Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

Wheeeeeee this is fun, isn't it? The Astros put up four runs in the first three innings and rode it out to a 5-3 win over Toronto. The Astros are 99-57. Oakland doesn't lose anymore, so the Astros still have a 4.5-game lead with six to play. The Magic Number is Two. The Magic 8-Ball says "All signs point to yes." There's a lesson in there for all of us, no? A win tonight + an Oakland loss clinches the division.

As it stands the race I'm now more interested in is who will be hosting that AL Wild Card Game. Oakland is 1.5 back of New York, who still have three at Tampa and three at Boston. Oakland has two at Seattle and then three at Anaheim. Gotta figure the schedule favors the A's.

Houston is now 17-4 in September, and it would have been 18-3 if the idiot umpires in Boston and their Senior Idiot replay officials in New York knew how to look at a tv.

The Astros are 53-22 on the road this season. One more road win this season breaks the franchise mark, set in 2017. Bregman:
Everybody is really excited about us closing in on 100 wins and closing in on a division title, but there's only one thing on our mind and that's winning the World Series again. 

*Brian McCann hit his first home run since June 14, his 6th of the year. It's probably safe to assume that McCann's 12-year streak of double-digit home runs will come to a close in 2018. Though if he goes off in the next six days, I'm here for it.

*Yuli Gurriel, who won AL Player of the Week yesterday, went 2x4 for his 5th-straight multi-hit game. In September he's hitting .360/.388/.613. He has 11 RBI in his last four games. In The Athletic, Kaitlyn McGrath wrote about Yuli and Lourdes playing against each other for the first time.

*Alex Bregman got a hit but struck out twice in a game for just the 13th time this season. That said, his 52-game road on-base streak broke Jeff Bagwell's 1998-99 franchise record.

*Jake Marisnick hit a pinch-hit double - his first extra-base hit since coming off the DL. He has hits in back-to-back games for the first time since August 9/10 - right before going on the DL.

*Dallas Keuchel picked up his 13th win of the season, throwing 5IP, 7H/3ER, 5K:3BB. He threw 86 pitches. The Astros are 18-15 in Keuchel's starts, but 13-9 in his starts since June. He wriggled out of a bases-loaded/no-out jam in the 5th. Hinch:
Getting out of the fourth and fifth inning was huge. Just being able to control the innings a little bit to have the lead was a success for him. It could have really imploded if he doesn't make pitches and doesn't keep his composure and get out of the inning as lightly unscathed as he could. 

Keuchel hit the 200IP mark for the first time since 2015.

*The bullpen held Toronto to four hits - all singles - with 4K:0BB in the final 4IP. Every single one of Roberto Osuna's 20 pitches got booed.

*Former Phillies Great Ken Giles spoke about his time in Houston and said he was never sure what his role was, etc. etc. Yesterday A.J. Hinch did everything but call him a got dang liar. Hinch:
I wish Ken Giles well, but my advice to him would be to participate in the culture which he's in if he wants the benefits of it...We gave him every opportunity. We communicated with him effectively. We had an incredible culture...To have one person, of all the guys in our clubhouse, to come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong. 

*Carlos Correa won't play tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe never. Thankfully we all die in the end.

*Other games to watch for playoff purposes:
The Brewers are 1.5-back of the Cubs in the NL Central
The Rockies are 1.5-back of the Dodgers in the NL West
The Rockies are 0.5-back of the Cardinals for the 2nd NL Wild Card

*The entire National League has two teams with 90 wins. The AL East and AL West each have two teams with 90 wins.