Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sunday Morning Hot Links

Not ideal! The Astros had a golden opportunity to take a 1-0 lead in the ALCS before Verlander and Cole even pitch and...waved it that opportunity like they waved at all 21 pitches Tanaka needed to get through six innings. Bad Astros offense is bad. Gleyber Torres 5, Houston 0. New York is up 1-0 in the series.

*The Astros had a 55-45 edge in G1 according to FanGraphs. It's 54-46 today with Verlander and Paxton - more on him in a bit. The Yankees now have a 53-47 shot, again, according to FanGraphs. FiveThirtyEight was extremely unimpressed with how Game 1 shook out. They had the Astros at 54-46 going in, but now it's 65-35 Yankees.

*The team that wins G1 of the ALCS has gone on to win in 30 of 49 series.

*Speaking of unimpressive: the Astros' offense! The Astros have played 54 innings. They have scored a run in ten of those innings. They have scored 2+ runs in a single inning five times in five games. This is, obviously, not the Astros that we know and love. It's the Astros we knew and loved back in the day. But not this. Fifteen of the Astros' 43 hits have gone for extra-bases. It doesn't matter what Greinke allows when the offense is getting minimum-ed through six innings on 68 pitches, which is what Tanaka did.

Lindsey Adler notes that Tanaka is the first pitcher to throw 68 pitches through six full innings in the postseason since Greg Maddux did it in 67 pitches in the 2002 NLDS. Zack Greinke threw 83 pitches through six innings, and I bet if you just looked at the pitching line and saw Greinke threw 83 pitches through 6IP, 7H/3ER, 6K:0BB you would imagine the Astros won.

*The last time the Astros were shutout in the postseason was 2017 ALCS Game 5 against the Yankees.

*Carlos Correa, this postseason, is 3x22 with 10K:0BB, "hitting" .136/.136/.182. He hasn't had a hit since he got two in Game 2 of the ALDS, going 0x14 with 6K:0BB in the four games since. He went hitless in five of the 2017 postseason's 18 games total. Since August 13 - a span of exactly two months - Correa is 8x56 with 18 strikeouts.

*The Astros aren't terribly concerned. Altuve:
We've been in this situation before. [Sunday] we have Justin and we all know how confident and good we feel about him. It's just one game. It's a seven-game series. We still have a lot of baseball to play.

I thought Zack did a good job giving us a chance to win and we just didn't do anything offensively.

Springer, who is "hitting" .120/.154/.120 in six games this postseason:
When you're facing really good pitching, it makes hitting even harder. Hitting's hard. But that being said, we're a good team and we understand that, so we've got to grind and string together some at-bats and we'll see what happens.

*More Springer:
[Tanaka is] one of the best in the game. He threw his slider a little bit off the plate. The split was good all night. He controlled the zone. You tip your cap and you move on.

Springer has gone hitless in four of six postseason games in 2019. His 0x4 in ALDS G1 broke a 14-game postseason hit streak. Springer had eight hitless games in his previous 32 postseason games coming into 2019.

*Yordan's line drive that resulted in Bregman getting doubled up had an expected-batting average of .740.

*Ryan Pressly:
I mixed up a lot of things today, but they went the other way with a lot of stuff. I got singled to death, and now I've got to hang with them and come out [Sunday].

*Our own Brian Arbour has a piece on why the Astros are better than the Yankees, and why it might not matter.

*'s Mandy Bell: How will Verlander and Cole cool off Gleyber Torres?

*The New York Post's Ken Davidoff says the Rays gave the Yankees a plan on how to beat the Astros. I don't think this is the bombshell it seems like, more like a, "if the Yankees watched the ALDS, they would know how to pitch to the Astros" plan.

*Outside the Lines' T.J. Quinn has a bombshell report on the death of Tyler Skaggs, in which the Angels' longtime director of communications Eric Kay (who himself overdosed in April) was Skaggs' supplier of oxycodone, which Skaggs would snort. The report says then-VP of communications Tim Mead was made aware. This is somewhat of a sticky situation for Mead, as he was announced as the President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum the week after Kay's overdose. Mead denied knowledge of any of the situation.

*The Atlantic's Andrew Exum: David Pocock, the best athlete Americans have never heard of.

*Yesterday, 34-year old Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge ran 26.2 miles 17 minutes faster than I ran 13.1 miles last March. Kipchoge:
I wanted to run under two hours and show human beings can do a good job and lead a good life. It shows the positivity of sport. I want to make the sport an interesting sport whereby all the human beings can run and together we can make this world a beautiful world.

*A Musical Selection: