Monday, October 28, 2019

Monday Morning Hot Links

That's just about as good as a 3-game road trip could have gone. The Astros surge ahead, getting key home runs and letting Gerrit Cole work. The Astros are one win away from winning the 2019 World Series, and the remaining two games are at home, where the Astros and Nationals have combined for zero wins. Nationals fans are right to lament not having Max Scherzer start Game 5. Astros fans have every right to breathe a sigh of relief. While you want to beat the best at their best, I didn't have any Red Sox fans come up and say they were sorry that Altuve and Correa were hurt in the 2018 ALCS.

Houston is 5-1 on the road in the ALCS and World Series. Hinch:
We look like ourselves now.

ZiPS: 78.8% to win the World Series
FanGraphs: 84.9% to win the World Series
FiveThirtyEight: 81% to win the World Series

*Under the current 2-3-2 format, the team that won Game 5 after the series was tied 2-2 won the World Series in 38 of 55 times (69%). Teams that did it when Game 5 was on the road won the Series 18 of 22 times (82%).

*Jayson Stark: The Astros are one win away from cementing a place in baseball history.

*Richard Justice: Game 5's standout star was A.J. Hinch.

* The Astros' road sweep of the Nationals in Games 3-5 was the most dominant three-game road stretch in World Series history:
The Astros became just the second team under the current 2-3-2 World Series format, following the Yankees against the Dodgers in 1949, to win all three of the middle games on the road without trailing.

*How about Gerrit Cole: 7IP, 3H/1ER, 9K:2BB. Eight of Cole's nine strikeouts in Game 5 came on breaking balls.

In seven postseason starts for Houston, Cole: 49.2IP, 30H/12ER, 64K:13BB. 2.17 ERA / 0.87 WHIP. Houston is 5-2 when Cole starts in the postseason. He has allowed 0 or 1 earned run in five of those starts (coincidentally the five wins). Springer, on Cole:
He was unbelievable. He brings intensity, a tenacity...I don't really know how to describe it. He showed up today and it was business from the time he got here until the time he came out of the game. He was lights-out. He threw all of his stuff for strikes and it was special to watch.

Cole has now gone three straight starts without recording 10+ strikeouts, something that didn't happen in the 2019 regular season. Cole:
I think we responded well. We had a challenge that we needed to meet, and we did. The World Series is about trying to collect four wins. Doesn't matter how many games you lose, unless you lose four. You've always got a shot unless you lost four, and so that's what we believed, and we just try to keep the same process that we've been keeping all year. Just keep one foot in front of the next, and just answer the bell.

Cole's 47 strikeouts this postseason ties a record set by Cliff Lee in 2010, Josh Beckett in 2003, and Randy Johnson in 2001.

*The bullpen continued to be nails. Joe Smith and Ryan Pressly combined for 2IP, 1H/0ER, 2K:0BB.

Bullpen, 2019 World Series Games 3-5: 10.1IP, 5H/1ER, 13K:7BB

*George Springer erupted for a 2x3 night with a double and a home run and two walks. It's a complete replication of his line from Game 1, only he didn't strike out in Game 1. After the ALCS Springer was hitting .152/.235/.283. In the World Series he's hitting .316/.480/.737 with 4K:6BB, 2HR, and two stolen bases. He has hit seven home runs in the World Series in his career. Only Reggie Jackson has hit more (ten) in the divisional era.

*Yordan Alvarez was 3x3 with his first home run since September 21, a span of 21 games and 79 PAs. His previous longest stretch between home runs was 34 PAs from June 23 - July 12. All three of his Game 5 hits left the bat at over 100mph. Yordan:
Obviously we did the job here, which was to win three games. And very happy to go back to Houston and to do my job as a DH.

You want to talk about feeling like you did the right thing, just put Yordan in the game and have him have three incredible at-bats, the first one being the most impactful. Just being able to hit a missile to center field, to be able to kick-start our offense tonight. He's done this the whole year, but this postseason as he's tried to find his way, it was nice to see him stay within himself.

Yordan, ALDS: .316/.350/.474, 7K:1BB
Yordan, ALCS: .045/.125/.045, 12K:2BB
Yordan, WS: .545/.615/.818, 2K:2BB

*Jose Altuve extended his postseason on-base streak to 25 games, tied with Boog Powell and Pablo Sandoval for the 3rd-longest streak in MLB history. Chase Utley has 27, Miguel Cabrera has 31. Reeeeally hope we have to wait until 2020 to see him catch Chase Utley.

*Carlos Correa was 1x4 with a 2-run home run. It's the 11th postseason home run of his career and the 3rd of this postseason. Springer:
He's always one swing away. I don't care what anyone says or does. He's such a big factor in our lineup and to our team.

Correa, on the possibility of winning the World Series in Houston:
I think I'll black out for the first time in my life.

Updated Postseason HR Leaderboard, Houston:

George Springer: 15
Jose Altuve: 13
Carlos Correa: 11
Alex Bregman: 9
Carlos Beltran: 8
Lance Berkman: 6
Yuli Gurriel: 4
Jeff Kent: 3
Craig Biggio: 2
Jeff Bagwell: 2
Robinson Chirinos: 2
Morgan Ensberg: 2

Game 5 was the 7th time that Springer and Correa have homered in the same game, most among teammates in MLB history.

*Martin Maldonado got a hit, going 1x3 with a walk. This World Series, Astros catchers are hitting 6x18 with 4K:1BB and 3HR.

*Chandler Rome: Washington waited 86 years for a World Series, they'll have to wait longer to watch a win in person.

*Home Plate Umpire Lance Barksdale was garbage all night, for both sides.

*Jenny Dial Creech: The Astros are finding ways to get better.

*Brian T. Smith: The Astros should try to keep Gerrit Cole. Hot take, here.

*Jim Crane wrote a letter to SI reporter Stephanie Apstein personally apologizing and officially retracting the train-wreck of a statement last Monday night. The Astros are declining to say who wrote that initial statement.

*The Washington Post tracked down Bud Light Guy, who took the Astros' gut-punch right in the gut.

*Fortune: Spotify saved the music industry. Now what?

*The Guardian: How American schools spy on millions of kids.

*A Musical Selection: