Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sunday Morning Hot Links

The Astros won. Arizona had a 2-0 lead and Houston scored the final three runs of the game. Michael Brantley started a fantastic double play. The Astros are 26-26. Oakland and Seattle both won, so the Astros are still 7.0 back of Oakland and 3.0 up on Seattle. The regular season ends one week from today.

*The Astros have gone six straight games without scoring 5+ runs. 

July-Aug: 176 runs in 33 games (19-14) - 5.33 runs/game
September: 70 runs in 19 games (7-12) - 3.68 runs/game

*Cristian Javier threw 4IP, 4H/2ER, 6K:1BB, coming out of the game after just 77 pitches, though it had been 12 days since his last start. Javier:
I felt good. I felt healthy. I felt strong. There were a couple of pitches that didn't land. They were outside the zone, not where I wanted them, but I was able to make the adjustments and have a good outing.

*The bullpen of Paredes, Raley, James, Pressly: 5IP, 0H/0ER, 4K:2BB. 

*Jose Altuve was 1x4 with his first two RsBI since August 20. Dusty:
We just want to be there to get our best baseball ahead. Under a normal 162-game season, you wouldn't be that worried about Jose because you figured he had another 300 or 400 (at-bats) to go. The only reason guys are concerned and pressing a little is because of the shortened season. Our best baseball is ahead of us.

FanGraphs' Dan Szymborski: Is Jose Altuve still on track for 3,000 hits?

*Alex Bregman was 0x4 with 2K:0BB. It's the 17th time in his career, and the first since July 24, 2019, that Bregman had four plate appearance without getting on base and two strikeouts.

*I don't know how many of you actually thought you might get to see Justin Verlander in an Astros uniform again, probably won't. Verlander announced that he will undergo Rob Manfred surgery Tommy John surgery, missing the rest of this year and 2021, after which he will be a free agent. Darkness spread over the land. Verlander:
I was hopeful that I would be able to return to competition in 2020. However, during my simulated game, unfortunately the injury worsened. Obviously, I'm extremely disappointed, but I will not let this slow down my aspirations for my career. I will approach this rehab the only way I know, attack and don't look back.

Of course Chandler Rome said this was the outcome all the way back on July 27, and he caught all sorts of hell for it. I don't fault Justin Verlander - or the Astros - for giving this season a shot. If he had the surgery at the beginning of August, he likely wouldn't have been back for all of 2021, regardless. As it was, they were hoping to get something out of this year, couldn't, and he'll miss all of 2021, anyway. He's going to make $33 million in 2021 regardless, so why not see if it's something that could be fixed with rest and treatment? I get why they slow-played it. 

From 2006-2019 (14 seasons), Verlander averaged 32 starts per season, and that includes a 2015 season that limited him to 20 starts. Your Games Started leaderboard from 2006-2019:

Verlander: 451
Hole Camels: 421
Jon Lester: 411
Felix Hernandez: 406
James Shields: 405
CC Sabathia: 403
Zack Greinke: 390

This has everything to do with shutting down Spring Training in March, having three and a half months off before being told to report in early July because games started in less than a month. That is negligent on MLB's part. There were eight Tommy John surgeries in all of 2019. Justin Verlander will be the sixth in the last two months. That doesn't account for guys like Roberto Osuna, or Chris Devenski, who are out for an extended period of time because of the quick ramp-up. Those stories are out there for every single team. This is MLB's fault. 

*McTaggart: Who will fill out the postseason rotation?

*Chandler Rome: The impact of losing Verlander beyond 2020. James Click:
It's impossible to say that, on some level, it does not shrink the window. No team can lose even the anticipation of having a Justin Verlander come back and look themselves in the mirror and say honestly that that doesn't hurt your chances of winning a championship.

*Check out last night's update on Tropical Storm Beta from Space City Weather.

*My Dude US Cocksman and I both enjoy a writer named David Grann. David Grann does what I aspire to do one day: write freaking bizarre yet compelling non-fiction. If you are unfamiliar with David Grann's work might I suggest The Devil & Sherlock Holmes, Killers of the Flower Moon, or this piece that The Cocksman sent me: The White Darkness

*I just picked up Norco '80, and think you might enjoy it.

*The Atlantic: How we survive the winter.

*You need to watch The One I Love on Netflix, with Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss, and Mark Duplass and Elizabeth Moss. This is not a typo. 

*Leeds 4 Fulham 3. Leeds United gets their first Premier League victory since April 10, 2004 and it was squeaky bum time for the last 30 minutes. Check out this beauty of a goal that gave Leeds what seemed to be an insurmountable 4-1 lead over Fulham, only to watch two Fulham goals go in within minutes. Three points, one for each year this game took off of my life.

*A Musical Selection: