Monday, October 12, 2020

Monday Morning Hot Links

Welcome to the 2019 World Series. The Astros got nine hits, four walks, two hits with runners in scoring position that somehow didn't score any runs, lined their way into outs while the Rays hit shots off the end of their bat that found a hole, left ten men on base, struck out 13 Rays, and lost 2-1. Baseball is a faithless whore. It's Charlie Morton vs. Lance McCullers at 3:07pm today and I'm sure the announcers will focus on Charlie Morton's presence on the 2017 World Series team and all the [waves hands] you know.

Ultimately the Astros had Snell on the ropes (105 pitches in 5IP?) and couldn't get more than Altuve's home run. Tampa has enough Actual Wizards in their bullpen - all flowing hair and weird beards and capes - that they can't let those opportunities go to waste like that. Not that anyone needed this type of #analysis.

George Springer's lineout in the 1st had an expected batting average (xBA) of .700. Kyle Tucker's liner that resulted in a double play in the 4th Inning had an expected batting average of .790. Michael Brantley's groundout in the 5th had an xBA of .540. George Springer's groundout in the 7th had an xBA of .510. Those are the four highest xBAs of the night that didn't actually result in a hit. Extremely 2019 World Series vibes. Chandler Rome noted that, of the 12 balls the Astros hit harder than 93mph off the bat, only five fell for hits. Dusty:

It's disappointing. We hit some balls good. Opportunity's the name of the game. If you keep getting opportunities, sooner or later you're going to come through. If you don't get an opportunity, you don't have a chance. We had a heck of a chance tonight, and they just got away.


We were hitting the ball hard, hitting line drives. We didn't punch out a lot. I thought the at-bats were awesome. We just didn't get that big hit tonight. That's baseball. If we keep putting up those good at-bats, I like our chances.

The Astros allowed two runs and struck out 13 batters, and lost. The only time that's happened in a Houston postseason game prior to last night was Game 5 of the 1986 NLCS ew no stop typing now. Houston is 6-2 in the postseason under that extremely specific criteria. 

*Richard Justice, on the key plays that all somehow went the Rays way.

FanGraphs has the series 64.5-35.5 Rays. FiveThirtyEight has it 67-33 Rays, with a 55-45 nod in Game 2. Tampa is 16-5 in 1-run games, the best such winning percentage in baseball history. The Astros are 4-32, wait, no, they're 10-14.

*Framber was great: 6IP, 4H/2ER, 8K:4BB. He joins Gerrit Cole, Randy Johnson, Dallas Keuchel, Nolan Ryan, and Justin Verlander as the only Astros pitchers in franchise postseason history to throw 6IP, 4H/2ER, with 8K. And, true to Astros fashion, Houston is 6-4 when they get starts like that. Framber:

I feel like this year I've had a chance to really demonstrate the pitcher that I am and that I always have been. I had, in the past, where things could get away from me a little bit in the middle of the game, but I've made adjustments to my game this year...For me, I just feel blessed to have the success that I've had this year.

Framber, 2018-2019: 34 games, 107.2IP, 96H/55ER, 102K:68BB, 4.60 ERA /1.52 WHIP

Framber, 2020 (postseason incl.): 14 games, 88.2IP, 74H/32ER, 93K:34BB, 3.25 ERA /1.22 WHIP

*Jose Altuve put the Astros on the board in the 1st Inning with a solo shot off Blake Snell that proved to be the only Astros run of the game. It's his 16th postseason home run (four behind Yeah Jeets for the most in MLB postseason history by a middle infielder and six more than Chase Utley for the all-time postseason home run mark by a 2B), and he has now hit a home run in three straight postseason games. Petco Park is the 22nd park in which Altuve has hit a home run. All-time multi-hit postseason games:

Yadier Molina: 28

Albert Pujols: 26

Jose Altuve: 21

Altuve's 64 postseason hits are 2nd-most among 2nd Basemen (Roberto Alomar - 72).

*In the regular season, the Astros hit .212/.447/.338 with a full count. With a full count in Game 1:

Springer: 0x2

Altuve: 0x1

Brantley: 0x1

Bregman: 2x2

Correa: 0x0, 2BB

Gurriel, 0x0, BB

*Gurriel: When Yuli Gurriel came up with the bases loaded in the 8th and one out, Tampa's win expectancy was just 51.9%. One pitch later it was 86.7%. From when he started with the Astros through the 2020 Wild Card Series, Gurriel had GIDPd once in 194 postseason PAs. He's done it twice in his last 18 postseason PAs now. 

*Mike Zunino had swung the bat five times on the first pitch in the 2020 regular season. He had hit .125/.250/.375 with two outs in the regular season. He had hit .158 with runners in scoring position all year. He had two hits with runners in scoring position and two outs all year long. I hate this game. Game 1, yes. But also, baseball. 

*Aledmys Diaz's AB in the 5th was Extremely Stupid. John Curtiss had thrown 17 pitches before facing Diaz with runners on 1st and 3rd. Ten of them - including six of the previous seven pitches - were balls. Yet Diaz shot the ball into the ground on the 1st pitch Curtiss threw to ground out and end the inning.

*FanGraphs: With super-subs and unlikely stars, the Rays take Game 1. Jon Tayler:

With this bullpen and modular lineup - and having to face Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Charlie Morton - there are many ways to lose to the Rays and few to beat them. Score early and they'll scratch you to death, bit by bit, as their hitters grind away and seemingly always have the platoon advantage. Fail to score early and you'll be facing the best bullpen in baseball and a team that hasn't lost a single game this year in which it's held a lead after the seventh inning. And even if it all goes right, watch as the likes of Mike Zunino and his 65 wRC+ this season drives in the go-ahead run with a single off your best starter.

*Pedro Gomez: Where did Randy Arozarena come from? Dude takes a knee every AB (from swinging out of his shoes) and nobody gets mad at him.

*McTaggart's Notes column from before Game 1 tells us that Lance is a real good dude.

*CC Sabathia, on the Yankees' ALDS decisions: "What the f--k?"

*Wired: How to block bad websites - or just get things done.

*Check out this bullcrap: The English Football League (everything below the Premier League) have a plan to overhaul English soccer by placing control in the hands of the top Premier League teams. Of course Manchester United (owned by the Glazer family) and Liverpool (owned by the Bastard John Henry) love it.

*The Economist: The Secret Life of a Private Tutor to the Wealthy...which immediately led me to this.

*A Musical Selection: