Saturday, September 21, 2019

Saturday Morning Hot Links

The Astros enjoyed a 5-run 1st inning and rode it out to a 6-4 win over the Fightin' Ausmuses. Houston is 101-53, and 59-20 at home. One win today or tomorrow gives the Astros 60 wins at Minute Maid Park in 2019. That's why home field is important. Houston has won six in a row, is 13-4 in September, and 44-20 since the All-Star Break.

*Scoreboard watching:

The Astros could have clinched the division last night with a Flower Mound win over Oakland, but they couldn't even get that right.The next Astros win or Oakland loss clinches the Astros' 3rd straight division title. Altuve:
We can feel it. We're excited. We are all anxious about things right now which is normal because we want to make it happen.

I can't compliment our team enough on the mindset we had. I know a lot of people think certain parts of the season were foregone conclusions and the talent on this team is supposed to produce these wins, but it's not easy. We don't read our own press clippings. We don't really care where people rank us or where people think we are. We show up to win.

The Blue Jays beat the Yankees, the Dodgers beat the Rockies.

Houston (101-53): -
New York (100-55): -1.5
Los Angeles (99-55): -2.0

It's essentially a 2.5-game lead over the Yankees for home-field advantage seeing as how the Astros have the tie-breaker.

*Zack Greinke: 5IP, 7H/4ER, 4K:0BB, one solo home run allowed.

Grienke's top of the 4th: Pujols single, Calhoun single, Simmons double, Walsh single, Smith single, Thaiss GIDP, Hermosillo strikeout. Four runs scored on 16 pitches. It's Greinke's third start as an Astro with at least 4ER. Hinch:
Greinke was not that sharp. He got nickeled and dimed a little bit with some seeing-eye singles. They pieced together some good at-bats, one after another. I haven't seen him give up like four or five or six hits in a row. The execution, doesn't mean it was bad. Just means they put up some pretty good swings. Getting out of it was most impressive because it was a big part of the game where I was going to have to go get him.

Greinke hasn't walked a batter in four starts (23IP), the longest walk-less streak of his career. His 2019 WHIP is 1.008. Provided Gerrit Cole doesn't shoot from 0.908 to 1.00, Jayson Stark notes that the Astros could be the first MLB team since the 1884 St. Louis Maroons with three SPs with a sub-1.00 WHIP.

*The bullpen of James, Pressly (in his triumphant return from knee surgery), Harris, and Osuna: 4IP, 1H/0ER, 7K:1BB. Hinch, on Pressly:
It's huge. To make the All-Star team as a reliever, it's really hard. You're up against a lot of things that usually don't work out for high-end relievers, and he made the All-Star team for a reason. Huge weapon for us. He's going to pitch incredibly important innings for us down the stretch and also into October.

On Peacock, who threw a healthy bullpen Thursday:
He is as happy and as comfortable as he's been in a long time. A lot of these guys will tell you that. I actually see it in his body language and in his demeanor and in his stuff. All of our information is that he's doing quite well.

*Yuli Gurriel was scratched with a stomach illness. Probably bowels was loose.

*Jose Altuve hit his 30th home run of 2019, giving the Astros four players with 30+ home runs. With four more home runs, Yordan could be the 5th. Jose Altuve is the first Astros 2B to hit 30 homers. Altuve:
I always wanted to hit 30 homers. I always said it before. A lot of people didn't think I could play in the big leagues. They kept telling me: 'No, no,' and then all of a sudden I hit 30 homers, so that's pretty good.

*In his 2nd game back, Carlos Correa hit two home runs for the 9th time in his career. Correa is hitting .277/.355/.568 in 2019. Correa:
I feel great. It felt great to get the rhythm, timing and today was a positive day. Obviously it gives you a lot of confidence. I spent like three hours in the mirror yesterday fixing my mechanics. It paid off.

*Josh Reddick on August 20: .260/.302/.377.
Josh Reddick since August 20: .347/.400/.556.

*Aledmys Diaz was 3x4. It's his 2nd 3-hit game of the season, and Diaz has an .818 OPS in 2019.

*Mike Lupica: How the Astros became the model for MLB success.

*The Athletic's Mark Simon notes how Bregman's offensive totals are lower than they should be because he's been the victim of some great defense.

*Joe Posnanski: No team has ever had a pitching pair like Verlander and Cole. Posnanski:
No team has ever had identical twins quite like Cole and Verlander at the top of their rotation. The fascinating question will be: What will this mean come playoff time? On the one hand, the Astros basically go into the postseason with not one but two Tom Seavers and that seems like a pretty good recipe for winning a World Series.

*For the first time, Pat & I are going to make a serious attempt to monetize, and you can help support both Astros County & Lima Time Time with our Patreon! So I'm going to take a minute to talk about the levels, and what you get:

-Kyle Tucker ($5/month): Access to every episode of Lima Time Time 24 hours in advance of it being on iTunes.

-Yordan Alvarez ($10/month): The above, plus a weekly bonus show, plus a postgame show after every playoff game. Plus Hot Links from me on days that Flick takes them here (Monday-Wednesday).

-Alex Bregman ($20/month): All of the above, plus free tickets to Lima Time Time Live Shows!

-Justin Verlander ($75/mongh): All of the above, and we will record a Live Lima Time podcast at your house. For real.

*The Red Sox were eliminated last night and you just hate to see it. Also: Boston paid Rusney Castillo so much money that he can't play for the Red Sox.

*A's reliever Lou Trivino has oblique and ribs soreness after he fell in the shower.

*How to help victims of Tropical Storm Imelda.

*Soccer at the edge of the world.

*A Musical Selection: