Thursday, August 8, 2019

Thursday Morning Hot Links

The Astros destroyed the Colorado Rockies. Just destroyed them. Those idiots had to leave a perfectly nice temperate summer to come to Houston in the bowels of summer and proceed to get the piss beaten out of them. The Astros are 75-40. Good day for the Astros, standings-wise, I guess, if it matters anymore. Oakland lost and West Longview lost both ends of a double-header to Cleveland. The Astros' lead over Oakland is now 10 games, and it's 16.5 games over Lower McKinney. Reminder that I get Whataburger for free from a Ramger fan if the Astros finish 25 games better than North Waxahachie.

The Astros have now won...
Six in a row
Nine of their last ten
16 of their last 19 since the Angels thought they could flex. Brad Ausmus is on a steady diet of In-N-Out trying to undo what he did.

Houston is now 625-624 since the beginning of 2012 - when Crane took ownership and Luhnow took over as GM.

As a franchise, the Astros are 4569-4651

*Houston went 4-0 against the Rockies this season.
2-0 at Colorado: Houston outscored them 13-10.
2-0 at MMP: Houston outscored them 25-9. At home aka at Not Coors Field

*Since 2013 Houston is 13-3 against the Rockies.

Record after 115 games:
2019: 75-40
2018: 73-42
2017: 71-44
1999: 69-46
1998: 69-46
1986: 65-50

The Front Office has built the Best Team in Astros History three years in a row.

*Where do we even start with this game? I know:


*Let's start with the offense as a whole. They scored 25 runs in two games. That's the most they've scored since they put 26 on the Ramgers on May 11/12. It's the 19th time this season they've scored 10+ runs. They're 18-1 in those games (cursed April 21 game against Aren'tlington).

*The Astros yesterday got 14 runs on 12 hits and nine walks. They're the fifth team in baseball to accumulate those totals in a single game in MLB this season. It's the 7th time in franchise history they've done that. The last time an Astros team did it was August 26, 2003 against the Dodgers. 14 years after that the Astros beat the Dodgers in the World Series.

*I literally don't understand this stat I'm about to share. Astros hitters have now drawn nine walks in a game four times this season. They're 1-3 thanks to that Colorado beatdown.

*1-6 in the lineup: 11x22, 4K:7BB, 14RBI
  7-9 in the lineup: 1x13, 5K:2BB, 0RBI

*Yuli Gurriel had himself a franchise day, going 2x4 with a double, home run, and 8RBI. The RBI total ties J.R. Towles' franchise record for a single game (September 20, 2007). I don't know how else to explain that what Yuli is doing aka has done in the last two months is nothing short of astounding, especially in his Age 35 season.

Comparing Gurriel's day to Towles' day.

1st Inning: 3-run home run
3rd Inning: RBI sac fly
4th Inning: 3-run double
6th Inning: RBI fielder's choice
7th Inning: Pop out

2nd Inning: 2RBI double to left
4th Inning: 2RBI single to left
6th Inning: RBI ground-rule double to right
8th Inning: RBI walk
9th Inning: 2-run home run

Yuli, beginning of season-June 8 (254 PAs): .252/.283/.382, 4HR, 26K:12BB
Yuli, since June 9: .357/.395/.741, 19HR, 22K:11BB

Why June 9? That's when Yuli's tear started. It's also when his countryman Yordan Alvarez was called up.

Gurriel currently has an .872 OPS in his Age 35 season. Other notable Age 35 season OPS's:

Berkman: .959 (2011 - with St. Louis - and wow I did not expect that)
Bagwell: .897 (2003)
Biggio: .838 (2001)

Gurriel: Career-high / 2019
Hits: 158 / 126
Extra-Base Hits: 64 / 52
Home Runs: 18 / 23
RBI: 85 / 80
Walks: 23 / 23

It's really incredible with this team, and I feel a big responsibility to drive runners in when they are on base. To be in that spot, I'm always focused and concentrating to get those runners in.

You get that feel every time he comes up that something positive is going to happen. He's locked in on pitch recognition and staying in on the at-bat. His production has been through the roof the last six weeks.

Springer, on Gurriel:
Gurriel is one of the purest hitters I've ever seen, I've ever played with. He can get to balls and hit them hard that you wouldn't expect anybody to get to. He finds a way. He's such a talented hitter, man. He knows what he wants to do. He knows what he wants to hit. And when he gets it, he doesn't miss.

Gurriel and Bagwell are the only Astros with multiple 7+ RBI games.

ESPN's David Schoenfield: No one is as hot as Gurriel and Nelson Cruz.

*Yordan Alvarez was 3x4 with a walk. He has a six-game hitting streak with four multi-extra-base hit games. 11x23, three doubles / two home runs, 7RBI, 2K:3BB. 

*Alex Bregman was 2x4 with a walk and 3RBI. It's his first 3RBI game since June 14. 

Bregman hit a league-leading 51 doubles, and 31 home runs, in 705 PAs in 2018. That's a double for every 13.82 PAs. In 2019, he has 20 doubles in 495 PAs, one for every 24.75 PAs.

That said, Bregs' HR/PA rate:
2018: 22.74 PAs per home run
2019: 18.33 PAs per home run

*Martin Maldonado had two of those walks. It's his third 2BB game of the season and his first since May 14.

Maldonado with the Royals (238 PAs): .227/.291/.366, 55K:17BB
Maldonado with the Cubs (13 PAs): .000/.154/.000, 5K:2BB
Maldonado with the Astros (18 PAs): .217/.291/.357, 7K:4BB

*The win was impressive enough that Garrett Stubbs played Left Field.


*Gerrit Cole, man. Struck out 10 batters and didn't walk anyone. Might as well do this again, Cole's starts with 10+ strikeouts and 0 walks:

2013: 0
2014: 1
2015: 0
2016: 0
2017: 1
2018: 4
2019: 5

Weird. Something happened to Cole's career between 2017 and 2018 but I can't quite put my finger on it.

From Sarah Langs, most starts by Astros pitchers with 10K:0BB, franchise history:

Justin Verlander: 9
Gerrit Cole: 9

I'll go one further and list every Astros pitcher with at least five starts with 10+ strikeouts and no walks:

Justin Verlander: 9
Gerrit Cole: 9
Shane Reynolds: 7
Mike Scott: 6
Roy Oswalt: 5

That's it.

Gerrit Cole's 10-decision win streak is the longest active streak in the Majors. Cole:
The wins are always representative of kind of a team approach. I've given my team a really good chance to win every time we've gone out, and the offense has given me a good opportunity to collect Ws every time I've gone out.

*Hunter Atkins: The Astros are as good as it gets right now.

*Ryan Pressly is expected to rejoin the team and could be activated against Baltimore.

*When Peacock comes back, he's expected to rejoin the bullpen.

*Round Rock had a crazy one, beating El Paso 20-12. Alex De Goti hit for the cycle, including 2HR. Kyle Tucker was 3x4 with 2HR and a walk. Nick Tanielu was 3x6 with two doubles and 4RBI. Jose Urquidy threw 4.2IP, 14H/11ER, 4K:1BB. Brad Peacock threw 16 pitches in a clean 7th inning.

*Former Astros Great David Paulino was DFA'd by the Blue Jays.

*Baltimore player Chris Davis and Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde got into a little scuffle in the dugout. Probably not what you want between your manager and the guy you still inexplicably owe $70+ million to. Since signing a 7yr/$161m deal after the 2015 season, Davis: .200/.294/.386, -1.2 fWAR. That's insane.

Also, the 38-76 Orioles just got swept by the Yankees, then get three with the Astros, then have a seven-game road trip to New York and Boston. Poor bastards.

*A Musical Selection:

Frank Turner will be on tour this fall in Dallas on November 1 and Houston on November 2.