Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday Morning Hot Links

I mean. The thing is. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not a great weekend to have a bad weekend against literally one of the worst teams in the League who also happen to be something of a Rival, whose reprobate fan base many of us have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, whose faces will shine as though they were anointed by God Himself by taking two of the final three games of the season series at Minute Maid Park. I hope the Astros players feel an appropriate sense of shame for their "performance" over the past two games. Get Bryce Harper to Houston by 1st pitch.

*Houston is 67-39. The Mariners and A's lost. For the 5th time this season the Astros have lost three straight games. They haven't lost four in a row all year. Since the All-Star Break the Astros are 3-4 with a -8 run differential (which includes two 9-run losses). Four of their last twelve games have included losses of 4+ runs. The Astros endured four losses of 4+ runs in their previous 65 games.

*Over the last three games the Astros have recorded 12 hits and seven runs with 23K:9BB. Springer hit his 18th home run and Bregman his 22nd. When the Astros hit 2+ home runs they're now 35-6.

*Justin Verlander kinda didn't deserve the loss, though the Rangers wore him out with extended ABs. Over the last two games the Rangers have fouled off 57 pitches, including 17 against Verlander (22 against Keuchel). JV turned in 5IP, 9H/2ER, 7K:1BB. Verlander:
Obviously you're trying to go deep in games but first and foremost you're trying to limit runs. I don't care if I go six or seven, if I give up four or five I'm probably not going to win. My goal is just to keep grinding through innings and try not to let those guys, however they got on base, not let them score. 

In his 23 starts, last night was the 3rd in which Verlander did not record 18 outs. He needed 99 pitches to get through 5IP. That said, Verlander has faced 602 batters in 2018 and has struck out 190 of them, compared to 27 walks. That's a 7.04 K:BB ratio. Let's regard Verlander's regular season K:BB ratio, organized from highest-to-worst, in his future Hall of Fame career:

2018: 7.04
2016: 4.46
2011: 4.39
2009: 4.27
2012: 3.09
2015: 3.53
2010: 3.08
2017: 3.04 (7.04 with Houston; 2.63 with Detroit)
2013: 2.89
2007: 2.73
2014: 2.45
2006: 2.07
2008: 1.87
2005: 1.40

It's worth mentioning that Verlander's K:BB ratio is 7.28 with Houston, and was 3.10 with Detroit. Hinch:
He had to work pretty hard, especially in the last inning. This has been JV's calling card for a lot of his career - when the run support's not there, he has a very small margin for error, and he's trying to work a little bit extra to make some perfect pitches, and he gets his pitch count up. He really did battle. 

Verlander became the 26th pitcher in MLB history with 2600 career strikeouts.

Oh it's worth noting that the Astros committed three errors, so there's a lot of side-eyeing going on from Verlander to the rest of the room. Hinch:
We've had a couple of brutal games in a row, so whether it's errors or tough at-bats or just a lack of connected at-bats where we can do positive things a couple of guys in a row. When you lose a couple of games, especially with the way that we've lost them, you can point to a lot of things. 

*The Astros have given up nine runs in the 9th inning over the last two games, after having allowed a total of 35 9th inning runs in the previous, you know, 93 9th innings.

*Give it up for Will Harris, who has two consecutive clean outings (2IP, 0H/0ER, 4K:0BB) for the first time since June 13/16.

*Tony Sipp's last nine outings: 8IP, 6H/0ER, 11K:2BB. He allowed 2ER on April 19. Sipp has allowed 2ER in 22.2IP since.

*Hector Rondon gave up 3H/4ER including a 3-run home run. He had not allowed a home run since May 13 against, hey, Texas. He had not allowed three hits in an outing since May 13 against, hey, Texas. He had allowed four earned runs from April 19-July 24, a span of 32 outings combined.

*Human Piece of Crap Rougned Odor went 5x5 with a legit home run (welcome to Houston, Alex Ryan Presley Pressly) and an inside-the-park home run. It's the first inside-the-park home run the Rangers have hit since Former Astros Great Delino DeShields did it in 2016...against the Astros. It's the worst. Congratulations for not hitting someone on the base paths. He last hit two home runs in a game on July 30, 2017. His previous career-high for hits in a game was four, on May 24, 2014 - his 12th career game. So that's fun. On this night, anyway, Odor outplayed Altuve. Look for Ramger fans to bring this up every chance they get.

*George Springer hit his first home run at Minute Maid since June 20.

*Josh Reddick was 0x4, hitting 3rd. God I miss Altuve and Correa. Reddick is 4x23 since the All-Star Break, and 1-for-his-last-14. I don't know that he needs to be hitting 3rd, but I don't know an alternative other than Bryce Harper.

*Yuli Gurriel is 3x29 since the All-Star Break.

*3-9 in the lineup went a combined 2x24 with 4K:0BB.

*Oh this is fun. Altuve went on the DL retroactive to last Thursday, for the first time in his career. Altuve:
Basic things, like walking and (going) down the stairs, it feels good. I haven't done anything more than that. Like I said, the doctor came, checked on me, and he said it was better to get it done. If they thing it's better to go on the DL for the team and for me, in order to come back healthy and strong, we've got to go there and do it. 

Tyler White was scratched from Fresno's lineup.

*As of this very moment, with Altuve and Correa out, the offense sucks. It'll (probably) be okay when they get back. I love Marwin for his 2017 heroics, but it's pretty clear that was an outlier season. Wear that ring, Marwin. Hope you find that stroke.

*Ryan Pressly needs to begin to understand that being from Dallas is not the same as being from Texas.

*Forrest Whitley could get some innings in Houston in September.

*Here are your Astros' re-ranked Top 30 Prospects. It's not looking good for David Paulino.

*Baseball Prospectus looked at the return for Minnesota in the Ryan Pressly deal.

*Doug Glanville: How I knew it was time to retire