Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thursday Morning Hot Links

We can all complain as much as we want about the wacky extra-inning rules (God knows I did) but the Astros' offense was hot garbage last night. The Dodgers beat the Astros 4-2 in 13 innings last night. Houston is 3-3.

The Astros were 3x19 w/RISP and left 15 on base. That's unfathomably bad.

Kyle Tucker was 1x6 with 4K. The last Astro to strike out four times in a game was Kyle Tucker, on September 26, 2019.

Tucker-Altuve-Bregman combined to go 1x16.

Myles Straw was 1x5 with two stolen bases.

Cristian Javier looked really good: 5.2IP, 2H/1ER, 8K:1BB. Javier:
I felt good. I felt good and I was really focused on locating my pitches so I really didn't have time to think about nerves or anything like that. 

The bullpen threw 7.1IP, 3H/3R (1ER), 5K:2BB. Blake Taylor racked up 2.1IP, 1H/0ER, 3K:0BB.

Dusty Baker:
We had a number of opportunities. We just couldn't push the run across.

More Dusty:
You can't hit if you don't swing. Sometimes I think we can be a little more aggressive early in the count, especially with runners in scoring position, because they're going to try to get ahead of you and then mess with you.

Michael Brantley, who was 2x4 with a walk.
It's an adjustment period for everybody. George Springer, he's one of the best players in this game. He's gonna be just fine.

10% of the "season" is now over, presuming they actually play a full season. After 10% of the season:
Springer: .048/.200/.190
Altuve: .174/.321/.348
Bregman: .174/.321/.348 (not a typo)
Reddick: .182/.250/.364

*Houston made a trade with Baltimore, bringing in pitcher Hector Velazquez for a PTBNL in the first trade of James Click's tenure. Velazquez had spent the previous three seasons with the Red Sox. The first two went okay!

2017: 2.92 ERA / 4.20 xFIP
2018: 3.18 ERA / 4.63 xFIP
2019: 5.43 ERA / 5.46 xFIP

So luck sort of caught up with him in 2019, but he has MLB experience and is alive, so he is useful to the Astros' bullpen at present.

*PAB Joe Kelly was suspended for eight games for his errant throws near Bregman and Correa, and Dave Roberts was suspended for one game. Kelly appealed his suspension, Roberts served his one game last night. Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount because the players broke COVID protocols by coming on to the field.

*ESPN's Dan Mullen: Inside the bench-clearing 6th Inning.

*Leaking bag of fecal matter Bill Plaschke: Joe Kelly earned his spot in Dodgers' lore.

*George Springer had the night off and Kyle Tucker replaced him at the top of the lineup. Kind of like a preview for 2021. Springer is "hitting" .050/.174/.200 with 5K:2BB in 23 PAs. In 2019 Springer struck out in 20.3% of his PAs, this year it's 21.7%. His one hit was a home run so officially Springer's BABIP is .000. That's...unsustainable. Dusty, on Springer:
George is struggling right now. I've been where he's been. It seems like there's eight infielders and about six or seven outfielders. It looks like there's a hole on the field and every time you get to the plate it's 0-2. Anybody that's played this game has been there before. This is more of a clear-your-head day and stop counting.

The Astros are off today, so Springer will have a couple of days to get right.

*Myles Straw had been dealing with a sore hamstring, which is why he only made his 2020 debut last night.

*Chandler Rome: Chris Devenski and Ryan Pressly aren't ready yet, but will travel to California.

*Check out Jake Kaplan's new mailbag, in which he discusses fallout from Verlander, Urquidy, Whitley, the outfield, the trade deadline, and Josh James.

*Former Astros Great Jake Marisnick was placed on the IL.

*The MLBPA is asking MLB to consider shortening double-headers.

*Rob Manfred now has the ability to punish players for electronic sign-stealing, with video rooms basically on lockdown.

*Make that 16 members of the Miami Marlins who have tested positive.

*I saw That Thing You Do for the first time yesterday. The craziest thing to me is that they got Adam Schlesinger (RIP) and told him, "We need you to write the perfect pop song that people will hear multiple times in a 100-minute movie and not get infuriated." And he did.

*RIP, Malik B.

A Musical Selection: