Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

Wow. After the first six innings, I didn't expect that. The Astros beat the Twins in Game 1 4-1, and there was great rejoicing. FanGraphs gave the Twins a 57.6-42.4 edge in Game 1, and a 62.5-37.5 edge on the series. Well! Now it's 65.5-34.5 Astros (even though the Twins have the edge in the next two games? I don't understand FanGraphs' Hard Math.) It was the Astros' 10th road win of the season. What happened to the Twins in the 9th usually happens to the Astros. God bless us, everyone. The Astros face Jose Berrios today at 12pm Central on ESPN2. If there's a Thursday game, it'll be at 12:08pm Central.

*Elsewhere in the playoffs: Chicago beat Oakland, Tampa Bay beat Toronto, New York beat Cleveland. All sixteen teams play today. There is baseball from 11am Central until midnight. 

*You could hear music during Dusty's post-game Zoom media availability. Dusty:

It is loud, should be loud. Hasn't been loud in a while. Let them party. Let them enjoy themselves. Savor the victory.

*There were a lot of "game-saving moments" but Alex Bregman's throw to first in the 1st Inning was a massive one. Brantley, on that throw:

When they challenged it I got really nervous. I thought initially he was out, but any time [you] go to replay, you got to hold your breath a little bit. It was a phenomenal play. Big momentum swing.

*Greinke, Inning by Inning:

1st: 30 pitches, 1H/0ER, 0K:2BB

2nd: 11 pitches, 0H/0ER, 0K:0BB

3rd: 22 pitches, 1H/1ER, 1K:1BB

4th: 16 pitches, 0H/0ER, 0K:0BB

Greinke had three walks in four innings. He had issued walks to three batters in his previous 33.2IP. The last time he struck out exactly one batter was August 23, 2019, also an Astros win. It was Greinke's fourth straight postseason start of allowing two or fewer earned runs.

*Zack Greinke, 1st time through the order: .208/.222/.358

Zack Greinke, 2nd time through the order: .283/.330/.404

Zack Greinke, 3rd time through the order: .298/.305/.491

Jake Kaplan: How the Framber Game came to pass. Kaplan:

[Dusty's] proactive decision to not let Zack Greinke face the Minnesota lineup a third time and hand the game over to the rubber arm of Framber Valdez exemplified the type of aggressive, creative bullpen management the Astros will need this postseason.

"Aggressive, creative bullpen management" and "Dusty Baker" have not often collided in the same sentence before...

*Michael Brantley, on Framber:

He's been throwing the ball great all year. He's been attacking the strike one. He's got plus pitches across the board. I love hearing the opponents talk about how nasty he is. I'm glad he's on our side because I don't want to face him.

Shoutout to Framber, about to be A Dad for a second time. Give him, like, six months, and he's gonna have some Wilco on vinyl and get really into "Jesus, Etc."

Chandler Rome: Framber is the first relief pitcher to throw five scoreless innings in a playoff game since Madison Bumgarner in the 2014 World Series. Rocco Baldelli:

We weren't exactly expecting their lefty to go out there and throw all of those innings.

*The Astros allowed four hits. It's the 18th time in franchise postseason history that the Astros' opponent has been held to four or fewer hits. Ten of those games have been since the beginning of the 2015 postseason. The Astros are 14-4 in postseason games allowing four or fewer hits.

*FanGraphs: Defensive misplays plagued the Twins.

*Ryan Pressly did get up and got loose in the 9th

*Jose Altuve was 0x3 with 2BB and an RBI. It was his 4th 2BB postseason game, and his 30th postseason RBI. 

Astros' Postseason RBI leaderboard:

Carlos Correa: 33

Jose Altuve: 30

George Springer: 29

Alex Bregman: 28

Lance Berkman: 26

Yuli Gurriel: 24

Morgan Ensberg: 18

Carlos Beltran: 15

Marwin Gonzalez: 13

Jeff Bagwell: 13

Craig Biggio: 11

*Michael Brantley got a massive 2RBI single in the 9th inning. It's the 2nd 2RBI postseason game of his career - the last coming in 2019 World Series Game 3.

*The Minnesota Twins' last postseason win was October 5, 2004. They're 0-17 in the postseason since. God bless those Lake Wobegon Twins fans. 

*As cool as Nelson Cruz's story is, don't forget he was a Biogenesis guy who took - and got suspended 50 games for taking - PEDs because he said he had a GI infection. Oh, that was a few years ago and shouldn't be brought up again? Tell that to Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez. 

*Kenta Maeda threw 5IP and allowed 0ER. The last time he did that and his team lost was April 29, 2019.

*Pat and I are recording a special postseason postgame show for patrons of Lima Time Time. Last night's was originally going to be 20 minutes long where we just clapped for Greinke and Framber the whole time, and then it turned into dropping as many 90s Twins as we possibly could. It was impossibly fun, and for $5/month, you can get at least two more of these shows (though, I think it'll be more). Join our Patreon! It's literally the only monetary request I've made of you in the last 12 years, other than, like, helping people in a disaster. 

*Brent Strom's day wasn't done after the Game 1 win.

*Before Game 1 the Astros announced that they have extended Yuli Gurriel for 2021 with a $6.5m deal, and a club option for 2022 for $8m. He'll get $250,000 for each of his 300th and 350th Plate Appearances in 2021, $350,000 for 400 and 450 PAs, $400,000 for 500 and 550 PAs.

*Freaking Joe Biagini got DFAd, and I'm quite fine with this. Among pitchers in franchise history with a minimum of 10IP, Joe Biagini's 10.42 ERA is the 5th-worst.

*Chas McCormick - owner of a .276/.360/.400 MiLB slash line - made the playoffs roster. Here's why.

*Wired: Your photos are irreplaceable, get them off your phone.

*In a letter to Amnesty International, these idiots tried to dismiss accusations about their actions and instead accidentally admitted to them

*A Musical Selection: