Monday, May 27, 2019

Monday Morning Hot Links

Just a pile of dumb yesterday. Houston lost to Boston 4-1, though they did take the series and seal the season series (4-2) against the Red Sox. Next meeting: October. Houston is 35-19.

*It's Memorial Day! Thank you to those of you who have served our country and defended our freedoms. I am sorry for those of you who have lost a friend/loved one in defense of this nation. It is up to us to make sure that their sacrifice was not made in vain.

*It's Memorial Day! The first major holiday checkpoint of the regular season! So there are ten playoff teams every year. How many of them had one of the five best records in their league as of Memorial Day?

2019: I don't know because, like, I can't predict the future.
2018: 8. (Oakland, Los Angeles)
2017: 9 (Chicago)
2016: 8 (Cleveland, Los Angeles)
2015: 6 (Arlington, Toronto, Pittsburgh, New York Mets)
2014: 6 (Kansas City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Washington)

I could go back further, but I'm ready to move on, tbh. Essentially, 25 of the last 30 playoff teams (three seasons, from 2016-2018) were in the top five in their league on Memorial Day. Go back further and it's 37 of the last 50 playoff teams (74%).

*So the Astros lost to Boston. Justin Verlander threw 7IP, 6H/3ER, 6K:0BB. It's the first time since May 28, 2018 that Verlander recorded fewer strikeouts than innings pitched. Verlander is 8-2 on the year. The Astros scored a total of one run in his losses. At 2,801, Justin Verlander is two strikeouts away from Cy Young and 21st Place all-time on the strikeout leaderboard. He had not thrown a wild pitch all year, and threw two in the 3rd.

We didn't play well. We missed an opportunity to sweep those guys and really just misfired on a day JV pitched well enough to get us the win. We allowed ourselves to play a little mentally tired, a little physically tired. We're beat up a little bit. It wasn't our day.

*Since allowing 5H/4ER against Kansas City on May 7, Framber Valdez: 7.1IP, 6H/2R (1ER), 5K:5BB. Both of those runs came against Boston.

*The Astros got four hits for the third time in their last four games. They were 1x7 w/RISP yesterday, and 5x27 w/RISP in the series. Again, the Astros won the series, 2-1. Chandler Rome has the takeaways from the Boston series.

*Big news in the game was that Aledmys Diaz is headed to the IL after re-aggravating his hamstring. Perhaps this would help, Astros. It's, like, $17. Tyler White replaced him in the lineup and went 0x2 with 2Ks. Hinch:
I'm most frustrated about losing another player. I don't like the back-to-back days where you lose a player, so I'm irritated.

The question now is, if Altuve is coming back on Tuesday, do the Astros call someone up for today, or just roll with a thin bench for the next 48 hours? Altuve went 1x5 with a run scored and two strikeouts for Round Rock. Notably, Myles Straw (who has more starts at SS than CF this season) was not in Round Rock's lineup last night.

*Over the last two weeks, Tyler White is 6x41.

*Robinson Chirinos was 0x3 with three strikeouts. Over the last 15 days, Chirinos is hitting .152/.293/.273. He went 1x14 against Boston in 2019.

*Derek Fisher got his first MLB hit since May 13, 2018.

*Alex Cora, on these six games with the Astros:
You see the scores. I know it's early and I know where they're at and I know where we're at. We just both match up well. There are no secrets. It's all execution. There were certain days where we didn't execute, and today, they made some errors and we took advantage of that.

*Houston committed two errors yesterday (Bregman, Gurriel on back-to-back plays). It doesn't feel like it, but the Astros' 23 errors are the fifth-fewest in the Majors. Only the Reds, Diamondbacks, Royals, and Rays have committed fewer errors.

*Chris Cotillo says these two series between Boston and Houston prove the Red Sox haven't reached their full potential yet.

*Here's a fun look with Buster Olney, Jeff Passan, and Sam Miller on the standings as of Memorial Day, with predictions and thoughts.

*Oakland has won ten games in a row.

*Cavan Biggio went 3x4 to get his first hit and home run yesterday, in his 3rd career game. Craig Biggio got his first career home run in his 33rd game, off of Hall of Famer Goose Gossage.

*Vox: What happens when a gothic literature expert moves into a haunted house.

*Today is the day Leeds United should have been playing for the Premier League. However it ends between Aston Villa and Derby County, I just hope that Frank Lampard ends up in tears.

*A Musical Selection: