Thursday, May 23, 2019

Thursday Morning Hot Links

The Astros got shut down by Ivan Freaking Nova, GIDPd and GITPd all over the damn place, messed around, and lost to the White Sox. Houston is 33-17. The White Sox win snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Astros against Chicago.

*Ivan Nova still leads the AL in hits allowed (79) and Earned Runs allowed (42). It makes perfect sense that the Astros got 10 hits and only three runs off of him. The Astros hit into three GIDPs and a triple play. It was their first triple play allowed since April 19, 2018 against Seattle.

*Inning 1: GIDP
  Inning 2: GIDP
  Inning 3: Triple Play.

Hinch, on the triple play:
It takes a perfect alignment of the stars. It was not our night.

Do you, baseball. Last night was the first time since August 16, 2014 that the Astros struck out four or fewer times, got 12 or more hits, and lost. The White Sox are the 4th team in the last 40 years to hit a grand slam and turn a triple play in the same game.

*Gerrit Cole has allowed 97 home runs in his career and 64 of them have been solo home runs. Of the 30 home runs he's allowed with Houston, 18 of them have been solo shots.

Gerrit Cole's two starts on April 20 and May 22: 9.1IP, 16H/14ER, 15K:4BB.
Gerrit Cole's other starts through the season: 56.1IP, 38H/16ER, 85K:13BB.

*Jake Marisnick's double play is the best revenge since John Wick.

*Springer was not in the lineup against last night, but did take BP in the indoor cage prior to last night's game. Jose Altuve took BP and did fielding drills and has been pain-free since Monday, but will go out on a rehab assignment soon.

*Here's a great article from Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic on how the Astros are able to get so much out of their pitching staff. Rosenthal:
The reality is more complex than a simple paint-by-numbers exercise, involving a combination of analytics, coaching suggestions and the pitchers' respective curiosities and skills. The common denominator is the Astros' emphasis on maximizing strengths. But within that framework, the pitchers also are free to navigate their own journeys.

This article - which ranges from Verlander to Cole to Pressly - is an absolute delight.

*ESPN's Joon Lee: How Michael Brantley, "MLB's best free agent bargain," could impact the World Series. Springer, on Brantley:
He's always watching...He doesn't miss a beat and he knows what's happening with everybody. He's very observant and he can tell if there is something wrong with my swing or Jose's swing. He's only been here three or four months and it's a testament to him because he's watching everything that happens.

Michael Brantley has the 2nd-lowest swing-and-miss rate in the Majors, at 3.1%.

The Astros are going to win the World Series again. I say this on the evening of May 22.

*Ho hum Yordan Alvarez's 19th home run of the year. Cy Sneed carried a perfect game into the 8th inning.

*2018 2nd Round pick Jayson Schroeder joined Quad Cities yesterday and made his 2019 debut, throwing 3IP, 3H/3ER, 4K:3BB in a 9-3 loss to Kane County. Austin Dennis was 4x5 but the River Bandits went 2x17 w/RISP.

*Two nights ago Round Rock's Jose Urquidy struck out a franchise record 12 batters, allowing only three hits and a walk.

*Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons has a Grade 3 ankle sprain, which means he's done until July-August. Simmons is one of four Angels hitters currently over a 1.0 fWAR and also the owner of the 8th-highest Defensive Rating on FanGraphs. It's a big blow.

*Is Nick Francona a Whistleblower, or is he just pissed?

*19-year old pitcher Carter Stewart - whom the Braves drafted with the 8th overall pick in 2018 but refused to sign after the Braves reduced their offer due to an alleged injury -  has apparently signed a 6-year/$7m deal with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in the Japanese League. Doing so could see him join MLB as a 25-year old free agent.

*Hey look. Another miscommunication between noted miscommunicators Pat Neshek and Gabe Kapler.

*Danny Knobler on Jerrion Ealy, "more of an athlete than Mike Trout" at this point, but also choosing between baseball and football.

*Cue Buster Olney's hand-wringing columns about what the Orioles are doing to the competitiveness of Base Ball, like he did about the Astros from 2011-2013:

*Rolling Stone: Timothy Olyphant on "Deadwood: The Movie."

*Nigel Farage, an actual Ass Clown, was trapped on a bus surrounded by British patriots armed with milkshakes.

*Jalopnik: NYC has a super-villain pulling emergency brakes on subways and destroying commutes.

*A Musical Selection: