Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thursday Morning Hot Links

The Astros continued a trend dating back to the 2019 Postseason in which they simply could not get the one hit they needed, losing to the Grand Prairie Rangers 1-0, completely wasting a stellar Lance McCullers start. Houston is 24-25, 17-7 at home. It was their first home loss since September 1. Houston is 7-12 in 1-run games, giving off some Extremely 2016 Vibes.

*It's just the sixth time in franchise history that Astros pitchers have struck out at least twelve batters, allowed one run, and still lost. The last time it happened was April 18, 2005. The time before that was five days earlier. Roger Clemens started both games. 2005 started off extremely stupid. Ended the same way, as I recall.

*It's the 8th time the Astros have held their opponent to just one run, and now they're 7-1 in those games. 

*Lance McCullers: 7IP, 2H/0ER, 8K:0BB. McCullers' Game Score was 81, the third 80+ Game Score game of the Astros' season, and McCullers has two of them. McCullers:

Solid effort. Sad that we couldn't get the team W. That's what we care about.

*Ryan Pressly: 0.2IP, 1H/1ER, 1K:1BB.

*32-year old Rangers starter Kyle Gibson came into last night's start leading the league in hits allowed. He held the Astros to four total in his first career CGSHO. The Rangers were 1-8 in Gibson's starts prior to last night. In Gibson's previous five starts combined, he had posted an 8.10 ERA / 1.80 WHIP, so of course he straight dominated. Idiots. 

He lowered his season ERA from 6.14 to 5.18. Farmers Branch is now 5-18 on the road. 

*Oakland beat Colorado yesterday and their magic number is now five. The two teams were 2x19 w/RISP. So...very 2020. Oakland is 6.5 up on the Astros. So if the Astros go 11-0 starting tonight, Oakland would need to go 4-6 to win the division.

Seattle lost as the home team in San Francisco, so the Astros' lead is still 2.0 games with 11 to play, and three against the Mariners. 

*Carlos Correa was in the lineup last night. After watching that foul ball, that's unbelievable to me, someone who would have turned into a transparent version of myself and just ascended into heaven while somehow simultaneously playing a harp, should I have done that to the inside of my ankle. Two and a half months ago I slipped on some water and haven't run a mile since. 

*Lance McCullers was activated in advance of last night's start, and Cionel Perez was optioned to the alternate training site.

*Justin Verlander threw 75 pitches off the mound in a simulated game. I, too, threw a simulated game in which I simulated 75 pitches and got 27 strikeouts in the most dominant outing you didn't get to see because it was behind closed doors (and minds). How Verlander responds over the next two days will determine the next steps, but the regular season ends a week from Sunday. 

In that link we also find that Chris Devenski had arthroscopic elbow surgery that comes with a four-month recovery time. Devenski's last appearance in an Astros uniform may very well have been a September 6 outing in which he allowed 1H/1ER, 0K:2BB in a 9-5 loss to Anaheim.

Devenski, 2016-2017: 189IP, 129H/50ER, 204K:46BB, 2.38 ERA / 0.93 WHIP, 2.83 FIP.

Devenski, 2018-2020: 120IP, 118H/65ER, 128K:37BB, 4.88 ERA / 1.29 WHIP, 4.63 FIP.

Should that be it for Chris Devenski as an Astro, he would have the 11th-best BB/9 (2.38) in franchise history for relievers.

*The 2021 Spring Training Schedule was released, in case you're optimistic that you'll actually be around to witness February and March 2021.

*The Astros signed 6'3" 185lb infielder Narbe Cruz for $218,000 with 60 Arm and 60 Power, according to someone who knows these things.

*I started a freelance gig with the Houston Chronicle, and you can read - for free - how I draw a straight line in four easy steps from drafting Mark Appel to the 2017 World Series.

A related Musical Selection (not the official Musical Selection):

*Yahoo's Tim Brown: What Black baseball players heard when MLB teams refused to play.

*Jaime Jarrin on living the American Dream.

*It's bad on the Gulf Coast.

*The billionaire who wanted to die broke.

*Almost a quarter of young Americans (not the David Bowie ones) think the Holocaust is either a myth or is exaggerated. I'll say this as a History Teacher: If you don't like History, you had a teacher who didn't know how to tell a story.

*Got dang Leeds United lost to MF Hull City FC in the 2nd Round of the Carabao Cup, 9-8 after penalty kicks. Oh well, that's fewer games to play in order to smash all of your individual English Football hopes & dreams. Also, Marcelo Bielsa gives the most devastating of post-match comments:

With our preparation for this game we thought that we were going to do more than we did. When a coach picks a team...I picked the team thinking they would have enough to beat Hull but when the team didn't have enough to beat Hull, I feel like I am responsible for the defeat....The team was built with players that should have shown a better performance.

Leeds fielded a lineup that did not start against Liverpool last Saturday. Fulham is gonna taste the pain on Saturday.

*The Actual Musical Selection: