Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Morning Hot Links

Well. After dragging the Astros' home "offense" in this space on Saturday morning, The Saturday Night Astros decided to pour it on the Ari'ona Dia'on'bac's, 10-4. The Rays did the Good Thing and beat the Philadelphia Kansas City Oakland Athletics. Houston is 93-55, and have a 3.5-game lead with 14 regular season games remaining. The Yankees have a 1.5-game lead on Oakland to host the Wild Card game.

*The Astros need to go 10-4 to break the franchise single-season wins record. They need to go 8-6 to match 2017, and 7-7 to post the first consecutive 100-win seasons in franchise history.

1998-99 Astros: 199-125
2017-18 Astros: 194-116

*The Astros have scored 10+ runs 17 times in 2018. You may be surprised to find that nine of those times are at home.

*Six of the 12 Astros hits, and six of the Astros' ten runs, came from Springer and Altuve, 1-2 in the lineup.

-George Springer enjoyed his first 4-hit game since going 6x6 on May 7 against Oakland. Springer, since September 2: 20x49 (.408). 17 of those 20 hits are singles; he hasn't had an extra-base hit since Sept 5. His last 13 hits have been singles. Not that there's anything wrong with that. He has five home runs since the All-Star Break (15 before).

-Jose Altuve was 2x3 with a walk and 2RBI. He has a hit in seven of his last eight games, but needs 44 hits in the Astros' last 14 games. I don't think he's getting to 200 hits this regular season.

*Alex Bregman was 1x2 with 3BB, giving him 89BB this season. Only 16 players in Astros history have drawn 100+ walks. The last one to do it was Morgan Ensberg in 2006, with 101. Bregman needs 11 walks in 14 games to reach that milestone. He has eleven walks in his last eleven games.

Prior to the game he told the Arizona Republic that he remembers Arizona didn't pick him with the #1 overall pick:
I was super happy to come to a good organization like the Astros, an organization that was up-and-coming. But yeah, I was pissed. I wanted to be the Number 1 overall pick. Part of the reason I wear Number 2 is because of that. 

Later on he mentions that he wore 30 in college as a reminder of how many teams passed on him in the 1st Round of the 2012 draft coming out of high school.

*Josh Reddick hit his 14th home run of the season, his first since August 21. It's his second extra-base hit since that home run. The 14th home run passed last year's total of 13, and is now his 3rd-highest home run total in a season in his career. He needs 19 home runs in the next 14 games to break his career mark.

*Yuli Gurriel had a 3RBI game for the first time since August 19.

*Charlie Morton won his 15th game of the season, throwing 6IP, 3H/2ER, 7K:0BB. 20% of his career MLB wins are in 2018. It's his first start without a walk since May 12. Charlie Morton has a 3.15 ERA and the Astros are 16-11 in his starts.

Charlie Morton, 2008-2016: 46-71. 4.54 ERA / 1.44 WHIP. 6.3 K/9.
Charlie Morton, 2017-2018: 29-10.  3.37 ERA / 1.18 WHIP. 10.4 K/9.

In 2018, Morton has set a career-high in Wins, Games Started, and Strikeouts. He needs five more strikeouts to join Verlander and Cole in the 200K club.

*Charlie Morton threw a first-pitch strike to 20 of the 23 batters he faced. Astros pitchers threw a first-pitch strike to 28 of the 36 batters they faced.

*Jerome Solomon: Charlie Morton is a joy to watch.

*Chris Devenski has made three appearances since the end of July: 3IP, 5H/2ER, 3K:1BB, 2HR.

*Myles Straw made his MLB debut last night with a pinch-running appearance. Hinch:
Speed is the most obvious thing that he adds. When you get into the type of race we're in, playoff-caliber baseball, any small advantage would be a big advantage. He's an elite baserunner. His instincts are good, he's a good outfielder...Every time he goes into the game in the foreseeable future, it's going be either as a tying run, go-ahead run, or tack-on run.

Jandel Gustave was transferred to the 60-Day DL to make room for Straw on the roster. He'll wear #26 as though no one in the organization even cares about the legacy of Danny Worth.

*Sports Illustrated: What life is like for a September Call-up.

*Might Minor-Leaguers unionize, after all?

*Memphis scored three runs in the bottom of the 1st inning and rode it out to a PCL-clinching 5-0 win over Fresno. That'll do it for all Astros' affiliates. A run-down on how they did:

Fresno: 82-57, lost in PCL Championship
Corpus: 82-56, lost in 1st Round
Buies Creek: 80-57, won Carolina League
Quad Cities: 81-59, lost in 1st Round
Tri-City: 42-33, won New York-Penn League
GCL Astros: 27-28.

*With their 83rd win - a total the Astros reached on September 1 - Cleveland clinched their 3rd straight AL Central title.

*Leeds United scored in the 89th minute to tie Hated Millwall.

*A border patrol agent in Laredo is suspected of being a serial killer.