Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

 Jeff Blogwell missed yesterday. He has been terminated. Permanently. From his existence. There's a doubleheader today thanks to the impending Gulf Coast Shenanigans, so get ready for 14 innings of pure unadulterated joy.

Updated schedule for the next three days:

Tuesday: 3:05pm 1st pitch, 2nd game begins immediately after.

Wednesday: 12:10pm

Thursday: No game because it got moved to Tuesday.

Last night the Astros beat the predictable piss out of the Angels, 11-4. Houston is 16-13 on the year, 11-4 at Minute Maid Park. 

*Framber Valdez: 7IP, 6H/4ER, 11K:2BB. 75 of his 113 pitches were for strikes - the 11Ks are a career-high. Correa:

Framber was doing a great job, so to be able to give him a comfortable lead that was huge for him to go out and just throw strikes and keep dominating.

Framber has walked two or fewer batters in five of his six starts in 2020 (83%). Compare that to 2019, when he walked 0-2 batters in three of his eight starts (37.5%). And 2018 when he walked two or fewer batters in one of his eight appearances (12.5%). All 11 of his strikeouts were on his curveball. Dusty:

His curveball has always been good. What his curveball does is it kind of peels the banana, which is a baseball term where he's sinking away his fastball and then his curveball he either back doors it or peels the banana on the inside part of the plate. 

I've never heard that term. 

*Add further injury concerns to George Springer, who got hit just above the left elbow by Jacob Barnes. X-rays were negative. He's probably not playing in either game today.

*Kyle Tucker got his 3rd straight game in the clean-up spot, and rewarded Dusty with a 2x3, 2BB, 2RBI game. Up until going to Colorado on August 19, Tucker was hitting .193/.227/.349. Since, he's 10x20 with 3HR, 11RBI, 2K:5BB, or hitting .500/.600/1.300. 

*Brantley/Reddick/Maldonado (in the 6-8 spots) combined for a 6x10, 3RBI, 0K:3BB. It was just the third time in Maldonado's career that he got two hits and two walks in the same game.

*Albert Pujols moved into 2nd or 3rd (there are some Babe Ruth Questions) on the all-time RBI list, with 2,087. 172 of those have come against the Astros - his highest against any one opponent, and it feels low by about 1,000 RBI.

*Jake Kaplan says improving the bullpen should be the Astros' top priority in the next week. Buster Olney heard that the trade market got real active yesterday.

*Justin Verlander allegedly threw 20 pitches on Sunday, and Dusty heard "he felt pretty good."

*ESPN's David Schoenfield: Everything you need to know at the halfway point of the MLB season.

*SI: How MLB should build its postseason bubble.

*Inside the A's first-half dominance, and how they plan to make it last all year.

*Former Astros Great Hunter Pence was DFAd by the Giants. Pence, by team:

Houston: .290/.339/.479, 117 OPS+

Philadelphia: .289/.357/.486, 126 OPS+

San Francisco: .265/.322/.429, 107 OPS+

Ar*ing*on: .297/.358/.522, 126 OPS+

If this is the end of the road for Hunter Pence, he'll retire with 1791 hits, 244 homers, 942 RsBI. Not a Hall of Famer, but a genuine joy to watch. 

*Make sure you have Space City Weather bookmarked.

*For last week's 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, I wrote about a 24-year old dude, which is a total Bro Move. But there's a little bit of baseball in there. 

*Wired: How four brothers allegedly fleeced $19 million from Amazon.

*The New Yorker: The "Narcissism and Ego" that led to Steve Bannon's arrest.

*Hard one yesterday as I learned about the death of Justin Townes Earle by 5:30am. We shared a tattoo artist in Nashville who told me some stories, so his passing, while not a surprise, is still heartbreaking. So here's Pitchfork: Justin Townes Earle could write a helluva song. Here's where to start.

*A Musical Selection. RIP, Justin Townes Earle: