Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

The Astros lost to the ice men 1-0, wasting a perfectly good Justin Verlander start in the process. Amazing he wanted to sign an extension to get Roger Clemens'd down here. Houston is 17-12. This season just feels stupid. Prove me wrong.

*Houston lost two 1-0 games in 2018, both at home: June 22 against Kansas City, and May 11 against Arlington. Both the Royals and the Rangers were last in their division in 2018. The last Astros' 1-0 road loss was July 16, 2016 at Whatever Seattle Calls Their Stadium Now.

*Minnesota got their only run when 8-hole hitter Ehire Adrianza, now sporting a fresh .188/.270/.281 slash line, hit his first home run of the season, one pitch after probably not checking his swing that would have rung him up. [Walks into the sea]. Verlander:
This game isn't played in slow motion, and these umpires have a difficult job to do. In live speed, I thought it was a very questionable 50-50 call. Adrianza did a good job of not breaking his hands so it didn't look like the bat went as far as it actually did. You hate to see the game come down to something like that and for [3B umpire Doug Eddings] to be questioned on something that was so close.

*The Twins got three hits total. And won. They're the 6th MLB team to win a game in 2019 despite getting three or fewer hits. The Astros lost a game in which they allowed three hits for the 10th time since the beginning of the 2010 season. The last time it happened was a bullpen game against the Blue Jays on September 26, 2018. Prior to that it happened on August 28, 2015 against....the freaking Twins. I spend between 1-3% of my time even thinking about Minnesota, as a team, as a state, but they're starting to piss me off.

More Verlander:
One run felt like 10 tonight the way [Odorizzi] was pitching. When guys have it going, they have it going. I was the first one to slip up.

*Since the beginning of the 2017 season until last night, Odorizzi has a 4.33 ERA and a 99 ERA+. So, sure.

*Justin Verlander's seven strikeouts give him 2,759 strikeouts for his career, 23rd in MLB history. Fifteen more strikeouts (2,774) would move him past Frank Tanana for 22nd all-time. He needs 241 more strikeouts to get to 3,000.

It was Verlander's 38th career appearance vs. Minnesota and only the 9th time against them that he's taken a Loss. He's held the Twins to 0-1 earned runs 19 times in his career.

Last night was the 11th time in Verlander's 46 starts that the Astros have scored 0-2 runs.

Astros pitch count vs. Odorizzi, per inning:
1st: 18
2nd: 14
3rd: 7
4th: 6
5th: 6
6th: 20
7th: 14

Recording nine outs on 19 pitches is some efficient stuff, I guess. Odorizzi, on the differences between last night and his start last week:
I went with the curveball less. I think I only threw like two or three of them. I think the last game I threw like 20. So, we went more cutter, slider today. It's tough to go with the same look twice against a team of that caliber.

*The Astros went 0x4 w/RISP.

*Jose Altuve was 0x4, giving him one hit in his last 33 ABs. I doubt that holds up over the course of the year.

*Tyler White was 0x3 with 3K. It's the 9th 3K game of his career, and three of those have come in April 2019.

*Brian McTaggart: Ryan Pressly returned to Minnesota, where he started his MLB career. Since coming to Houston he has the record for most consecutive scoreless innings by a reliever, and is close to setting the franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings. Hinch:
Our front office did a good job identifying him and his strengths.

The current franchise records:
1. Roy Oswalt: 32.1IP (Aug 27 - Sept 11, 2008)
2. J.R. Richard: 31IP
3. J.R. Richard: 31IP
4. Ryan Pressly: 30.1IP

J.R. Richard had a 40IP stretch from August 18-September 11, 1979, a 34IP stretch from May 26-June 11, 1980 where he didn't allow an earned run, so I guess those don't count.

*Chandler Rome: Despite Robinson Chirinos' offensive surge, and Max Stassi's offensive struggles, the Astros are sticking to the plan to keep Chirinos fresh.

*Check Jake Kaplan's live mailbag from yesterday.

*George Springer was on Buster Olney's podcast yesterday morning, talking about his strong first month of 2019.

*From TX Sports Nation: Who's surging, who's struggling in the Astros' minor leagues.
*Some sad news to report: Bill McCurdy, an OG Houston Baseball historian who also maintained the excellent Pecan Park Eagle blog, passed away last weekend. Click the link for details on visitation and service.

*MLBTR: After the recent flurry of extensions, Gerrit Cole leads the 2019-2010 free agent power rankings.

*SI's Tom Verducci has 30 nuggets that tell the story of the 2019 MLB season so far.

*Tigers prospect Casey Mize made his Double-A debut last night and threw a complete game no-hitter Maddux.

*Literary Hub: The History Behind Baseball's Weirdest Pitch.

*The Athletic's Kelly Iko: The Rockets' Game One officiating rage is rooted in research.

*A Fire's Unfathomable Toll: How a California Wildfire Changed Everything.

*A Musical Selection: