Sunday, September 20, 2020

Monday Morning Hot Links

It was the last home game of the 2020 season, but the Houston MF Astros won back-to-back games for the first time since September 2-3, and won consecutive series for the first time since taking both games of a double-header against Oakland and the following Rangers series (August 29-Sept 3). Houston is 27-26. There are seven regular season games remaining. Oakland got the dog piss beaten out of them by San Francisco, and Seattle lost to the Padres, giving the Astros a 4-game lead in advance of their three-game series that starts on Monday. Thanks to the postseason Bubble, the Astros will not play another game at Minute Maid Park in 2020. 

*George Springer was 3x4 with two home runs, two RsBI, and is basically responsible for the Astros winning this game (in the lineup, anyway). One was a beauty of an Inside-the-Park variety, one was a straightforward Dinger. It's his 14th 2HR game and his first since [squints] September 5. Springer's OPS is .874, the highest it's been since the second game of the season, when he hit a home run. Springer's second home run of the day was the 2000th Astros home run hit at Minute Maid Park. Dusty:

I certainly hope we get to the point where [Springer] puts enough pressure on the Astros to sign him. This guy is a heck of a player and I think his best years are still ahead of him, and this ballpark is perfect for him.

*Game 4 Hero Jose Urquidy: 6IP, 6H/2ER, 2K:2BB. Urquidy threw a first-pitch strike to 17 of the 23 batters he faced.

Urquidy's last three starts: 19IP, 11H/5ER, 10K:5BB. That's a 2.37 ERA / 0.84 WHIP.

The Bullpen of Scrubb-Taylor-Pressly: 3IP, 1H/0ER, 4K:0BB. They needed 44 pitches to get through the 7th-9th innings.

*Michael Brantley was 0x3 with 2K:1BB. It's the 5th time in 2020 that he has struck out twice in a game. Brantley hasn't struck out three times in a game since May 24, 2018 when he did against [squints] the Astros. That game featured a pitching staff of Morton-Rondon-McHugh. RIP to all.

*Kyle Tucker was hitless but drew two walks for the 4th time this season. He had drawn two walks in his previous 21 games combined (79 PAs). 

*Should the Astros make the playoffs in 2020, it will be playoffs for a franchise-record 4th-straight season, breaking a streak set by the 1997-1999 Astros. 

*That said, Teh Astors would have to win out, and Oakland would need to lose out, in order to win the division. One more Oakland win gives them the division on a tie-breaker, two more and they win it outright.

Houston vs the AL West, 2020: 17-16 (.515). 

Houston vs the AL West, 2019: 56-20 (.737)

Houston vs the AL West, 2018: 46-30 (.605)

Houston vs the AL West, 2017: 50-26 (.658)

Houston is 7-13 against the Angels and A's in 2020. 

*A Musical Selection: