Monday, October 8, 2018

ALDS Champion Hot Links

It would have been a pretty boss move for TBS to cut to the Astros' clubhouse and see them all in smoking jackets, holding a glass of bourbon, raise a toast, and then get dressed. But I guess spraying Budweiser on each other is cool, too.

*Houston celebrates its first postseason sweep in franchise history, which seems really weird to type out. The Indians have lost nine of their last 11 postseason games.

The Astros also tied a Major League record by hitting a home run in 12 straight playoff games

*That game was sketchy at first, though. Keuchel was working well, but the offense had some trouble, until the Astros chased Clevinger. Bauer came in and gloriously made two errors, gave up some hits, and then Houston blew it wide open against the bullpen.

It could have been decided early, but Marwin JUSTMISSED a grand slam in the 3rd before lining out.

*Astros w/RISP, innings 1-6: 0x3
Astros w/RISP, innings 7-9: 6x12

*Dallas Keuchel threw 5IP, 4H/2ER, 2K:1BB. It was Keuchel's 4th career start in the ALDS: 18.2IP, 14H/7ER, 16K:8BB. 3.38 ERA / 1.18 WHIP.

Keuchel reminisced a little bit before he undertook his first start of what could be his last month in an Astros uniform:
This season has been more meaningful, I think, just because it could potentially be my last. I've never taken for granted anything to this point with the Astros or my own career. You start to cherish the little things when, potentially, it could be - you could be in a different spot next year.

Notable: The qualifying offer for free agents will be $17.9m. Would you extend that to Keuchel?

*Collin McHugh was lights out: 2IP, 0H/0ER, 4K:0BB. McHugh faced six batters and struck out four of them. He had previously faced 63 batters in the postseason, and had struck out just nine. The 4Ks tied a career-high from 2017 World Series G5, when he struck out four Dodgers (but also walked three batters and gave up a home run. It was his 2nd playoff appearance without allowing a hit (2017 ALCS G3: 4IP, 0H/0ER, 3K:1BB

*Cleveland was 0x4 w/RISP yesterday, 0x6 w/RISP in the ALDS. The Indians didn't have a single AB with a runner in scoring position in G2. That's insane.

*Jose Ramirez/Edwin Encarnacion/Josh Donaldson, 2018 ALDS: 2x33, 11K:4BB

*Clevinger vs. Houston, yesterday: 5IP, 3H/1ER, 9K:1BB.
Indians' bullpen, yesterday: 4IP, 10H/10ER, 5K:5BB.

*Tyler Bauer's ALDS vs Houston: 4IP, 7H/3ER, 4K:1BB, two errors. Bauer had not committed an error all season, and committed one error since the beginning of 2016 - 541.2IP.

Bauer came into the ALDS with a career 51IP, 36H/18ER, 68K:18BB, 3.18 ERA / 1.06 WHIP.

Lance McCullers, on Bauer:
Trevor is a great pitcher, you can't take that away from him. He threw 160-plus innings. He had an amazing ERA. He had a bunch of strikeouts. He takes the ball, he's a dog. You can't take it away from him. But he came at us a little bit and came at our pitching staff and came at a couple of our position players, with videos on social media, that type of stuff...I know we had some jabs here and there on social, that's how this day and age works. But I think everyone understands what kind of message we sent with how we played.

Today was Bauer's first career Loss vs Houston in 11 outings, 2018 ALDS included.

*George Springer hit two home runs. He now has ten postseason home runs, most in franchise history. Eight of those home runs have come in the last nine postseason games, which ties Reggie Jackson, Jim Thome, and Carlos Beltran for the most in such a short span. He was 3x6 in Game 3, his 10th career post-season multi-hit game, and his 3rd 3-hit postseason game. It was his first 2HR game since April 13 against Arlington. Springer:
It's a great day for us as a team, a great day as a city. I understand that personal results don't mean anything now. It's all about, 'How can I help us win?'"

Springer hit 3HR in the ALDS after hitting 3HR in his previous 135 plate appearances dating back to August 17.

Most postseason hits, franchise history:
1. Craig Biggio: 39
2. Lance Berkman: 34
3. George Springer: 32

Springer has now tied Lenny Dykstra with nine home runs as the leadoff hitter in the postseason.

*God bless Carlos Correa. Correa was 1x3 with two walks but, most importantly, hit what I'm sure was a weight-lifting three-run home run. Hitless for the first two games of the ALDS, 'Litos hit a homer on September 29. Before that, his last one was August 24. Now he gets some time off to try a back replacement before coming back for the ALCS.

*Alex Bregman was 2x3 with 0K:2BB and was JUST EARLY on what would have been two home runs, had he been a fraction of a second later. Bregman's ALDS: .556/.714/1.333. Team full of MVPs.

*Like all of us, except our British friends, Alex Bregman wasn't thrilled with the all-afternoon starts:
Does Tiger Woods tee off at 8am when he's going to win a Masters? Does Floyd Mayweather fight the first fight of the night? No, he's the main event. The 'Stros need to be playing primetime television, 7pm, so we're looking forward to playing primetime television in the ALCS. 

Give this man a key to the city.

*Let's hear it for Tony Kemp. Making his first career postseason start, Kemp went 1x3 with 1K:2BB and two runs scored.

*Marwin was 2x6 with 3RBI. Check out the location of the pitch where he hit the go-ahead double.
Marwin's first 23 postseason games: 4RBI.
Marwin's last two postseason games: 5RBI.

Hinch, on Marwin:
He's a unique player because I can put him anywhere. I push him into left field because of the makeup of our team. At any given point on any team, this guy can literally play six positions every day....As I've said before, he's the answer to everything. We have a problem, we insert Marwin, and no matter what, he steps up in a huge way.

*Josh Reddick was quietly nice, getting a hit in all three games and finishing the ALDS 4x10 with just one strikeout.

*Legendary Cleveland reporter Paul Hoynes compared Lindor's home run to Roy Hobbs. Seriously. Bauer:
It's disappointing. We really didn't play well today. If you're going to go out, you want to make sure you put your best foot forward and that didn't happen....They outplayed us all series.

They out-pitched us. They out-hit us. They ran the bases better than us. Hats off to Houston. They've got a great ball club. They played way better than us the whole three games and they deserved to win.

*Impending free agents, Cleveland: Andrew Miller, Michael Brantley, Josh Donaldson, Cody Allen, Josh Tomlin, Oliver Perez, Rajai Davis, Melky Cabrera, Adam Cimber.

*'s Doug Lesmirises laments how short the postseason is, as though the rules are different for Cleveland than they are for anyone else:
That Monday's 11-3 lackluster effort served as an exit is the fault of the Indians and their frozen bats, but also the fault of baseball, the sport of the excruciating regular season and potentially fleeting postseason. To slog through a 162-game regular season and get swept in a best-of-five series to take part in a postseason that is 1.85 percent of your regular season. Translate that to basketball's 82-game regular season and it would be like if the Cavs could lose Game 1 of a playoff series, trail at halftime in Game 2 - and be eliminated.

Hold the phone. If you compare a 23-year old Baseball Thing to a sport where they play just over half the games, your stay in the postseason could represent a smaller sample size than the other sport? That's crazy talk. DID YOU KNOW that if you lose the first three games of a Division Series in baseball, but it was actually football, you could lose the first quarter and be eliminated? That doesn't matter, because it's a completely different sport? Oh, okay. Cool.

*By now Steve Sparks' broadcast from a celebrating clubhouse is legendary. Check it out after the Cleveland sweep.

*Jenny Dial Creech: Astros show what they're capable of in obliterating Cleveland.

*Jake Kaplan: How Ryan Pressly became the Astros' most important reliever.

*The Athletic's Ralph Jim Bowden: The Astros' lopsided trades got them here.

*Oh whaddayaknow: Angel Hernandez is bad at his job.

*Charles Pierce: The 2018 Brewers look like the 2015 Royals. Kill them with fire.

*It's been 15 years since Steve Bartman and Grady Little blew up the postseason. Read about it here.

*You now have five nights to get reacquainted with your family, read for pleasure, and drink Detox Tea before the ALCS starts - in Houston if it's New York, in Boston if it's the Red Sox.
*A musical selection: