Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

 The Astros beat the Rockies 2-1. Houston is 12-10, 3.5 back of the A's (who lost) and 1.5 ahead of the Ramgers (who lost). Houston has won five games in a row, and three of those wins were 1-run games. Imagine if the Astros weren't 1-4 in extra-inning games. 

*Brandon Bielak: 6IP, 1H/1ER, 4K:4BB. Dusty, on how it Bielak that:

A lot of times, rookies are inconsistent in their performance, but he's been very, very, very consistent. He's gone deep in every game that he's started, and it takes a lot of pressure off our bullpen.

Correa, on how it Bielak that:

The confidence, the composure, it's like he's been in the league for eight years. The guy is throwing the ball well, he's putting in the work. What happens backstage, what I see...everything he does in the gym, he's out there working. That guy is dedicated. He wants to be great. He wants to help us win ballgames. I love that attitude. 

Bielak, 2020: 21.1IP, 13H/4ER, 15K:11BB, 1.69 ERA/1.13 WHIP.

*Blake Taylor got the first save of his MLB career. 

*Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa both had two-hit games. Correa:

The offense is slowly starting to click. This homestand has been great for us. The confidence is going up.

*Jose Altuve was 0x4. He's gone hitless in nine of his 21 games in 2020. Since Altuve's 3-hit game on August 6, he's hitting .154/.175/.154. For the record, Cody Bellinger, 2020: .181/.252/.330. 

*Josh James, despite getting pushed to the bullpen, is continuing to work on all four of his pitches due to his focus on 2021. James:

I'm going to use them all, because I have higher hopes for next year. I still want to try to be a starter again, so I want to keep the feel for all four pitches.

If Josh James could find the strike zone, he'd do some damage. As a starter in 2020 (a handful of innings, to be fair) he's holding hitters to a .190 batting average, but the walks are giving him a .485 OBP and .476 SLG against. 

Josh James, as a starter: 6IP, 4H/7ER, 9K:11BB

Josh James, as a reliever: 3IP, 6H/5ER, 3K:1BB. 

Small Sample Sizes and whatnot. It's just not great, all around. Josh James turned 27 in March. 

In that link we also see that Yordan had an MRI on his right knee, and the results were negative. Dusty, on Yordan's knee:

I asked him when did he start having these problems, and he said back in Double-A. Most of the time when you have knee problems, they don't subside very quickly. And when they do, they have a history of coming back.

*Kyle Tucker's Sunday walk-off homer - the 3rd-youngest Astro to hit a walk-off homer - was "A Relief." Friar Tuck:

It was more of a relief for me. I put a good swing on a ball for the first time in a while, it seems. You know, hitting the ball hard to first base 10 times in a row, that's not good, even though you're hitting it hard.

We know.

*The Astros dropped in at #12 in some Power Rankings that you may or may not care about.

*Check out Jake Kaplan's mailbag, in which he talks about extending Springer vs. Correa, the trade deadline, the bullpen, and Forrest Whitley.

*Lance McCullers went on Jayson Stark's podcast to talk about Joe Kelly and the immunity offer from Rob Manfred.

*UNWRITTEN RULES UPDATE: The Rangers are mad that Fernando Tatis, Jr. hit a grand slam rather than being mad at the pitcher who gave up a grand slam. Nothing says "Grow The Game" like getting super mad at a 21-year old phenom for doing something cool. 

*The Red Sox have lost 10 in a row to the Yankees for the first time since 1952-1953.

*What to watch today:

2pm: RB Leipzig vs. Paris-St. Germain (Champions League Semi-Final)

2:10pm: Colorado vs. Houston

5:30pm: Oklahoma City vs. Houston

*1843: The Friendly Mr. Wu. 

*Boeing 747s still get software updates via floppy disk.

*A Musical Selection: