Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sunday Morning Hot Links

The Astros got Framboozled and then couldn't take advantage of numerous opportunities, which adds up to a 6-4 loss at Toronto. Houston is 88-49 with a nine-game lead on Oakland, who lost to New York in 11 innings. The Dodgers lost again to Arizona. There are 25 regular season games remaining.

New York: 89-48
Houston: -1
Los Angeles: -1.5

*Framber Valdez threw 5.2IP, 9H/6ER, 5K:3BB, five days after a 6IP, 2H/1ER, 8K:5BB effort. It just wasn't good enough, but consistency out of the SP5 spot has been an issue this season (probably for everybody, I just pay more attention to the Astros). Hinch:
There was a little bit of everything. There were parts where he was really good and then parts where there was an ill-advised walk to Biggio that set up an inning. There were homers to Teoscar Hernandez and Biggio, so we saw a little bit of everything from him...We extended him, just because of the way the 'pen was going into today, and just when you think he's out of it, he gives up a hit at the end and they tack on a run after that. So all in all, a mixed outing for him, but he did his piece, showed us flashes of some really good pitching and then some mistakes here or there.

Eight of the nine hits he allowed were with two outs. All six runs scored with two outs.

*Joe Smith allowed yet another inherited runner to score, and Cy Sneed needed just 10 pitches to retire the side in the 8th.

*The offense was...not clicking. Houston went 1x8 w/RISP, including a weird AB where Yordan just watched a fastball that was piped down the middle to strike out with the bases loaded. Houston left eight men on base, GIDP'ing to end the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings. Hinch:
We drew a lot of walks - more walks than hits - and if you include the hit by pitch, it's a lot of free baserunners to not be able to hit a ball in the gap or just find a hole or do something to put the pressure on them after they had a hard time with the strike zone.

*Houston was held to six hits total, only one of those for extra bases - Yuli Gurriel's 38th double of the season. It was their first game without a home run since August 19, and their first game with just one XBH since the 2nd game of the doubleheader with the White Sox on August 13.

*The Astros drew nine walks and lost. On August 29 the Astros drew ten walks and lost. Here's a weird stat I'm not even going to pretend to understand: The Astros are 2-5 in games in which they draw 9+ walks.

*Toronto pitcher Clay Buchholz threw 5.2IP, 3H/2ER, 5K:3BB and got his first win of the season, and his first since August 22, 2018. It was that kind of day. Bregman:
It's just one game. It's not a big deal. We'll be back at it tomorrow. Back at it, swinging well.

*Alex Bregman was 0x1 with a sac fly and three walks, one of those with the bases loaded. It's the third time this season - and 4th in his career - that Bregman has walked three times in a game. The Astros are 0-3 in 2019 when Bregman does that. Bregman did strike out once, giving him one strikeout in three straight games for the first time since June 16-21.

*The Astros have scored 19 runs on bases-loaded walks, the most by any Astros team since 1974.

*Martin Maldonado has a three-game hit streak. He's hitting .182/.280/.409 with 15K:6BB in 13 games with Houston. Stassi-esque.

*Michael Brantley got the day off yesterday. The Astros are 8-6 when he doesn't start.

*Cavan Biggio, 2019: .215/.345/.391, 12HR/35RBI, 93K:55BB
Biggio vs Houston, '19: .368/.455/.842, 2HR/6RBI, 8K:3BB

*Ken Giles struck out the side on 12 pitches in the top of the 9th.

*Bad news for a bullpen, which is getting Bad Newsier as the days go by: Collin McHugh was placed on the 10-Day IL with elbow soreness. McHugh:
It's been bothering me for the last little while, and I was able to pitch through it. It's August. Every year, it's tough for all the pitchers. Everybody's going to get little nicks and knacks...It's frustrating, but at the same time, we've got a lot of road ahead of us and I want to be a part of it.

So that's McHugh, Pressly, Peacock, Sanchez, and Josh James on the IL, though Josh James is expected to be activated today. Pressly played catch yesterday.

*Chandler Rome, on the shifts Yordan is facing.

Round Rock will play Iowa, Fayetteville will play Down East (the Ramgers' affiliate) and Quad Cities will take on Cedar Rapids.

*Here's a cool story about Yuli and Lourdes Gurriel's legendary father.

*SI takes a look at all the times the media has declared baseball dead.

*Hurricane Dorian is now a Category 5.

*The New American Homeless.

*Outside: The Tragedy on Howse Peak.

*REI is having a pretty sweet Labor Day sale.

*Customer service representatives 800 miles away helped save the life of a man having a stroke.

*A Musical Selection: