Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sunday Morning Hot Links

The Astros won their 10th straight game thanks to dismantling Boston "starter" Hector Velasquez in the 1st inning that led to a 5-0 lead before Boston even got up to bat. Still, the game felt closer than the 7-3 final would indicate. No matter. Houston is 31-15, winners of 13 of their last 14 games. It's their second W10+ of the season.

*As a team, they're hitting .311/.376/.587 with 24 home runs in this ten-game winning streak. As a team, the pitching staff has thrown 90IP, 54H/21R (20ER), 114K:32BB, a 2.00 ERA / 0.96 WHIP. All of this is insane.

We want to keep winning as many games as we can. Obviously, it's a huge accomplishment. These guys out here, they're playing hard, they're playing well, we're playing good defense, we're pitching, we're hitting. When we play all facets like that, we have a chance to win every night.

I feel like this is the team to beat with us, and we have a target on our back even though we didn't make it all the way last year. I feel like other teams think that as well, because they see how dangerous we really are.

*Corbin Martin made his second career MLB start, his first road start, his first start at Fenway, his first start in a nationally-televised game. went okay. He got squeezed, got frustrated, and walked a bunch of dudes. Ultimately he threw 4IP, 5H/3R (2ER), 0K:4BB.

You have to go back to Corpus, on May 19, 2018 to find the last time Corbin Martin got 2+ outs and didn't record a strikeout. July 19, 2017 was the only other time it has happened while he has been in the Astros' organization.

The last time an Astros starter did not record a strikeout was October 2, 2016, when Brady Rodgers threw 3.2IP, 5H/4ER, 0K:3BB in an 8-1 loss to Anaheim. The last time an Astros starter didn't record a strikeout in a team win was May 14, 2015 when Roberto Hernandez threw 6.1IP of 0K ball in a 6-4 win over Toronto.

Chandler Rome notes how impressive it was that Martin kept it together after a rough first inning. Martin:
I just didn't give them a reason to swing with the offspeed stuff. I wasn't landing it. They were just sitting fastball and, to that point, I was just trying to execute fastball location.

*Josh James held the game down with 3IP, 0H/0ER, 2K:1BB. He's worked through his issues from earlier in the season. Since watching his ERA balloon to 7.90 after an April 26 outing against Cleveland, James: six appearances, 10IP, 3H/0ER, 14K:4BB. 0.00 ERA / 0.70 WHIP. Hinch described James' performance last night as "incredible."

*The Red Sox were unhappy with Home Plate Umpire Jeff Nelson. The Red Sox are 1x16 w/RISP in the last two games. Maybe they should focus on that. Corbin Martin's mom is a pro when it comes to dealing with Ken Rosenthal's zone-baiting.

*Every batter in the Astros' lineup got a hit. Michael Brantley got his 3rd 3-hit game of the season. Brantley has hits in 35 of the 45 games in which he has started, and has gotten on base in 40 of the 45 games in which he has started. Since going five straight games without a hit, ending on April 5, Brantley is hitting .361/.410/.619 with 15K:12BB (161 PAs).

*Alex Cora:
[Velasquez] had Bregman 1-2 and he wasn't able to put him away. Then Brantley, he had him two strikes and wasn't able to put him away. That's what they do. They battle with two strikes and they put good swings with two strikes.

*Alex Bregman was 1x3 with two walks. He has a seven-game hitting streak in which he's hitting .281/.343/.688. It's his 5th 2BB game of the year.

*Josh Reddick hit his 4th home run of the season, and his first homer at Fenway since April 30, 2012. He's hitting .324/.372/.451 this year.

*Tyler White was 2x5 with 2RBI, his first 2+ RBI game of the year, and his first since September 11, 2018, a span of 33 games.

*Since Jose Altuve played his last full game on May 9, the Astros are 8-0.

*The update on Aledmys Diaz's hamstring is that it's a "very mild" strain. He won't play today unless it's an emergency. Diaz:
I feel better. We're going to take it day by day, and hopefully in a couple of days, I feel 100 percent. We're in a very good spot right now.

*Andrew Benintendi's walk-up song was "Houston, We Got A Problem" by country music "star" Luke Combs.

*Here's's Chad Finn with a good piece on the Astros-Red Sox rivalry. Hinch:
There is definitely something building here. These are two very, very good teams with a knack for playing tight games. And we've already interfered with each other's plans the last couple of years.

*There's now a big ol' replica ring outside Minute Maid Park for all your Instagram needs.

*It's Wade Miley v. Chris Sale today. Here's The Athletic's Jen McCaffery on how Sale turned his season around.

*The Pirates are going to try to turn Former Astros Great J.B. Shuck into a two-way player.

*Out of the Park Baseball 20 is out on Steam. I just won my fourth straight World Series, and it wasn't even that close. Forrest Whitley and J.B. Bukauskas can't stay healthy in that game, but Carlos Correa and Kyle Tucker are baseball gods. You should buy this game and let it consume you.

*A year after the Santa Fe shooting, families continue to struggle with trauma and grief.

*A Musical Selection, with a note: While we still lived in Nashville (and before we had a kid) we would often to go concerts. I don't even remember what concerts are, but I know they're out there. Anyway, we went to go see Will Hoge - which we will do anytime he plays within 200 miles of us - and the opener came out in a purple v-neck t-shirt and a fedora and I was all, "This F. Guy." Then he played this, and we were in. Good album all around: