Sunday, September 1, 2019

Monday Morning Hot Links

Well. Justin Verlander threw a no-hitter, so I guess that's cool. Could have had one on August 21, but I guess now works, too. Houston won 2-0. The Astros are 89-49 and with the Yankees win/Oakland loss, maintain a 10-game lead in the division. There are 24 regular season games left.

*Justin Verlander threw his 3rd career no-hitter, and was a 1st Inning walk to Cavan frickin Biggio away from a perfect game. The Astros last threw a no-hitter on August 3, the combined no-no against Seattle.It's the 13th no-hitter in franchise history. Eighteen teams have thrown multiple no-hitters in the same season.

Shortest span between a team's no hitters, MLB History (1903-present):

1 Day: St. Louis Browns (Ernie Koob / Bob Groom), 1917.
5 Days: Cincinnati Reds (Johnny Van Der Meer / Johnny Van Der Meer), 1938.
25 Days: Los Angeles Dodgers (Josh Beckett / Clayton Kershaw), 2014.
30 Days: Houston Astros (Combined / Verlander), 2019.
30 Days: Milwaukee Braves (Lew Burdette / Warren Spahn), 1960

Verlander had lost two no-hitters in the 9th inning:
I'd be lying if I said I didn't know that. Definitely a big hurdle to get over, and a special moment for me.

It's the first single-pitcher no-hitter for the Astros since Mike F. Fiers no-hit the Dodgers on August 21, 2015. Verlander:
It's elation. It's so cool to be able to have everybody jumping up and down and have everybody else that excited.

Verlander's 9IP, 0H/0ER, 14K:1BB performance is just the sixth such performance in MLB history. The other five, organized by number of strikeouts:

Max Scherzer: October 3, 2015. 17K:0BB vs New York
Clayton Kershaw: June 18, 2014. 15K:0BB vs Colorado
Matt Cain: June 13, 2012. 14K:0BB vs Houston :-(
Sandy Koufax: September 9, 1965. 14K:0BB vs Chicago
Nap Rucker: September 5, 1908. 14K:0BB vs Boston

Verlander needed 27 pitches to get from the 4th-8th Innings.

*Our Dude Robert Flores: Verlander is the first pitcher in MLB history with multiple no-hitters as a visitor in one ballpark. Other pitchers with multiple no-hitters against the same team: Addie Joss (vs the White Sox in 1908 and 1910) and Tim Lincecum (vs San Diego in 2013 and 2014)

Verlander is the fifth pitcher in MLB history with five separate 250K seasons, joining Max Scherzer, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, and Roger Clemens. Verlander and Cole each have 250 Ks, making them the 2nd pair of teammates with consecutive 250+ K seasons in MLB history. The other? Randy Johnson and Curt "Dipshit" Schilling.

*The Astros needed a two-out 9th-inning home run from Abraham Toro - the second home run of his career and easily the biggest hit of his career - to let Verlander get the no-hitter in regulation. Verlander:
Where the f*ck is Toro?

Verlander, on Toro:
The moments matter in this game. The scene was scripted for him in his hometown (Ed. Note: Toronto is not Montreal.) All the guys were so fired up. You take everything into account that moment. That's baseball. Those are the special moments that I don't think you can create anywhere else.

Hinch, on Toro:
I know he wanted to do really well here. He's gotten as much attention these last three days as he's gotten in his entire career. To do it in front of family, friends in a park that he's been to before is special.

It's unreal. My first no-hitter. First time playing in Canada as a professional. It's something I'll remember forever.

Hell yeah, Abraham Toro.

Astros' runs scored in Verlander's starts:

0 runs: 1
1 run: 2
2 runs: 3
3 runs: 5
4 runs: 5
5 runs: 4
6 runs: 1
7 runs: 3
8 runs: 1
9 runs: 1
10 runs: 1
12 runs: 1

So the Astros have scored four or fewer runs in 16 of Verlander's 29 starts this season, including today. Verlander is 17-5 and still has taken the L in three starts in which he allowed two or fewer runs. He has recorded a No Decision in four more Quality Starts. It's not out of the question for Verlander to be 21-3 right now.

*Other pitchers to have three no-hitters:

Nolan Ryan: 7
Sandy Koufax: 4
Larry Corcoran: 3
Cy Young: 3
Bob Feller: 3
Justin Verlander: 3

Here's Robert Ford's call of the last out:

Hopefully when he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame, it's with an Astros hat.

It seems like JV is getting better and better. They don't come easy. He really works hard. He spends a lot of time in the video room to get to hitters' weaknesses. He's unbelievable. He's just getting better.

Bo Bichette, who grounded out to Toro to complete the no-hitter:
He was the most aggressive pitcher I've ever faced. He kept coming after me no matter what.

*Verlander, on his Apparently Extremely-Famous Wife, who is currently in Venice to watch some movies, I guess:
She was the first one I called. She was actually up very late watching the whole thing, so that's awesome. 

*Chandler Rome, on the only mound visit of the day. Verlander, on Chirinos:
It's been a pretty special year for him and I. Right from the get in Spring Training, he works his butt off and tries so hard to get on the same page as pitchers and do whatever he can to help us win. I share this with him as much as anyone.

[Verlander] has been around so long that one of my coaches was an active player on his team during his last no-hitter.

*Tom Verducci: How Justin Verlander has found the sweet spot between pitching at the intersection of youth and wisdom.

*Verlander has 2,757 strikeouts. If he pitches every 5th game, he has four starts left. If the Astros get creative with off-days, he could have five starts left. He needs 43 strikeouts to get to 3,000 for his career, and would need 10.75 K/start if he has four and 8.6 K/start if he has five to get to 3K Ks. It's gonna happen in 2019.

*Verlander's WHIP is 0.77. Chandler Rome notes that the MLB mark is 0.73 in 2003, by Pedro Martinez.

*Bradford Doolittle: Verlander's 3rd No-Hitter adds to his Hall of Fame legacy.

*It's the 30th game of the season in which the Astros have scored two or fewer runs. They're now 4-26 when that happens.

*Josh Big Flames James is back with new confidence and a revamped delivery. James:
Just shortened up my arm swing a little bit just to kind of help me sync up a little bit. The longer delivery just led to some inconsistency. Now that I've shortened up, I'm able to be around the zone a little bit more, leverage some stuff and leverage my off-speed and feel better.

*Kyle Tucker and Garrett Stubbs were not in Round Rock's lineup on Sunday. Some call-ups will take place Monday, and again on Thursday. It's officially Bullpen Savings Time.

*Ken Schrom, Former Astros Great and Current Corpus Christi President, retired on Sunday.

*Fayetteville beat Down East 2-1 and are your Carolina League 2019 regular season champs.

*Frankie Tuesday, who got hurt and suspended, made his first start of 2019 - for Quad Cities - on Sunday. He threw 2.2IP, 1H/2ER, 6K:3BB in 35 pitches. Quad Cities lost 3-2.

*Got some extra cash lying around? Help out that Rays minor-league pitcher whose brother-in-law killed his wife, son, and mother-in-law.

*Jim Leavelle, the Dallas Police Detective (yeah, capitalized) handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he got shot, died over the weekend at 99 years old.

*A Musical Selection, from a guy with whom I went to college and is not my normally-preferred genre, but I like it regardless: