Monday, September 2, 2019

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

The Astros won a game I was really sure they were going to lose when Christian Yelich tied it in the bottom of the 9th off of Roberto Osuna. But a Springer Dinger and some "clutch" "Pitching" (and some help from an umpire for once in their wretched lives) means the Astros are 90-49. Still fully expecting Richie Sexson to be in tomorrow's lineup for Milwaukee.

Game in which the Astros recorded their 90th win:

139: 2019
143: 1998
144: 2018
146: 1999
148: 2017
150: 2001
155: 1986
157: 1980
160: 2004
N/A: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1979, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972, 1971, 1970, 1969, 1968, 1967, 1966, 1965, 1964, 1963, 1962

Houston is 33-16 in the 2nd Half, 21-9 since August 1. Since their L5 streak in mid-August they're 12-3.

Oakland didn't play today. The Ramgers shut out the Yankees, ending New York's 220-game streak of not getting shut out. The AL looks like this, at present:

Houston: 90-49
New York: 90-49
Oakland: 78-58 (-10.5)

*Gerrit Cole threw 6IP, 3H/1ER, 14K:2BB. Two of those hits were infield hits. It's the first time teammates have posted 14Ks in consecutive games since the mound was moved to 60'6" 1893. That's four straight double-digit strikeout starts for Cole, and 16 on the season. The Astros haven't lost a game Gerrit Cole started since July 12.

Strikeouts, 2019:
Cole: 266
Verlander: 257

Cole is currently 7th on the Astros' all-time single-season strikeout list. Verlander is 8th. Only J.R. Richard (twice) and Mike Scott have struck out 300+ batters in a season. Hinch, on Cole:
Those guys, 1-2 punch, are really tough. We have a ton of confidence when [Cole is] pitching. We know we're going to be in the game, we know we're going to miss bats. His competitive fire is really second to none. He knows what he's doing out there and when he's in control of the game, he's completely dominant.

Impressive how absolutely nothing was actually shared in that paragraph.

*Roberto Osuna allowed a game-tying home run to Christian Yelich to lead off the bottom of the 9th, made a dumb error, but was *otherwise* unscathed. I'll talk about him another day.

*Josh Big Flames James walked two batters but had some help striking out the side, including Yelich and something called Hernan Perez to end the game. Brewers manager Craig Counsell:
It's two awful calls. I don't know what to say. It's the magnitude of the spot, it's the hitter. It's just bad calls, it's bad umpiring. When it's Christian Yelich and the game's on the line and you miss calls, it hurts and it dramatically affects the outcome of the game.

You guys saw it, so I'll let you guys all make your own judgments. I don't want to say anything that's going to get myself fined.

Just horrific grammar by Yelich, there.

*The Astros were 1x12 w/RISP. Bregman got the lone hit, while Yordan went 0x3 w/RISP.

*George Springer ended up with the go-ahead/game-winning home run in the top of the 10th - his 30th of the season. It's the 151st home run of his career, and his 64th go-ahead homer. It's the 4th home run of his career in extra innings, and the first since he bombed Wade Davis in the 10th back on July 24, 2018. Springer:
I'm just trying to get on base. Leading off the inning, hopefully I can get to first base somehow and let the other guys do the work, but I was able to hit one hard.

It's the 68th home run he's hit when leading off the inning. Springer is four home runs shy of his career-high of 34, set in 2017.

*Alex Bregman was 4x5 with a double and an RBI. It's Bregman's 5th 4-hit game of his career. The last one came on August 18. It's the first time he's had four hits in a game and one of them wasn't a homer. Scrub.

*Yordan Alvarez tied Carlos Correa's franchise rookie home run mark, with his 22nd of the year. Since June 9. Yordan, by month:

June: .317/.406/.733, 7HR
July: .333/.419/.627, 5HR
Aug: .309/.425/.670, 9HR
Sept: .250/.250/.625, 1HR

He's falling off, man.

*Jake Marisnick was 0x1 in a pinch-hitting appearance. From August 1 to before his pinch-hit AB, Marisnick: .215/.262/.329 in 84 PAs.

*You're going to want to spend some cash on this new "Where The F*** is Toro?" shirt from Breaking T.

*Brent Strom said his hands were shaking in the 9th during Verlander's No-No. Strom:
He's a throwback. He's a special guy. I often kid him, I think he should be pitching back in the day with Seaver and that group. That's the era he belongs in.

Here's a wonderfully-written recap of Justin Verlander's No-Hitter from The Athletic's John Lott.

Verlander's 2019 WHIP: 0.772

Two other pitchers since 1901 (minimum 120IP) have posted a lower WHIP:
-Clayton Kershaw: 0.72 (2016)
-Pedro Martinez: 0.74 (2000)

*Brian McTaggart took a look at how the Astros' postseason roster is shaping up.

*Kyle Tucker, Cionel Perez, and Garrett Stubbs were all called up for Monday's game. Another wave of call-ups is expected on Thursday.

*Jake Kaplan has a mailbag in which he discusses Yordan's ROY case, what to expect from Kyle Tucker, Gerrit Cole's plans this offseason, and more.

*Hinch, on Kyle Tucker's second stint in the Majors:
I think he's matured over the year, which is going to be helpful for him. Now that he has a second opportunity here to come up, he has a long list of guys in there that he can watch prepare as he familiarizes himself with the at-bats he's going to get. It's important for him to learn that preparation, routine and cage routines.

*Wade Miley, returning to Milwaukee for the first time since 2018, told Adam McCalvy that he doesn't have any regrets about turning down Milwaukee's "offer:"
I mean, it wasn't close enough, obviously. And it was getting late in the year. It was kind of the same as the year before when I signed [with the Brewers] late on a Minor-League deal. It's like, I'm the type of person that I want to pitch. I don't want to drag this thing out into Spring Training again. I just told my agent, 'I want a job.' Houston's close to home. It's nice. It's been great. I went with it and no looking back, no regrets. There's no hard feelings anywhere. 

*Unsurprisingly, Gerrit Cole is the Astros' top impending free agent.

*Ben Lindbergh: The knuckleball isn't dead yet.

*Meet the Marathon Cheats.

*A Musical Selection: