Thursday, June 27, 2019

Thursday Morning Hot Links

It wasn't as bad as it looked. Maybe it was, I don't know - I mercifully didn't get to watch. Though...I am IN Houston (wasn't at the game). Does the Astros County jinx extend to me simply being within the boundary of Harris County? I won't be leaving until after the game starts today, so we'll just have to see. Halfway through the regular season the Astros are 50-31. Their lead is 5.5 games.

*Recent records at 81 games, Astros:
2019: 50-31
2018: 53-28
2017: 54-27
2016: 43-38
2015: 47-34
2014: 35-46
2013: 30-51
2012: 32-49
2011: 28-53
2010: 32-49

*Framber Valdez was simply Frambushed by the Pirates: 3IP, 8H/6ER, 2K:1BB. Hinch:
He was battling himself from the very beginning of the game. The home run by Bell, which he was done a lot this year, puts you down, and we just could never get on the good side of the game while he was in there. Six runs in three innings and 70 pitches. It just looked like he was out of sync.

Framber was optioned to Triple-A basically within 30 seconds of the end of the game. Valdez:
I understand why they did it and I understand what I need to do to get better, so that's what I'll be focusing on. It's been frustrating, but at the same time I know I need to improve my two-seamer and improve my command to get back here and help the big league club.

Framber's first two starts: 51 batters faced, 39 outs, 9H/3ER, 15K:2BB, 1HR.
Framber's last two "starts:" 35 batters faced, 19 outs, 12H/11ER, 5K:4BB, 3HR.

*Chris Devenski ate three innings, allowing 3H/2ER, 3K:0BB, 1HR.

*Rondon walked two but didn't allow any runs, McHugh threw a perfect 8th.

*Tyler White got the 9th, or at least part of the 9th, getting two outs but also allowing 4H/6ER, 0K:4BB. He now has the distinction being the first Astros "reliever" to allow four hits, four walks, all in less than three outs. At least Harris, Pressly, and Osuna didn't have to pitch. I guess. Hinch, on White pitching:
It's brutal. It's embarrassing. I feel bad for White. I apologized to him on the way off the field because I never want to use him. It's not funny. I know it's entertaining for the masses when you see something unique or something that's not there, but I think it sucks. I don't want to hurt him. I think it was way too many pitches.

*I don't know the last time an Astros pitching staff allowed two players in the same lineup to get four hits, and I'm not interested in finding out.

*Hinch, on the state of the Astros' bullpen right now:
I pitched two position players, so that tells you where our bullpen is. We'll have to take a look at all of our options and see how we navigate. We have four more games in a row [before a day off] and the two games at Coors Field that are looming which are always difficult. And then a couple of days off sprinkled in.

So who comes up? Reymin Guduan, Cionel Perez, and Rogelio Armenteros haven't been in the minors long enough (10 days) to be recalled. Dean Deetz and Brady Rodgers are on the IL. Forrest Whitley is in West Palm rehabbing, and won't join a full-season team for at least a few weeks. Corbin Martin is on the IL (with no update on his issue). Nice little corner the Astros have painted themselves into.

*The offense was dead after George Springer's 30th career leadoff home run. Someone who goes by the name "Dario Agrazal" made his second career start, 11 days after allowing three runs to the Got Dang Marlins, and held the Astros to 5H/1ER, with 3K:3BB.

*Houston was 0x6 w/RISP.

*The Astros only struck out six times last night, marking the 9th time in their last ten games with nine or fewer strikeouts.

*Springer was 3x4 on the night. It's his 3rd 3+ hit night of the season, and the first since he went 5x5 on May 12 against the East Weatherford Rangers.

*Alex Bregman knocked a double, giving him back-to-back games with an XBH for the first time since June 3-4.

*Chandler Rome: Unsurprisingly, a little over a month before the trade deadline the Astros are focused on pitching. Expect the action to come closer to July 31.

*The Astros saluted the work of 2017 Game 5 Winner/Legend Joe Musgrove on the scoreboard last night. Musgrove faces the Astros this afternoon.

*Peter Gammons says the Astros did as much background work on Marcus Stroman in 2017 as they did on Justin Verlander, and Stroman would make sense. Damn near anyone would make sense.

*Francis Martes is back on the Restricted List because he can't get a visa. He won't pitch for the Astros this season, anyway (Tommy John surgery).

*David Barron has an update on the 2-year old Astros fan who suffered a fractured skull and continues to have seizures well after getting smoked by a foul ball. I am going to do A Stupid in the next 24 hours and patiently explain why I think the Astros need to extend the netting. Thank God I have already set the precedent of disabling the comments. Related: please do keep in mind that, on the cursed web site Twitter dot com, I am under no obligation to debate you if we disagree on an issue.

*Baseball America: The July 2 international signing period is an absolute mess.

*Stop with the Wrong Answers Only bullcrap.

*Barstool's Dave Portnoy actually trembled when he was asked about harassing women.

*A Musical Selection: