Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Morning Hot Links

Interesting that the Astros were favored to win the Series, but FiveThirtyEight gave the G1 advantage to Chris Sale. Astros erupt for a couple of key homers and get solid starting pitching from Verlander, and take a 1-0 lead on the Red Sox. It was a weird game.

*There have been 36 LCS since 2000. Of those the team that won Game 1 went on to win the Series 25 times. The 11 who lost G1 and still won the Series:

-2013 Boston Red Sox
-2012 St. Louis Cardinals
-2010 Texas Rangers
-2008 Boston Red Sox
-2006 New York Mets
-2005 Anaheim Angels
-2005 Houston Astros
-2004 Boston Red Sox
-2003 New York Yankees
-2002 Anaheim Angels
-2000 New York Yankees

Jayson Stark: The team that won Game 1 went on to win 111 of 173 best-of-seven series.

*That G1 win shifted the FiveThirtyEight simulations to a 70-30 Astros series win. The Astros are 53-47 in G2.

FanGraphs has the ALCS at 68.7-31.3 Astros.

*Houston is 5-1 in Game 1s under A.J. Hinch. McTaggart notes that the Astros are the 2nd team in history to hit a home run in 13 consecutive postseason games (the 2001-2004 Astros did it, too). Hinch:
Mistakes happen at all times. But when mistakes happen in the playoffs and the momentum starts to shift to the other side, that's what you want to do. When you get an extra out, take advantage of it. 

*Through four postseason games, the Astros' pitching staff has held the Indians/Red Sox to 0x9 with runners in scoring position.

*Justin Verlander: 5IP, 2H/2ER, 6K:4BB.

Verlander had not walked four batters in a game all year. In 24 career postseason starts, Justin Verlander walked four batters for the 3rd time. Verlander's teams are 3-0 when he walks four batters. Weird. Verlander's teams are 15-9 when he starts a postseason game. The Astros are 7-1 in the postseason when Verlander starts.

Verlander's two runs came in the 5th when he walked three batters, including walking in a run, and threw two wild pitches, one that scored another run and tied the game at 2-2. Verlander:
That inning I had kind of lost my feel a bit. Couldn't point a finger to why. The tying run scoring was disappointing...But once that happens, then you've got to reset and not relinquish the lead. 

More Verlander:
To be able to get out of that inning and keep us tied, not relinquish the lead, that was, for me, the ballgame.

*Lance McCullers threw 13 pitches - 11 curves and two changeups. Eight were strikes, and he rung up two batters.

*Chris Sale allowed 1H/2ER, 5K:4BB.

Chris Sale had walked seven Astros in his 63.2 career IP before walking four last night.
Chris Sale had walked three batters in 16 career postseason IP coming into last night.

I still like our chances. We've got [Price] on the mound and we got a bunch of guys in here that are fired up over tonight. We're not gonna hang our heads in the locker room. We're not gonna give up. This is the time when we kick in gear and start fighting. 

*Josh Reddick hit his first postseason home run since Game 3 of the 2013 ALDS - a span of 127 PAs. Reddick:
We came in here knowing we had to take at least one out of here, so now we have the chance to go back to our place and hopefully clinch it out. Winning Game 1 was a huge step for us.

*Yuli Gurriel hit a 3-run home run, his first HR/3RBI game since GAME 5 OF THE 2017 WORLD SERIES. It's the 3rd 3RBI postseason game of his career. Gurriel has three hits this postseason, two of them for extra-bases.

*Carlos Correa was 1x3 with 2BB and the game's go-ahead RBI. Correa has 3K:5BB this postseason. Correa:
That was huge. It stopped their momentum, which came from scoring two runs the previous inning. It was huge, but most importantly, it gives me a lot of confidence, which is key.

Correa has 22 postseason RBI, most by any player in MLB history before turning 25 years old.

*Alex Bregman was 0x1 with 3BB, HBP and two runs scored. He's the first player to reach base four times in a playoff game without a hit since David Ortiz in the 2013 World Series. Bregman's 2018 postseason: .500/.737/1.200, 1K:7BB.

Jake Kaplan: Alex Bregman got it done by any means necessary.

*George Springer extended his postseason hitting streak to 10 games, tying Lance Berkman (2001-2004) for a club record. Since going 0x4 with 4K in G1 of the 2017 World Series, Springer is hitting .429/.510/1.071 in the postseason. Springer:
This is a clubhouse that believes in every guy. Doesn't matter who gets the job done, just get the job done. Pass the torch on to the next guy. I know that goes the same way with the guys in the bullpen, the starting staff, the guys who are playing and then the guys who come into the game. It's 'How can I be productive for the guys?' And it's a great thing to watch.

This team finds a way. In big moments, they show up. From top to bottom, nobody cares who the hero is as long as we have a hero.

*Game 2: Cole vs. Price, and the pressure's on Price. It's a 6:09pm Central start.

*Jeff Passan: The Astros look like they're on the cusp of a dynasty. Passan:
The game was close, closer than it deserved to be, and then it wasn't. Because just like that, every aspect of the Astros' excellence - hitting, fielding and pitching - can activate, and when it does, there's no better team in the world, not even the 108-win Red Sox.

*USA Today's Bob Nightengale: The Astros will be hard to beat, playing like this.

*Ronaldo is an icon of corruption in sports.

*A Musical Selection: