Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sunday Morning Hot Links

 I've revamped my own personal rules for being on social media and it's been quite lovely. Basically, I'm only going to be on Twitter for the purpose of doing these posts, and that's pretty much it. I highly suggest that everybody log off and not ever, under any circumstance, tweet.

That said, I've missed a lot of items, mainly because I can't bring myself to care all that much anymore about what happens. It's a combination of having Pandemic Brain, facing an unspecified set of challenges and risks, and just being tired of it all. But it's okay, probably!

I was at a wedding pretty much all day yesterday. My wife and kid were in the wedding. I was not (which was perfectly fine by me), but I did show up at 2pm for a wedding in Dallas that started at 6pm. And I will say that The Goldfinch, which I read 1/3 of yesterday (like, 270 pages) sitting in the chapel, is crazy. 

The Astros enjoyed their favorite Slump-Bustin' Seattle Mariners, beating them 2-1 last night. The Astros are 23-2 against the Mariners since the beginning of the 2019 season. Houston is now 10-10. Let's look at the AL West standings and run differential:

1. Oakland: 15-6, -GB, +22

2. Arlington: 10-9, -4.0, -11

3. Houston, 10-10, -4.5, +17

That makes sense. Houston is 0-5 against the Dodgers and A's, and 10-5 against everybody else. It's Houston's first 3-game winning streak of the season.

*23-year old Cristian Javier: 6IP, 1H/0ER, 5K:3BB. Javier has made four starts in his MLB career, and has thrown at least 5IP with 0-1ER in three of them. Dusty, on Javier:

Tonight, he had life on the fastball from the opening pitch. He struck out the side in the first was just a matter of him finding the strike zone tonight. 


I feel like I have the same plan every time out. I'm really starting to find my rhythm at the big league level and starting to feel comfortable here. 

*Josh James threw a scoreless 7th to lower his ERA to 12.00. It was his first scoreless appearance of the season. 

*All eight of Ryan Pressly's pitches were for strikes as he got his second save of the season. 

*Yuli Gurriel had a double and a home run. 

Gurriel, 2016-2018: .291/.323/.449

Gurriel, 2019-2020: .296/.346/.545

Click this to read Chandler Rome's piece on Gurriel's change at the plate. Also, Gurriel reiterated that he wants to stay in Houston, but hasn't had any "concrete" talks with the front office.

*After six games, Alex Bregman was "hitting" .174/.321/.348. In the 14 games since, Bregman has hit .309/.415/.582, with a hit in 13 of those games. He has gotten on base at least once in every single regular season game dating back to September 10, 2019 - a span of 30 games.

*It's crazy to me that the Astros are .500, what with the pitching injuries, Springer hitting .185, Altuve hitting .181. Only four players in the lineup last night are hitting over .260: Bregman (.269), Gurriel (.282), Reddick (.296), and Correa (.310). 

*Jose Altuve asked Dusty Baker to be moved down in the lineup, moving down to 7th, where he went 1x3. It's Altuve's 8th career hit in the 7-spot. Altuve has 1,583 career hits - 34 of them have been from the bottom half of the lineup. It was the first time Altuve has started a game lower than 3rd in the lineup since April 17, 2014. Baker:

Jose came into my office and told me, 'Hey man, I'm not helping the club right now at the top of the lineup, and I appreciate the respect you're giving me,' on what he's done in his career. He said, 'The guys ahead of me are swinging the bat better and playing better,' and he just wants to win and get us into the playoffs....He's a consummate team man.

*Michael Brantley was placed on the IL with a sore quad he injured when he stepped on Koe Jelly's foot on July 28. He hasn't played since Tuesday. Click that link to read about Biagini's return. Jake Kaplan thinks Taylor Jones is a good fit to replace Brantley.

*Dusty Baker, on Forrest Whitley:

He's unable [to get on the mound] according to the injury report...It'd be perfect if we had Whitley, but we don't have Whitley...Whitley I don't think is an option right now or in the near future. 

Maybe nobody will ever have Forrest Whitley.

*Brad Peacock is close to joining the bullpen. Aledmys Diaz is a week to ten days away.

*Happy 100th birthday to the Negro Leagues. Never forget that the Negro Leagues existed because owners and players were so racist they wouldn't let Black people on the same field as whites. 

*For the second night in a row, the A's were trailing the Giants by multiple runs in the 9th...and won.

*It's time to start thinking about the possibility - however remote - of the return of Former Astros Great Scott Kazmir.

*Bayou Brief: Huey P. Long wasn't assassinated.

*Wired: Inside the Courthouse Break-In Spree that Landed Two White-Hat Hackers in Jail.

*Outside: "Eco-Challenge" is back after a 20-year hiatus, and it's just the adventure show we need (Amazon Prime.)

*Barcelona got destroyed and you just hate to see it.

*A Musical Selection: