The Astros put the beat down on the Royals, clinching the 2015 ALDS, 15-6. Some notes:
George Springer was 1x1 with a home run, two walks, and an HBP. He was 1x1 with two walks in Monday's game. This will be a fun 60-game season if George Springer literally does not get out at the plate.
Kyle Tucker, Jack Mayfield, and Abraham Toro had doubles. Springer, Aledmys Diaz, Nick Tanielu, Alex De Goti, and Taylor Jones all hit home runs.
Enoli Paredes threw 2IP, 5H/0ER, 5K:1BB, striking out the side on 11 pitches. Reminder that 24-year old Enoli Paredes struck out 128 batters in 94IP in Fayetteville and Corpus in 2019. Paredes took the opportunity to pitch in Kansas City as an homage to Yordano Ventura. Check this article from Jake Kaplan on Paredes (and Bryan Abreu and Cristian Javier) as one of the potential breakout prospects for Houston in 2020.
Andre Scrubb struck out five batters in 1.2IP, navigating a hit and two walks.
Jojanse Torres threw 1.1IP, 3H/2ER, 0K:5BB.
Astros pitchers walked 11 batters. I know this game doesn't count, I'm trying to get back into mid-season form, but the last time the Astros that many batters in a single game was September 9, 2017, when Houston pitchers walked 13 in an 11-1 loss to Oakland. The last time the Astros walked that many batters and still won was on June 11, 1994 in a 7-6 win over Atlanta. There are only 16 instances in franchise history of 10+ walks and a team win. It's still 16 instances, because this game doesn't count.
Altuve and Bregman were hit by meaningless, unintentional pitches. Sorry to break it to the morons who are using the Astros to take out their frustration about absolutely everything.
*Jose Altuve left the game with a left leg contusion (bruise). Dusty Baker:
We're hopeful he'll be ready on Friday. We'll analyze him tomorrow and see where he is in the morning. Usually the day after that, you're pretty sore.
This is incredibly stupid.
*Josh James was scheduled to start yesterday's game, but the threat of inclement weather in Kansas City kept him in Houston, where he'll throw a simulated game today.
*Monday's lineup is likely going to be Friday's Opening Day lineup, with the notable switch of Bregman and Brantley in the 3-4 spots.
*I guess there are some predictions: Yahoo says Gerrit Cole will win the AL Cy Young (Verlander 2nd), and Lance McCullers may just have his "breakout year."
*Check the Astros' wallpapers available to download.
*Todd Kalas tested positive for COVID and Kevin Eschenfelder will fill in.
*ESPN: A day inside MLB's COVID protocols.
*Jayson Stark: Eight numbers that will define baseball in 2020.
*Congratulations to Alyssa Nakken on becoming the first female 1B coach in MLB history. Related: RIP, Aubrey Huff.
*Outside: The Difference Between Effort and Pain
Being successful deforms us as human beings, it relaxes us, it plays tricks on us, it makes us worse individuals, it helps us fall in love with ourselves. Failure is the complete opposite, it forms us, it makes us more solid, it brings us closer to our convictions, it makes us more coherent.
*Vox: How Hollywood accidentally built Netflix.
*If you want to follow something super-fun today (Wednesday), check the Championship:
Leeds United has already clinched the League and promotion, but the 2nd-place team also gets automatic promotion. Here's how it stands with the last game of the season starting at 1:30pm Central Wednesday (reminder that the playoffs are 3v6, 4v5 over two legs, where the winners meet in a one-off 90-minute brawl for promotion to the Premier League):
2. West Brom (82 points) vs. Queens Park Rangers (14th place)
3. Brentford (81 points) vs. Barnsley (23rd place)
4. Fulham (80 points) at Wigan (13th place)
5. Nottingham Forest (70 points) vs Stoke City (17th place)
6. Cardiff City (70 points) vs Hull City (24th place)
7. Swansea City (67 points) at Reading (15th place)
*A Musical Selection:
It will get worse.