Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday Morning Hot Links

We're just a group of guys, ready to make a dynasty in Houston.

The Astros won their third pennant in franchise history, 14 years to the day since their first pennant in franchise history. Folks, you and I have come a long way together. Let's hug.

It's a great series. We knew they had a great team. Like they call themselves, they're savages. But in this jungle called the American League, we're the apex predator.

Correa totally workshopped that quote with his buddies Daniela.

*Jose Altuve, a savage in the box, undid a whole lot of Lidge-induced PTSD in the bottom of the 9th Inning off of Aroldis Chapman, in an extremely offensively frustrating series. It was Altuve's 5th home run of the postseason, his second of the ALCS. It's the 5th time a Pennant has been clinched on a walk-off homer.

It was Altuve's 2nd Walk-Off Home Run of his career, the first since July 23, 2015, when he did it against Boston. Verlander, on Altuve:
People ask me about him, and I say he's a giant in every sense of the word except for his height. In everything else, he's 7-foot tall. Teammate. Baseball player. Everything.

Chandler Rome: One swing, "complete mayhem," and the American League Pennant. Gerrit Cole, on Altuve:
Coming from having to beg for a professional contract, coming from losing 100 games three times in a row to winning 100 games three times in a row, there's nobody that embodies the underdogs better than Jose. And there's really nobody that's ever played the game that's quite as talented as he is.

Houston is 10-1 in the postseason when Altuve homers.

Jenny Dial Creech: Jose Altuve cements his Houston legacy.

*Chapman, on the Walk-Off:
When [Altuve] hit that, I couldn't believe it. I didn't think he could get a hit like that at that time and walk us off in such a manner. But that's baseball. He's a great hitter, and I didn't do my job. That's why we lost.

We're not going to the World Series because of me, we're going to the World Series because of everybody in the clubhouse.

Hinch, on Altuve:
It's the same old quote of: Everything that's right about the Astros is Jose Altuve. He's been here the longest and seen this organization grow from the ground up. I'm so proud of him. I'm so fortunate to be his manager.

All that is great about baseball is packed into that 5-foot-6, 165-pound body, like one of those super-concentrated detergents. A little goes a long way. Altuve plays baseball like the wag of a puppy's tail. He plays joyfully. And he plays well.

2016 World Series Game 7
2019 ALCS Game 6

*Houston is going to the World Series thanks to two massive diving catches by the corner outfielders: Reddick and Brantley. Brantley, who doubled up Judge:
I wanted to make sure I completed the play. I knew I had a chance to double him up, I had to make a good throw. Yuli did a good job picking it for me. I didn't throw it in the air, I wanted to keep it down. We got out of that inning.

The Aaron Hicks liner Brantley came up with had an expected batting average of .370. Reddick's catch negated a Gardner hit that had an expected batting average of .570.

I ate a little bit of dirt and grass on it. But that's fine. Whatever it takes to make the play and make the out, that's all that matters.

*Yuli Gurriel's first inning 3-run home run were the first runs for the Astros with two outs in the series. It's the third straight year that Gurriel has hit a 3-run homer in the postseason (2018 ALCS G1, 2017 World Series G5). Hinch, on Gurriel:
It's nice when you take the lead, especially in an elimination game, on the other side, it puts an immense amount of pressure on those guys. It wouldn't surprise me that Yuli was in the middle of it, because he's been mere feet away from being in the middle of virtually every good thing that's happened to us offensively in this series.

I had all the bad luck. And I hope I get the good luck in the World Series.

*Houston is 89-2 this season (postseason included) when leading by three or more runs, and 51-0 at Minute Maid Park when up by three.

*Astros, 2019 postseason:

Altuve: .349/.417/.767, 4K:5BB, 5HR
Brantley: .262/.340/.333, 9K:5BB, 1HR
Bregman: .257/.435/.429, 8K:10BB, 1HR
Gurriel: .209/.239/.302, 0K:2BB (yes, Gurriel has not struck out this postseason), 1HR
Correa: .171/.227/.366, 18K:3BB, 2HR
Yordan: .171/.227/.244, 19K:3BB, 0HR
Springer: .152/.235/.283, 15K:5BB, 2HR
Reddick: .136/.174/.273, 7K:1BB, 1HR
Chirinos: .091/.231/.227, 10K:3BB, 0HR

The Astros are going to the World Series with six hitters in the lineup hitting .209 or worse, and went 5x46 w/RISP in the ALCS, and Gerrit Cole only pitched once. 

*Jose Urquidy: 2.2IP, 3H/1ER, 5K:1BB. Hinch, on Urquidy:
He was incredible tonight. What's hard for a young player is not really knowing what was going to happen or how he was going to be used. It probably would have been easier on him emotionally just to start the game and have the normal routine, and we weren't going to do that...We don't win this game if Urquidy doesn't come in and get the outs that he did at the time in which he did to turn it over to the back end of the bullpen.

Matt Young: How Urquidy carried the Astros in Game 6.

*Will Harris, on the Astros' bullpen:
We have a lot of guys with a lot of pride that are really good at their jobs. And I was excited for the opportunity for us to prove that today.

I knew that was gone. That was a terrible feeling. I felt terrible. When Altuve hit the homer, obviously I came back to life and pretty excited right now.

*Brad Peacock was the first pitcher since 1924 to finish a postseason game and then start the next day. He slept in the Astros' designated nap room at Minute Maid Park Friday night.

*Gerrit Cole asked Hinch twice if he could pitch in Game 6.

*Ryan Pressly, who came out of the game after recording a one-pitch out, says he'll be ready for the World Series.
Just some scar tissue that broke off. It was bound to happen at some point. I just didn't think it was going to happen in the middle of that game. I'll be good and ready to go next week.

*6-9 in the Yankees' lineup (Gregorius, Sanchez, Urshela, Gardner): 7x14, 3 runs, 2RBI.

*Yahoo's Tim Brown: The 2019 ALCS highlighted Baseball's greatness, and its flaws.

*Postseason wins, 2013-present:
Los Angeles: 33
Houston: 25
Kansas City: 22
Boston: 19
Chicago: 19
St. Louis: 17
New York Yankees: 14
San Francisco: 14
Washington: 13
Cleveland: 12
Toronto: 10
New York Mets: 8
Milwaukee: 6
Tampa: 5
Detroit: 5
Atlanta: 4
Pittsburgh: 3
Baltimore: 3
Arlington: 2
Oakland: 2
Colorado: 1
Arizona: 1

*Updated AL West Playoff Wins, 2013-present:
Houston: 25
Oakland: 2
Arlington: 2
Anaheim: 0
Seattle: 0

*Wade Miley had a quote on his plans for free agency:
If I'm not back in Houston, I won't be back in the AL. Because I don't ever want to have to face this lineup. 

It's a failure. In Spring Training, we talked about winning the division and putting ourselves in a good spot in the postseason to win a World Series. We came up short. No matter how many games we won in the regular season or what else we did, this season is a failure.

This is the first calendar decade (XXX0-XXX9) in which the Yankees won't play in the World Series since the 1910s. Hate to see it.

*The Astros will now be able to line up Cole-Verlander-Greinke in Games 1-3 of the World Series, Cole could throw Game 5 on normal rest.

An interesting note about Greinke in Game 3 is that it allows him to hit in Washington. In nine starts against the Nationals in his career, Greinke has held them to a .197/.227/.271 line. He's 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA / 0.83 WHIP against the Nationals in his career. At Whatever Their Ballpark Is Called, he's 2-1 in four starts with a 1.11 ERA / 0.90 WHIP. Luhnow:
We're going to have a tough road ahead of us. Washington's a great team, but to be able to open up here and be here for the next several days and not have to travel, it's a huge advantage for our team, huge advantage for our team, huge advantage to have Gerrit Cole probably lined up to go Game 1 and Verlander to go Game 2.

*Hunter Atkins: Could the Astros have a Bullpen Game in Game 4?

*FanGraphs has the Astros winning the World Series at 72-28. FiveThirtyEight has it 60-40 Astros.

*David Roth: What's wrong with the baseballs is what's wrong with Baseball.

*Leeds United 1 Birmingham City 0.

*Texas Monthly: The Great Texas Whiskey Boom.

*A Musical Selection: