Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

Well I've pretty much never seen that before. A little while after Ken Giles put a whole buncha runners on base in the top of the 9th, and Hector Rondon couldn't keep them out, Alex Bregman broke Jonathan Lucre's ankles, causing him to drop the ball, and made it to first after Lucroy bounced the throw off Bregman's helmet, allowing Kyle Tucker to cross the plate as the game-winning run. Simple, huh? Last night was the 3rd time this season Houston has allowed 4+ runs in the 9th inning.

The Astros are 62-32. It's their 6th walk-off win (though, because of Lucroy's "catching" it was charged as an error, so Bregman doesn't get credit for his 4th walk-off win of the season) of the year, tied for the most in the Majors. Houston is 4.0 games up on Seattle, the 2nd day of the season they've had a 4-game lead (Houston had a 4.5-game lead on June 24)

What I saw was a mess at home plate. At first I thought Bregman thought it was foul. Then as he started to maneuver around, you see the ball kick out and [Lucroy] couldn't tag him under control. Then Bregman takes off.

In the moment, it's kind of fast. I definitely screwed that one up. The boys battled back. Great game. Piscotty had that huge homer. I let them down definitely back there behind the plate. That's on me. 

Now don't get me wrong: I LOVE empty accountability. You drove a forklift into a grocery store? Purse your lips, nod your head for effect, and tap your chest. "That's on me, guys." NO KIDDING. WHO ELSE WOULD IT BE "ON?" Can we talk about the Astros tying the game because Lucroy dropped the tag?

More Lucroy:
That's when we were playing dodgeball there for a couple of seconds. That was just a big mess, a big zoo behind the plate there. Hopefully I never have to see that again. That's the first time that's ever happened in my eight years. Hopefully it's the last time.

Dodgeball isn't very accurate, as Bregman would have been out when Lucroy plunked him in the head.

*Alex Bregman was 2x5 with a walk and two solo home runs. His 18th and now 19th home runs tie his career-high. It is July 11. Last night was the first 2HR game of Bregman's career. According to FOAC Baseball Savant, which is somehow free, Bregman's 24 barrels in 2018 eclipse his 2017 total.

*Kyle Tucker was 2x4 with a double, stolen base, and three runs scored.

*Springer was 2x6 with 2RBI.

*Justin Verlander threw 6IP, 3H/0ER, 6K:0BB. Against Oakland he's now 11-6 with a 2.55 ERA / 1.10 WHIP. His last loss to the A's came on August 27, 2013. The Astros are now 12-8 when Verlander starts. Imagine losing eight games when a guy with a 2.05 ERA is on the mound. And Houston was damn near 11-9, thanks to Ken Giles.

*Ken Giles has made 34 appearances this season. He has allowed multiple runs in just three of them. In fact, nine of the 17 earned runs Giles has allowed have come in those three games. That said, he's having a really hard time getting Them Stats when handed a cushy lead. He needed eight pitches to allow three singles (24 of the 36 hits Giles has allowed have been singles), get pulled to watch Hector Rondon allow all three of Giles' batters - and one of his own - to score. Giles has allowed multiple hits in ten of his 34 appearances. But only thirteen of his 34 appearances have been clean outings.

Oooh but Giles did a Swear!

I did hear about it. He was pretty mad in the dugout. I don't know, man. That stuff happens in the heat of battle. I'll have to look at it. He can let me know if it was directed at me. I didn't hear anything. You can certainly understand I'll address it. If it turns out it was at me, we'll talk about it.

So I mean, "F***, man" is channeling disappointment. The "You" between the "F***" and "Man" ... I'm going to go ahead and say that Giles was directing it at Hinch, for some unknown reason. Hinch isn't the one who didn't get a single person out, unless we're talking about Hinch yanking Giles amirite?

Both Giles and Verlander left the clubhouse before the media could go in.

*One day there is going to be a chilling movie made, generating all sorts of Industry chatter, wowing audiences at Cannes and Sundance, about a professional athlete who sees the ghost of a former player everywhere he turns. The Athlete sees the ghost's name written on the lineup card but simply can't believe it because said ghost died earlier that year. The Athlete has a complete mental breakdown as The Ghost makes ridiculous catches that no one can believe yet predictably can't make contact with the ball as he is using a Ghost Bat. "It's a psychological mind-bender" some random website will write. "I didn't sleep for days," wrote someone on Twitter, and it inexplicably makes it onto the trailer. Yes, folks, somehow Jake Marisnick is back, getting recalled for a few days while Gerrit Cole goes on bereavement leave. Hinch:
He can help us win. It's important to have his defense. He got caught in a roster crunch for a lot of reasons. He's a big league player and can help us.

Marisnick said he somehow felt "blindsided" by his demotion to Fresno last week. Marisnick:
I get the reasoning. We talked about it and it made sense. It's never what you want to do, but it's part of the business. The more you take it as an opportunity (rather) than a setback, the better it is. 

Also, Carlos Correa will try to swing a bat today.

*Marwin is day-to-day after taking Oakland CF Dexter Ricky Dustin Fowler's cleat to the hand. Tyler White replaced Marwin before he could take an AB and went 0x5 with 3K.

*Bloomberg: The investment portfolio approach that made the Astros World Series champions.

*Ballpark Digest has some details about the Minute Maid lease extension.

*Cleveland lost a game because Terry Francona asked for "OP" - Oliver Perez - and the bullpen thought he said "OT" - Dan Otero.

*MLB hitters explain why they can't beat the shift.