Saturday, July 28, 2018

Saturday Morning Hot Links

The Astros played a dumb game against a dumb team (without Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, it deserves to be noted; though, with Chris Devenski, who has suddenly turned unreliable). They lost. Houston is 67-38. There are 57 games left to play. At their current win%, Houston would finish the season with a 103-59 record.

*Houston has recorded seven hits and three runs in their last two games. Houston is 12-7 since dropping three straight against the Rays from June 29-July 1.

*The loss to the Rangers snaps an eight-game winning streak against West Tyler. The Ramgers' 15 hits and 11 runs against the Astros are the most since August 29, 2017 - when East Weatherford beat Houston in the first post-Harvey game in Tampa, so as not to inconvenience their season ticket holders. Houston is 12-5 against Upper Waxahachie in 2018.

*Dallas Keuchel needed 102 pitches to get through 5IP with 6H/3ER, 5K:2BB, breaking his streak of four straight wins and taking his first loss since June 22, a 1-0 loss to Kansas City. He allowed a home run to Robinson Chirinos, the first batter in the previous 243 to hit a home run against Keuchel. On June 5, Keuchel gave up three home runs in a 7-1 loss to Seattle. He did not allow another home run until tonight - a span of eight starts.

*Chris Devenski faced five batters and didn't retire a single one, allowing four hits (three singles and a home run) and a walk. The last nine batters he has faced have reached base (7H/8ER, 0K:2BB), and 15 of the last 21 batters he has faced (over four outings dating back to July 12 have reached base. His ERA has gone from 2.33 to 4.19 in his last two outings.

Devenski, July 2018: 35 batters faced, 15 outs. 14H/13ER, 4K:4BB, 4HR. 23.40 ERA / 3.60 WHIP. 0 FUN.

*Yovani Gallardo got his first win against Houston since August 4, 2015.

*The Astros struck out eight times, marking the 10th game in their last eleven in which they recorded nine or fewer strikeouts. After recording 12 double-digit strikeout games in their first 25, the Astros have 10+ strikeouts in a game 12 times in their last 80.

*Evan Gattis went 3x3 with his 20th home run of the season, marking the 5th season out of six with 20+ HR. Last night was his 5th 3-hit game of the season. The Astros are now 4-1 in those games.

Evan Gattis home runs by month:
March/April: 1
May: 6
June: 8
July: 5

*Jose Altuve was held out of last night's game, and Hinch isn't sure about tonight, either. Prior to last night's game:
He's still pretty sore and we're going to hold him out as a precautionary measure. I don't know what that means for this series or anything more than today. 

*The big news of the night otherwise was the Astros' acquisition of outfielder pitcher Alex Ryan Presley Pressly from the Twins, in exchange for pitcher Jorge Alcala and the astronomically-named Gilberto Celestino. Cionel Perez was optioned to Fresno to make room. Hinch:
He's somebody that we looked at pretty hard and he fits how we like to pitch. He fits in a lot of different roles for us. I need to shake his hand first before I kind of know what we're going to do with him. I knew it was in the works. 

Pressly is striking out a career-high 13.03 batters per nine innings, the 7th-highest rate in MLB. McTaggart notes that his four-seam fastball has the 5th-highest spin rate and his curve has the 2nd-highest spin rate in MLB. That worked out pretty well for the Astros, and for Collin McHugh. Oh, and Pressly is under team control through 2019.

Jorge Alcala was the Astros' #10 prospect, with Celestino ranked by MLB at #15 (#7 in BP's offseason list). On the year, Alcala has thrown 79.1IP, 61H/29ER, 82K:35BB between Buies Creek and Corpus. Celestino is in his 2nd year in a domestic league, and was hitting .317/.383/.476 for Tri-City as a 19-year old. Best of luck to both of them with the Twins as the Astros go for their second straight World Series championship.

*Yesterday's trade acquisition Candy Martin Maldonado is pumped to be out of the perennially-.500 Angels. Maldonado:
They know how to win. They find a way to win. As a player, that's where you want to be.

*Carlos Correa, who is locked in a tiger cage on board a steamer to Fiji, said he tried to ramp his rehab up too quickly, and had to start over.

*Chandler Rome: Kyle Tucker is still trying to figure out big-league pitching.

*Couple of updates from McTaggart on some familiar faces: Jandel Gustave is out until 2019 while Frankie Tuesday could be back in August.

*Check this Jake Kaplan Q&A with Geoff Blum about Vlad and Trevor Hoffman.

*Former Astros Great Brett Phillips is headed to Kansas City in the Mike Moustakas trade.

*Check out this cool story about an 87-year old Cardinals fan, and the Baseball Hall of Fame, who is hosting the 2018 Induction this weekend.

*SI: Have the Mariners found a formula for success?