Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday Morning Hot Links

Yesterday was a weird day. Ken Giles got demoted, Cionel Perez came up to replace him and actually got to pitch this time around. Lance McCullers was all over the place and the Astros lost 8-3. They're 62-33.

*McCullers: 4IP, 4H/6ER, 1K:5BB, 2 HBP, 2WP. Ahem. Some notes:
-Coming into 2018 McCullers had walked 5+ batters once. He's done it twice this season now.
-It's the 2nd time with 2 HBP, the 6th time in his career
-McCullers threw a first-pitch strike to 13 of the 24 batters he faced. 
-His 26 Game Score is the 7th time in his career he has had an outing with under a 30 Game Score, and the third such start this season.

You could just tell he was battling himself. He just didn't have it. So...a little bit of mechanics, a little bit of approach but more of it just he just couldn't throw the ball where he wanted to.

*Tony Sipp struck out three of the four batters he faced in a perfect 4-out appearance. He has made 25 appearances this season and 21 of them have been scoreless. Twelve of them have been clean outings (0H/0BB). 

*Cionel Perez made his MLB debut, throwing 1.2IP, 2H/1ER, 2K:2BB. He got Khris Davis swinging to end the 8th for his first career MLB strikeout. Both the 8th and 9th featured a hit and a walk, though a hit allowed by Will Harris scored a run charged to Perez. Chandler Rome notes that - at 22 years and 81 days old - Perez is the youngest Cuban-born pitcher to make his debut since Jose Fernandez in 2013. 

*Yuli Gurriel had a two-run single. 44 of his 48 RBI have come with runners in scoring position, and he's hitting .429/.455/.584 w/RISP this season. 

*Tyler White hit his first home run of 2018. 

*Jose Altuve has a 19-game home hitting streak, the longest streak in Minute Maid's history.

*Evan Gattis is 0x13 with 4K in the series against Oakland so far.

*The Astros were 1x2 w/RISP. They're 4x15 w/RISP in the first three games of this series.

*Alex Bregman was selected to be in the Home Run Derby.

Bregman will be the 5th Astro to compete in the Home Run Derby, and will face Kyle Schwarber in the first round.

*Carlos Correa swung a bat yesterday, and a rehab assignment is possible this weekend.

*Luhnow, on Giles:
There's some nights he comes out and looks dominant, faces the middle of a good lineup and gets them out. There's other nights he comes out and gives up three hits. Right now, we can't roll the dice every time he's out there and hope it's the three-out save as opposed to the three hits and out of the game.

I think it's important for him to get himself right to where he's directing all his attention toward the hitter and all the attention toward his job. He pitches with a lot of emotion and when things are going well, we love it, and when things aren't going well we have our concerns just because of the volatility of the end of the game type stuff.

*Jerome Solomon says that Giles' swearing at Hinch isn't the reason for his demotion. Jenny Dial Creech says Giles' outburst made sending him down an easy decision. Brian T. Smith says the Astros are "too good for Giles' antics."

Jake Kaplan says Giles' outburst on his way off the mound made the decision for the Astros, and notes that minor league pitching coordinator Josh Miller has been sent to Fresno specifically to work with Giles. 

*Forrest Whitley was officially placed on the DL with an oblique injury. Hector Perez was called up from Buies Creek to Corpus in the corresponding move.

*Patrick Sandoval (11th Round - 2015) threw 7IP, 1H/0ER, 8K:2BB for Buies Creek last night. The last time he allowed an earned run was May 23. In that span he's thrown - across two levels - 41IP, 24H/0ER, 47K:5BB. Dude's a Boss. In three starts for Buies Creek he has thrown 16IP, 4H/0ER, 20K:2BB.

*Bud Norris has been a complete douchebag to young Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks, writes The Athletic's Mark Saxon. Why? Well of course it has to do with his time in Houston. Norris:
Everyone was looking to me to be the leader and I wasn't ready for that. I didn't need the extra stuff on my plate. I really just should have been learning my craft and it definitely set me back mentally. It wasn't a positive environment. Losing that many games for that many years makes it a pretty negative environment. I didn't enjoy going to the ballpark most days and it messed up my personal life. 

So naturally the response is to make it so that someone else doesn't enjoy going to the ballpark.