The Astros improved to 13-16 in 1-run games.

*Houston finishes the regular season 7-0 against the White Sox. The last time the Astros went undefeated against a League opponent was in 2005, when the Astros went 6-0 against Philadelphia and ended up with the NL Wild Card spot over the Phillies by a mere game.

*Dallas Keuchel threw 7IP, 6H/1ER, 2K:3BB. It was his first win at home since May 13. It's also the first time this season Keuchel has had back-to-back starts of 21 outs.

Keuchel's last five starts: 31.1IP, 30H/9ER, 23K:10BB.

It's the 7th time this season Keuchel has struck out exactly three batters and the 2nd time he has walked more batters than he struck out. Keuchel:
It seems like everybody does their part and that's how we win.

*Not to get too "political" here, but Houston won on Sunday despite getting held to three hits. It's the 6th time the Astros have been held to three or fewer hits. They're 1-5. It's their first win on three or fewer hits since September 5, 2017 against Seattle, and the 2017 Astros were 3-3 when held to three or fewer hits.

*Jose Altuve hit his 9th home run of the season. It's a season-high 15 consecutive games with a home run. The franchise record is 19 consecutive games with a home run, set last year.

*Marwin got the game-winning run home on a suicide squeeze in an 0-2 count. Hinch:
It's one of the things I'm proud of. We homered today, but at the same time, there was minimal offense...The ability to win when maybe you shouldn't win or when you don't put up enough offense like the other side is a good feeling. Keuchel set the tone. You've got to win a lot of different ways over the course of a full season, and we do.

That was personal. That was more like I was thinking I have to do my job. I couldn't do it when AJ wanted me to do it with the first two pitches. The pitcher was throwing a good game, and he was on his game today. I decided to try it again one more time.

*White Sox starter Lucas Giolito got a Game Score of 64. The Astros have played 23 games when the opposing starter recorded a Game Score over 60, and they're 6-17.

*Yesterday was the 19th game in which the Astros have struck out five times or fewer. They're 17-2 in those games.

*Alex Bregman was 0x3 with 2Ks. He has 23 multi-hit games, and 21 hitless games, this season. It's just the 5th time this season that he's been held hitless and struck out twice, and the 7th time that he has struck out multiple times in a game.

*The Astros are still hopeful that Carlos Correa can return this week.

*Last night was the All-Star Game selection show. Jose Altuve led all players with 4,849,630 votes - the first time an Astro has led All-Star Game voting. Altuve and Craig Biggio are the only Astros to start four consecutive All-Star Games.

Joining Altuve on the team are Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, George Springer, and Alex Bregman. It's Cole and Springer's 2nd All-Star selection, Bregman's first, and Verlander's 7th. Give me enough time and I'll explain why every single Astro should be on the team. Springer and Bregman were elected via player ballot.

Former Astros Greats Mike Foltynewicz and Josh Hader are NL All-Star pitchers.

David Schoenfield: Blake Snell leads the league in Snubs.

*A.J. Hinch needs 24 more wins to take sole possession of 4th place on the Astros' all-time manager wins list.

*Hinch added Rays manager Kevin Cash to his All-Star Game staff.

*The Athletic's Rustin Dodd: One man's quest to quit his job and spend his life savings spreading baseball in the UK.

*England have a 27% chance of winning the World Cup, just behind France.

*Mental Floss: 12 Unsettling Facts about "The Metamorphosis."

*I don't get it. "Sweep" is right there in the GIF. What's with the four extra A's?