Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunday Morning Hot Links

Jose Urquidy did some damn things, Bregman finally had a big swing, and the Astros have tied up the World Series at two games apiece. Let us pray.

The Projection swings in this series have been wild, man. According to FanGraphs:

Before G1: 60-40 Houston
Before G2: 55-45 Houston
Before G3: 65-35 Washington
Before G4: 52-48 Washington
Before G5: 65-35 Houston

Dan Szymborki has the Series 61-39 Houston. FiveThirtyEight has it 59-41 Houston.

The last two teams that won World Series Games 3&4 after losing Games 1&2 at home were the 1996 Yankees and 1986 Mets. Both of them won the Series.

The Astros scored eight runs for the 2nd time this entire postseason (ALCS G4). The last time they scored 9+ runs was 2018 ALDS G3. Since the Astros dropped all three 2017 ALCS games in New York, Houston is 8-6 on the road, winners of four of their last five postseason road games.

*Jose Urquidy made his 8th start in MLB in 2019: 5IP, 2H/0ER, 4K:0BB. Urquidy had previously made one start of 5+ IP and 0ER: September 27 against the Angels. Prior to that it was August 26, when he threw 5.2IP, 3H/0ER, 8K:1BB for Round Rock against San Antonio.

Urquidy pitches, by inning:
1st: 11
2nd: 13
3rd: 14
4th: 14
5th: 15

You know, I battled with that decision because going into the game you kind of put in your mind, go as long as he's good, which is what I said. I didn't want to get too greedy with him. His spot was coming up in the order so I was going to hit for him at the beginning of the inning. That inning actually played out how I feared his inning would. If they got things started, I didn't want him to face the middle of the order again. So I tried to be proactive and take him out. The other thing in the back of my mind is how long a series can get and how we might need him again back in Houston if we win the game, and then you get to go back to Houston, then Games 6 and 7 starts to factor in, try to save a few bullets along the way.

Urquidy is the 4th rookie in the last 30 years to throw a scoreless start in the World Series, the second pitcher from Mexico to start and win a World Series game (Fernando Valenzuela), and the second pitcher since 1969 whose first career postseason start was a scoreless outing in the World Series (Jon Lester, 2007). Urquidy:
Yes, a couple moments, a couple moments I was thinking, 'Oh, my God, I'm in the World Series pitching.' It was awesome.

My dream was pitching in the big leagues. I always imagined playing in the World Series and winning the game...Something very big for me, big year for me. And I think I'm proud of myself.

It WAS awesome. Adam Eaton, who was 0x3 with a walk, on facing Urquidy:
When you go in with a game plan of kind of working off his scouting report and he goes the complete opposite with it, by the time you kind of make the adjustment, it's too late. He threw me three sliders in my first at-bat, and he throws it 10% of the time, so I went back scratching my head. He didn't throw me any changeups and he's supposed to throw me 40% changeup. Then I go up my next at-bat and saw a curveball, which he throws 3% of the time, then a fastball and finally threw me a changeup to get me out. When you have guys you haven't seen before, you have to go off the knowledge you have.

Urquidy, whose mother was in Washington:
My mom is someone that I talk to a lot and obviously she helped me out this morning. We had coffee, just gave me some words of encouragement.

Hinch, on Urquidy:
From the very beginning I thought he was calm, I thought he was in control of his stuff. His fastball had a little extra life to it. It's had good life this postseason. And then he just came up with big pitch after big pitch.

The Athletic's Rustin Dodd, on the story behind Urquidy's World Series Moment.

Chandler Rome: The Astros almost didn't even call Urquidy up in September.

*Will Harris cleaned up Josh James' mess with two outs in seven pitches. Harris has come into a game this postseason with 12 runners on base (not all at once, that would be weird). Eleven of them have walked back to the dugout after the inning ended.'s Joe Trezza: Houston's bullpen in Game 4 set them up perfectly for Game 5.

*Hector Rondon played with fire, giving up three balls over 99mph off the bat (two of them were outs).

*This postseason, 33 of the Astros' 60 runs (55%) have come via the home run.

*Alex Bregman hit the 20th Grand Slam in World Series history, first since Addison Russell did it for the Cubs in 2016 World Series G6. Before that it was Paul Konerko in the 7th Inning of 2005 World Series G2 off of Chad Qualls. It was just the 2nd postseason Grand Slam in Astros history - Lance Berkman did it in the 8th Inning of 2005 NLDS G4, the 18-inning 7-6 win over Atlanta.

I think tonight was really the first time we really did what the Houston Astros offense can do.

ESPN's Jeff Passan: Alex Bregman's mic-drop grand slam means that the Real Astros have shown up. Passan:
He is also, in many ways, the Astros' metronome. When he lags, they lag. When he speeds up, they speed up. And his pace in an 8-1 throttling of the Washington Nationals on Saturday that evened the World Series was breakneck. When Bregman suddenly looked like his regular-season self, the Astros followed suit.

Bregman, ALCS-WS G3: 4x31, 1HR, 3RBI.
Bregman, WS Game 4: 3x5, 1HR, 5RBI.

Correa, after Fernando Rodney intentionally walked Michael Brantley to face Alex Bregman in Game 3: "Oh no, you don't do that to him."

Jenny Dial Creech: The Astros have their MVP back.

Bregman is the 3rd Astro in postseason history with 5RBI in a game, joining Carlos Beltran in 2004 NLDS G5 and Morgan Ensberg in 2005 NLDS G1.

*The Astros got 13 hits, drew seven walks, and got five hits (5x13) w/RISP. 2-8 in the lineup went for a combined 13x30, 3K:5BB. 

*Robinson Chirinos is the 6th catcher in MLB history to homer in back-to-back World Series games (Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Roy Campanella, Gene Tenace, Ted Simmons). Chirinos:
I'm working so hard in the cage to be consistent, and I put a good swing to the ball [in Game 3]. I told everybody here I put myself in a good position. I was swinging at strikes, I was staying to the middle of the field and I did it again tonight.

Jake Kaplan: Chirinos has become an unlikely World Series Hero for Houston.

*Jose Altuve went 2x5 with a run scored and has gotten safely on base in 24 straight postseason games dating back to 2017 World Series G6. In those 24 postseason games, Altuve: .320/.376/.580, 11K:9BB, 6HR. In 15 postseason games in 2019, Altuve is hitting .365/.412/.698.

*Carlos Correa was 0x2 but drew three walks, a career postseason-high. He had drawn two walks in three other postseason games (2018 ALDS G3, 2018 ALCS G1, 2019 ALCS G5). He had three walks in 14 postseason games in 2019 prior to Game 4. It was just the second time this postseason Correa did not strike out. Correa:
What's important now is that we got our swagger back, and we're playing good. And we are dangerous when we feel like this.

*Yuli Gurriel went 1x4 with a walk, but also struck out twice, his 4th straight postseason game with a strikeout after not striking out once in 15 postseason games stretching from 2018 ALCS G2 through 2019 ALCS G6. In 41 career postseason games, Yuli has struck out 2+ times in just four.

*Apparently the Astros didn't have a players-only meeting after Game 2.

*SI's Emma Baccellieri: The Nationals' slogan is "finish the fight," but it feels like they're just trying to stay in it.

*New York Post's Ken Davidoff: Joe Espada's managerial prospects are on the rise.

*Keep heckling Harvey Weinstein.

*A Musical Selection: