Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday Morning Hot Links

The 2018 Houston Astros are now the greatest team in franchise history (postseason-pending, because by God if they lose to the Barves in the NLDS...) with their 103rd win of the season, setting the franchise mark for wins. They can go for 104 today with Charlie Morton on the mound, who just might let the Orioles score a few runs just so they can feel good about themselves going into the offseason. After today you will have four days to get re-acquainted with your family and read for pleasure and drink Detox Tea before it's time to get to Real Issues. I can't wait to be an insufferable prick for the next month. Stupid half-marathon training getting in the way of killing my liver.

*Hinch, on 103 wins:
We took a moment because it's a great accomplishment and we should be proud...We did want to be in the record books, and the most wins in franchise history is a big deal. 

*With the double-header sweep, A.J. Hinch is 374-273 as the manager of the Astros. He's the first Astros manager to sit 100 games over .500 for his career. Larry Dierker was 87 games over .500 from 1997-2001.

*They're 45 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history.

*The Astros' 57 road wins is the 2nd-highest in MLB since 1961.

*What do you want to know? The Astros took both sides of a double-header against the Orioles, as they should have. I get the feeling that the next series they play will be a little tougher than this.

*Justin Verlander threw 6IP, 3H/0ER, 10K:1BB and was robbed of a win by Joe "Left Off The Playoff Roster" Smith, who allowed three of the six batters he faced to score. Idiot. Fake-ass ID name lookin-boy.

In his last two starts, Verlander has thrown 12IP, 4H/0ER, 21K:1BB and has no decisions. Let's consider: Verlander finished the regular season 16-9. Verlander, by month, 2018:

March: 6IP, 4H/0ER, 5K:2BB, 0.00 ERA / 1.00 WHIP
April: 33.2IP, 17H/6ER, 43K:6BB, 1.60 ERA / 0.68 WHIP
May: 41.2IP, 22H/4ER, 50K:7BB, 0.86 ERA / 0.70 WHIP
June: 37.1IP, 35H/18ER, 46K:9BB, 4.34 ERA / 1.18 WHIP
July: 30IP, 27H/9ER, 46K:3BB, 2.70 ERA / 1.00 WHIP
August: 32.1IP, 35H/19ER, 50K:6BB, 5.29 ERA / 1.27 WHIP
September: 33IP, 16H/4ER, 50K:5BB, 1.09 ERA / 0.64 WHIP

16 of Verlander's 60 Earned Runs (26.7%) came in three starts against Tampa, Detroit, and Seattle. And now he's all jazzed up and ready for the playoffs. I feel good about this.

Verlander has back-to-back scoreless starts for the first time since October 5/10, 2013 - ALDS vs. Oakland.

Verlander has 11 starts in 2018 in which he has thrown a Quality Start and gotten a no-decision or a loss. He gets a little less than half of those with some run support and he's 21-4. AL Cy Young.

Justin Verlander had 10+ strikeouts for the 4th straight game and the 13th time this season. That seems high.

Verlander's 0.90 WHIP for the regular season is the lowest in Astros franchise history. The Top 10:

1. Justin Verlander (2018): 0.90
2. Chris Devenski (2016): 0.914
3. Mike Scott (1986): 0.923
4. J.R. Richard (1980): 0.924
5. Turk Farrell (1963): 0.969
6. Mike Scott (1988): 0.98
7. Roger Clemens (2005): 1.008
8. Doug Jones (1992): 1.012
9. Don Sutton (1981): 1.015
10. Dallas Keuchel (2015): 1.017

Chandler Rome says that Verlander's number scream "AL Cy Young." Czech out Ken Rosenthal in The Atlantic on Verlander's Cy Young chances.

*Joe Smith allowed a three-run homer. Twelve of the 52 home runs he has allowed in his career have been 3-run shots. Six of the seven home runs he's allowed in 2018 have been on the road.

*Will Harris hasn't allowed a run since August 14, so maybe dial your slander back. That's 13.1IP, 5H/0ER, 11K:2BB.

*Keuchel, who started Game 2:
To be able to start this game was pretty special to know we had a chance for the franchise-record single-season in wins. It's been pretty special for me here the last three or four years, turning the corner with the franchise and getting a heck of a lot better. This is something I'll cherish for a very long time. 

Three years / $50 million for Keuchel. Who says no: Keuchel, Boras, or the Astros?

*In Game 2 Ryan Pressly got the Save despite walking a batter. It's the 3rd batter he's walked in 23.1IP (84 batters faced) as an Astro.

*Speaking of slander, I will take all of the credit for suggesting that Correa be left off the playoff roster and his subsequent 2-XBH game in Game 1, his first since May 4.

*Josh Reddick was 3x5 in Game 1, his first 3-hit game since August 4.

*SMH Myles Straw hit an MLB home run before Kyle Tucker did.

Kyle Tucker: 61 home runs in 1739 minor-league plate appearances (one every 28.51 PAs)
Myles Straw: 3 home runs in 1830 minor-league plate appearances (one every 610 PAs)

*The Astros swept a double-header despite going 1x13 w/RISP over the two games.

*Double-headers are hard to recap in a daily post, so I'll stop.

*Charlie F. Morton says today's start against the OrioLOLes is big for him physically and mentally. Morton:
I felt like it was hard to let the ball go, and I think some of that is probably where we are in the season and where I've been for the last couple of years coming off a season [2016] where I didn't pitch a whole lot. This is the most I've ever thrown back-to-back years, and I'm just trying to manage it going into the playoffs.

Out of eleven seasons in the Majors, Morton has thrown 25.8% of his career regular-season IPs in 2017-18. That's nuts. I also did not realize that Morton has led the League in HBPs in four of the last six years, including 2018. But he's such a gentleman that opposing batters he hits with a 99mph fastball approach the mound, shake his hand, and then walk to 1st Base to wait for their Bruise Surprise.

*Lance McCullers to Jake Kaplan: "I am ready to go."

*Did Seattle's clubhouse chemistry undo them?

*The Cardinals will not make the postseason for the 3rd straight year, the first time that's happened since 1997-1999.

*David Wright was everything the Mets could have hoped for.

*Let's hear it for chaos in the National League. GIVE ME TWO GAME 163s

*55 years ago yesterday, John Paciorek played in his one - and only - Major-League game. He went 3x3, 0K:2BB, 3RBI, 4 Runs Scored. And he never played in another Major-League game.

*A Musical Selection