Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

The Astros scored 10 runs for just the 6th time this season in a 10-5 win over Oakland. Houston has a 1-0 lead in the Best-of-Five. It's the 5th postseason game in which the Astros have put up double-digit runs in franchise history, and the first since Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS. Dusty Baker is the first manager in franchise history to win his first three postseason games. And now the Astros are 32-31 this season so all the "under .500" haters can suck it. Game 2 is at 3:37pm Central on TBS. 

Houston is now 4-4 since 2017 in postseason games at Dodger Stadium. They've won three straight postseason games for the first time since Games 3-5 of the 2019 World Series. And we all know what happened next so...wait never mind.

*Yesterday, FanGraphs had the series 53.3-46.7 Houston. Today it's...53.7-46.3 Houston? FanGraphs apparently isn't so jazzed up about winning Game 1 in a best-of-five. FiveThirtyEight had it 52-48 Houston, and now it's 72-28, and FiveThirtyEight is Good, again.

*Per Brian McTaggart, whoever wins Game 1 has won 72% of the Best-of-Five series all-time, and 75% of the time since 2010.

*Houston got 16 hits, a number only eclipsed by the Astros in the postseason once prior - Game 5 of the 2004 NLDS.

The Astros scored eight runs for just the fourth time time since September 1. 

*Yahoo's Tim Brown: The Astros are sticking together and looking dangerous.

*George Springer was 4x5. It's the first 4-hit postseason game of his career, the 13th 4-hit game of any kind in his MLB career, and his first since September 29, 2019. Springer:

To get down early and not quit and fight hard and come out with a win in the first game is obviously huge. As the game got deeper, the at-bats got better.

More Springer:

We just slowed it down finally. We really, really slowed the game down and understood this is the playoffs and you don't know if you're ever going to get back here or not, so you might as well enjoy it. 

Correa, on Springer:

You can't judge this offense by 60 games. When you get the leadoff guy getting on base every single time, good things are going to happen. When he goes, we go as a team.

Dusty, on Springer:

George is closing in on 200 at-bats, and that is about the time when the big boys start swinging it. The repetition and concentration level have increased. He's not fouling balls off or missing balls he was missing earlier in the year.

Oakland's bullpen: 5IP, 7H/7R (3ER), 5K:1BB. The A's came into the postseason with the 5th-best bullpen in MLB, according to FanGraphs. The Astros had the 16th-best bullpen, according to the same Web Site. FanGraphs' Jon Tayler: Houston's anonymous-yet-excellent bullpen helped Houston take Game 1.

*Carlos Correa was 3x5 with 4RBI. He hit two home runs, the 13th and 14th postseason home runs of his career. He has three home runs in his last two postseason games, and the 2HR postseason game was his first since Game 4 of the 2015 ALDS. Per TBS he's the first shortstop in MLB history with two multi-HR postseason games. A full and complete list of Astros' 2HR postseason games:

Carlos Beltran: 2004 NLDS Game 5.

Carlos Correa: 2015 ALDS Game 4.

Jose Altuve: 2017 ALDS Game 1 (Franchise-record 3HR game)

George Springer: 2018 ALDS Game 3.

Carlos Correa: 2020 ALDS Game 1. 

Correa came into this postseason with a career .247/.308/.474 line in 50 postseason games. After the first three games of this postseason, he's now hitting .256/.315/.508 in 53 postseason games.


I love October baseball. I want to be in there. I want to be in tough spots in decisive situations. I prepare myself every single day mentally for when that time comes. October baseball, the energy is just different.

Lance McCullers:

When Carlos Correa's right, ain't nobody better. That's just facts.

Two players in the history of the American League have multiple postseason games with 2HR and 4RBI: Correa, and Babe Ruth. Correa and Alex Cintron spent hours in the cage in Arlington trying to get back to his 2015 swing.

*As you by now no doubt are aware, October 5 is Alex Bregman Day. Regard:

October 5, 2017: 2x4, 1HR, 

October 5, 2018: 2x3, 1HR, 1BB

October 5, 2019: 2x4, 1HR

October 5, 2020: 2x4, 1HR

*A's manager Bob Melvin:

Two outs and nobody on, next thing you know they get four runs. You have to give them credit, too. They hit some good pitches to get to that point, even Brantley off of Diekman. They were pretty relentless after an opening in that inning and took advantage of it.

*Jose Altuve was 2x4 with a big 2RBI single. It was his 19th multi-hit postseason game and his 7th 2RBI postseason game. Reid Leymance: Houston rode "vintage" Altuve yesterday.

*Josh Reddick was 0x4 with a run scored yesterday. In 43 postseason games with the Astros (40 starts), he's hitting .183/.236/.244 in the postseason, and is 6x40 since the beginning of the 2019 Postseason (.150/.190/.225). 

*The Bullpen of Blake Taylor, Enoli Paredes, Cristian Javier, and Ryan Pressly held the A's to 0H/0ER, 5K:1BB in five innings of work. As a reminder:

Blake Taylor: Had thrown 11.1IP above Double-A prior to 2020

Enoli Paredes: Had only thrown 50IP above High-A prior to 2020

Cristian Javier: Had thrown 11IP above Double-A prior to 2020

Ryan Pressly: Might actually be a baller?

Cristian Javier is Baseball America's 2020 Astros Rookie of the Year.

*Lance McCullers made his first start since September 26 and gave up his first earned runs since September 4. He gave up three home runs for just the second time in his career (May 26, 2018).

*The Oakland A's had not allowed 16 hits in a game in 2020 prior to Game 1.

*MLB.com: Did Houston unlock a key to the ALDS in Game 1?

*The Athletic: Dusty Baker and Bob Melvin's paths have intertwined for 32 years. This is their first postseason matchup.

*Game 2 Starter Framber Valdez was signed by the Brewers in 2015, failed a physical, and was let go.

*Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan became the first pitcher to make his MLB debut in a postseason game last night and gave up a hit and a walk in 0.1IP. More like Boo McClanahan? 

*29 Minor-League players suing MLB over minimum-wage claims got a big W when the Supreme Court gave them class-action status, instead of making them take on MLB individually.

*Texas Monthly: How high school QBs prepared for the strangest season in football history.

*Hulu's Monsterland basically is America.

*Outside: Searching for the meaning of travel at 11 miles per hour.

*A Musical Selection: