Saturday, August 3, 2019

Saturday Morning Hot Links

The Astros jumped all over the Mariners and didn't let up, winning 10-2. Houston hit six home runs and Wade Miley was pitching, so...Houston is 71-40 with an 8.5-game lead on Oakland. They're 39-15 at Minute Maid Park this season. There are 51 regular season games left.

*Houston is 10-1 against Seattle in 2019 a year after going 9-10 against the Mariners. Houston vs. AL West teams, 2019:

Seattle: 10-1
Oakland: 9-2
Anaheim: 6-3
Arlington: 11-6

Houston is 27-7 in their last 34 games against divisional opponents.

Houston is also 14-7 since the All-Star Break, and 12-3 since the Angels tried to flex on the Astros.

*Houston hit six home runs. It's the 17th time in MLB this season a team has hit six homers, and the 12th time in franchise history. The last time they did it was the Memorial Day Miracle game against the Twins in 2017. Interestingly enough, all twelve instances in franchise history have been in the Minute Maid Park era, and the 2000 team did it five times. Hinch:
That was a pretty explosive night, obviously. We did a good job of really producing throughout the order. We talk about depth all the time, we talk about lineup all the time, we get to talk about our pitching a ton. Really good team offense tonight where we did a lot right.

*George Springer got four hits. The Mariners as a whole got three. Springer got his third triple of the season.

*Home runs: Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Carlos Correa  Aledmys Diaz, Jake Marisnick, Martin Maldonado. Yordan Alvarez is now 8th on the team in RBIs, with 39, which just happens to also be the number of games in which he has played. Altuve, on Alvarez:
He's one of the best young hitters I've ever seen. He has a bright future and career in front of him. What I like the most about him is how humble he is and how hard he works. Great guy. He's definitely helping the team a lot.

*Correa's last three games: .400/.538/1.100. He has gotten on base in seven of 13 PAs, and has three extra-base hits.

*Aledmys Diaz was 1x16 coming into last night's game after returning from the IL. He went 2x4 with a home run. Two of this three hits since returning have been home runs.

*Since the All-Star Break (93 PAs), Jose Altuve: .405/.462/.726.

*Seattle manager Scott Servais:
[Kikuchi] had a hard time getting the swing and miss. They weren't really biting on the slider tonight. They were on the fastball. They've got a good lineup and it's a deep lineup and you've got to make pitches. You've got to keep commanding the fastball and he didn't really have a good command.

*Wade Miley threw 6IP, 3H/2ER, 6K:5BB. He threw a first-pitch strike to five of the 26 batters he faced. The five walks are a season-high and the most since he matched that total on July 12, 2018. Hinch:
He had to pitch so differently tonight than he normally does. He didn't have his cutter at all so he was pitching with one weapon down and really his best weapon...because he didn't have a feel for it. A good night on a night where he didn't pitch like himself and didn't use his stuff like he normally does.

Three Houston starters have ten wins. It is August 3.

*Jim Crane says that the Greinke trade makes extending Gerrit Cole "more challenging" financially. NOTE: I took a look at this on Wednesday and, while 2020 payroll could get close to the Luxury Tax, it could be structured in a way that's doable.

An exchange that totally happened:
Smoltz: Man, you really did a great job of putting that together.
Crane: Yeah, it looks like Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux.
Smoltz: No, no, you guys are way better than we ever were.

Who the hell puts Smoltz first when listing 1990s Braves rotations?

*Zack Greinke, on the Astros:
Happy to be here in Houston. It's a pretty darn good team, maybe the best team I've played with. I've been on some good teams and there's a good chance this is the most talented team I've been on.

If you were to pick a team you could be on, to choose to be on, this is the one you want to be on. It's an honor...because they've established a reputation of being good at what they do, so for someone like that to want me to be a part of it, it's a really cool thing.

*Garrett Stubbs got called up while Robinson Chirinos deals with a sore shoulder. Cy Sneed was optioned back to Round Rock while they figure it out.

*While the game was on last night I decided to take on a project which I immediately regretted, but ultimately I think was useful: Calculating the fWAR lost and fWAR earned in every single Jeff Luhnow trade. TL;DR: J.A. Happ has had a much longer and more successful career than anyone outside of J.A. Happ's mother thought.

*Cut4: "The Astros are here to be the new Yankees, the team you love to hate."

Fire this headline directly into the sun.

*Cal Stevenson, Minor Leagues: 670 PAs, .325/.439/.444, 76K:114BB. 32 stolen bases in 39 attempts. And Houston got him, as well as two Major League pieces, for Derek Freaking Fisher.

*The NY Post's Ken Davidoff: James Paxton gives the Yankees a look at their best answer for the Astros. Davidoff:
While plenty of work remains for the Yankees to secure their first AL East title since 2012, it's also fair to view these next couple of months through the "How in the hell are they gonna get through the Astros?" prism, especially in light of their silent deadline juxtaposed against Houston's mammoth addition of Zack Greinke.

*According to FanGraphs, the Astros have the easiest strength of schedule in MLB down the stretch.

*AL Starting Rotations, ranked by fWAR:
1. Tampa: 13.0
2. Minnesota: 11.7
3. Houston: 11.5*
4. Cleveland: 10.6
5. Arlington: 8.8
9. New York: 6.9

*Zack Greinke is not included in this total.

*The Nationals DFA'd Former Astros Great Tony Sipp.

*ESPN: Whatever happened to Shelly Pennefather?

*A fan who hit 96mph on a stadium attraction signed a contract with the A's.

*Anaheim DFA'd Jonathan Lucroy.

*Cool piece from Jenny Dial Creech: How a Houston soccer program is changing lives.

*A Musical Selection: