Saturday, April 6, 2019

Saturday Morning Hot Links

The Astros won their 7th straight Home Opener with a 3-2 win over Oakland. McHugh threw 6IP, 3H/1ER, 4K:3BB while Altuve and Bregman had two hits each. Carlos Correa hit his 1st home run of 2019. Houston is 3-5 and have scored 3+ runs in three of their eight games. They're 2-1 in those games. Good news is the Astros went 3x10 w/RISP so now they're a hot 7x52.

*Correa:
Right now I feel dangerous.

Correa is 6x18 with three doubles and a home run this season, he has four straight games with an extra-base hits.

*Khris Davis - who is definitely not Big-Contract Failure Chris Davis - left the bases loaded in the top of the 3rd as Collin McHugh wriggled in an out of trouble. Hinch:
It was huge. Any time Davis comes up to bat, I don't care what the matchup says or how he's swinging the bat, it's a dangerous, dangerous at-bat. For [McHugh] to come through with a big pitch and get the out, it's a huge shift.

Davis is now 1x19 in his lifetime against Collin McHugh. The only pitcher to hold him to one hit in more PAs is Felix Hernandez.

*After starting the season 1x15, Alex Bregman has a four-game hit streak and has six hits in his last twelve at-bats, with four walks.

*Michael Brantley was 0x4 with 2K:0BB. He had four 0x4, 2K games in all of 2018, and is hitless in his last 16 ABs.

*Robinson Chirinos threw out another baserunner, giving him two on the week after throwing out Odor on Monday. Chirinos credits an offseason adjustment in his throwing motion.

*Ramon Laureano went 4x4 with 2RBIs, and the Astros aren't real thrilled with letting Laureano get away. And by "get away" I mean "with trading Ramon Laureano." Luhnow:
I don't think we quite had the defense rated as well as it [has] played in the big leagues. That was an underassessment on our part.

Laureano has 12 outfield assists since he debuted on August 3, 2018. I know it's circumstantial and also situation-based but Josh Reddick has nine outfield assists in 133 outfield games since the beginning of 2018.

*If you went to the game last night, you already know this. If you're going today or to any of the remaining 80 games you should know that there's another ticket entrance on Hamilton Street (no relation to Huston Street) and they've added 30 metal detectors. That's good, right? Well, you also can't use multi-zipper backpacks (diaper bags and drawstring bags are still okay). If you're a new season ticket holder or a single-game ticket holder, you have to use the MLB Ballpark app in order to get in to Minute Maid Park. If you don't want to use that, you can still order tickets online and pick them up at Will Call, which sounds like a terrible thing to want to do. Reid Ryan:
We are moving to mobile because that is where the game is going. It provides more benefits to the fans, and it's easier to use.

*Alex Bregman treated last night like it was Opening Day. Makes sense, since last week didn't actually happen.

*Lance McCullers wore a Keuchel jersey before the home opener as he begins a season-long tradition of wearing an Astros legend's jersey before every homestand.

*Jake Kaplan has a mailbag in which he addresses the slow offensive start (stay for the absolute shade JK throws), Ron Kulpa, roster construction, and possible minor-league call-ups.

Speaking of Ron Kulpa, A.J. Hinch did not disclose details of a 32-minute phone call with Joe Torre regarding Kulpa. Nobody will apparently receive any discipline, so Kulpa can continue being the king of a very small castle.

Related: From Sheryl Ring, can umpires really do whatever they want?

*Jerome Solomon: Championship expectations return to Minute Maid Park.

*The Astros Foundation is doing the Good Thing and sponsoring Little Leagues across the city, covering the costs of field maintenance, equipment, umpires, uniforms, and registration costs. Hopefully they can cultivate the next Ron Kulpa.

*SI's Jon Tayler assesses the "struggling contenders" for reasons to panic. Spoiler alert: Don't. The Score has the same advice. You know, if you don't like taking our advice here at Astros County dot com.

*Shoutout to Former Astros Great free agent SP Dan Straily, who chose the (gulp) Orioles over Arlington.

*Damn it's a shame that the Red Sox are 2-7.

*How Brodie Van Wagenen - the villain in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow - plans to remake the Mets.

*FanGraphs: An update on how to value draft picks.

*The Atlantic: The cult of homework.

*There are two things in this story that are unbelievable to me, a Noted History Dork:
1) A Florida Sheriff's Department named their K9 "Rommel."
2) No one noticed that "Rommel" was after Nazi Germany's "Desert Fox" Erwin Rommel. (To be fair, Rommel had second thoughts about Nazi Germany's aims - in 1944! - and committed suicide after being implicated in a plot to kill Adult Hitler).

*A Musical Selection:

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