Saturday, August 10, 2019

Saturday Morning Hot Links

*The Astros played a team formerly in the Major Leagues in Baltimore last night, and beat them 3-2. Houston is 76-40. Oakland won because Oakland doesn't lose, so the Astros' lead remains at 10.0 games. The Angels, Rangers, and Mariners all lost. There are 46 regular season games remaining. Fifteen of those games come against teams currently over .500.

If you imagine a world in which the Astros aren't 9-2 against Oakland, and Oakland isn't 2-9 against Houston, the standings are:

Houston: 67-38
Oakland: 64-41

That world does not exist.

*The Astros improved to 14-10 against the AL East this season.

*Wade Miley did a job last night, against a team that is highly reminiscent of the 2011 Astros in that they're 3-4 years away from anything resembling relevance. God bless Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal for willingly deciding to do That again. Miley: 5.2IP, 5H/1ER, 4K:2BB.

The Astros are 17-7 when Wade Miley starts. Number of starts with the following earned runs:

4: 2
3: 6
2: 8
1: 5
0: 3

Yep. In 24 starts, Wade Miley has allowed 4ER just twice.

Miley's 5.2IP, 5H/1ER performance put his ERA at 2.99. The Astros have three starting pitchers with an ERA under 3.00. And Zack Greinke.

I was pretty wild out there early. I don't think it was until the fifth inning where I finally started commanding it where I wanted it to, but I was able to make pitches.

It was probably his worst command that he's had in recent memory, and yet he still pitched very well and got to the sixth inning.

*Joe Smith allowed a solo home run, his first earned run of the season.

*Dylan Bundy had a nice start for Baltimore, allowing 6H/2ER, 6K:1BB in 6IP.

*Bundy vs. 2019 Astros:  12IP, 9H/4ER, 12K:2BB, 3.00 ERA / 0.92 WHIP
Bundy vs Everyone Else: 102.1IP, 106H/60ER, 106K:37BB, 5.26 ERA / 1.39 WHIP.

* says the Astros left 16 men on base. That would be the most LOBsters since the last game before the All-Star Break, when the Astros left 16 on base against Anaheim. Houston was 2x13 w/RISP against the now-38-77 Orioles.

*It was the first time since July 23 that Orioles pitchers did not give up a home run.

*Jose Altuve got his 30th multi-hit game of the season.

Multi-hit games, pre-injury: 10 (in 39 games)
Multi-hit games, post injury: 20 (in 41 games)

*Robinson Chirinos snapped a three-game hitless streak (0x11, 6K:0BB).

*A.J. Hinch says that Josh Reddick - is in no danger of losing playing time. Hinch:
I always go to pitch selection or I'll go to a little bit of how hard he swings and how hard he chases hits. He's not using the opposite field as much. There's little things that he could do that he hasn't done for the last month or so. He's not in any danger of losing playing time. I'm comfortable with him as a real threat and I expect him to finish the season really well.

Tyler White's OPS, with Houston: .650
Josh Reddick's OPS, w/Houston: .710

On May 25 Reddick was hitting .333/.386/.455 for an .840 OPS.
Since (232 PAs), Reddick is "hitting" .223/.255/.353, a .609 OPS.

*Mike Petriello writes about the chances of the Astros becoming the 2nd team ever to lead the League in Hitting K% and Pitching K%. 36 teams in MLB history have been in the Top 3 of both categories. The 2017 Astros and the 2018 Astros are two of those 36 teams.

*Brent Strom was released from the hospital, participated in team meetings, but won't join the Astros in Baltimore or Chicago.

*Ryan Pressly was activated from the IL, and Garrett Stubbs was optioned back to Triple-A. Need to get me a Stubbs "Stubbs" Players Weekend jersey ASAP.

*Chandler Rome: Yuli Gurriel's hot streak was sparked by his older brother. Rome:
In Miami this offseason, Yuniesky approached Yuli with an unorthodox idea involving weighted balls. Yuniesky thought flipping them in the batting cage would improve his brothers' strength and hard-contact contact. Yuli had never tried the tactic but, ultimately, decided to give it a shot.

*Our own Brian Arbour reminds us to enjoy this run the Astros are on.

*Here's your first Gerrit Cole-to-Anaheim hot rumor of the next eight months.

*Here's Hunter Atkins doing the Good Work: J.R. Towles was at Yuli's 8RBI game. Atkins:
A 35-year old married father of two working construction and living an hour north of Houston, Towles gets to say he is a former major-leaguer. Because of Gurriel, he was a swing away from being a former record-holder.

This is a really, really great story which is poignant and sad. God bless J.R. Towles.

*MLB's home run surge has pitchers scrambling and confused.

*Standings Craziness:

In the AL Central: Minnesota and Cleveland are tied for the lead. The Twins are 14-13 since the All-Star Break. Cleveland is 20-8.
In the NL: Five teams (Milwaukee, St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York, and Arizona) are all within 1.5 games of second Wild Card spot.

*A day in the life of Nolan Arenado.

*Everyone knows the strike actually killed the Montreal Expos. The Astros were having a really good season, too, but Jeff Bagwell was hitting .368/.451/.750 when Andy F. Benes broke Bagwell's hand with a pitch so who knows how that would have impacted the postseason, if it had happened. Actually, it's time to rethink the Padres on our collective Most-Hated Teams list. Benes breaks Bagwell's hand. 1998 happens. Screw the Padres. Oh but the Yankees want to remind you they were really good, too. Expect a banner to go up as a result of this sluttery.

*Ken Davidoff writes that, in the wake of the Brett Gardner ejection, it's time for the umpires to show more accountability. All we needed to get calls for the escape from Umpire tyranny was for something silly to happen to a Yankee.

*Yankees GM Brian Cashman was mistaken for a car thief and the cops pulled up on him with guns drawn in Connecticut. Brian, there's only one GM who can credibly be charged with theft and that GM is Jeffrey F. Luhnow.

This concludes the Two Minutes Yankees Hate. Back to work.

*A death and life in the Bronx's opioid crisis. I broke my elbow in college. I was really overweight and decided - after watching Jackass - that the skateboard should be my primary mode of transportation. I bought a skateboard at 3pm and had broken my elbow by 3:15. My doctor gave me Vicodin. A lot of it. And he gave me more when I asked for more. I was lucky enough to escape being hopelessly addicted to it, but I got to see just how easy it is to get hooked.

*Outside: We've reached Peak Wellness. Most of it is nonsense.

*A Jordan bookseller's 24-hour 'Emergency Room for the Mind.'

*A Musical Selection:

You could put me in a room with a 12-string guitar for 100 years and I would not be able to come up with this, my favorite moment of the entire MTV Unplugged series: