Monday, May 22, 2023

Monday Morning Hot Links

The Astros completed their second straight sweep of the week with a 2-0 win over Oakland, extending their winning streak to seven games, and making them winners of ten of their last eleven games. The Astros are 6-0 since the return of Hot Links. 

1916 A's Watch, after 48 games:

2023 A's: 10-38

1916 A's: 15-32-1

*Jose Altuve's 5th Inning RBI single was his 1,937th career hit. That's notable because, Astros franchise career hit leaders:

1. Craig Biggio: 3,060

2. Jeff Bagwell: 2,314

3. Jose Cruz: 1,937

3. Jose Altuve: 1,937

From his debut through the 2017 season, Altuve had a hit every 3.45 Plate Appearances. Since 2018, it's a hit every 3.87 Plate Appearances. If we go according to the second set of data Altuve would need 1,063 hits to reach 3,000, which would take another 4,109 PAs - another six seasons and change assuming he plays in 145-162 games per season. Missing 63 games in 2018 and 2019, the shortened COVID season, and not starting 2023 until May 19 has hurt his chances a little bit.

*Framber Valdez gave the bullpen a break, deciding to do the whole damn thing himself and throwing the Astros' first Complete Game Shutout of the season.

*Astros Complete Games by a Starter, 2017-

Framber Valdez: 5

Justin Verlander: 3

Dallas Keuchel: 2

Zack Greinke: 1

*Astros CGSHOs by a Starter, 2017-

Framber Valdez: 2

Justin Verlander: 2

Gerrit Cole: 1

It was the first CGSHO by an Astros pitcher at Minute Maid Park since Keuchel on August 5, 2016. Framber's 86 Game Score is the highest since Cristian Javier's combined no-hitter against the Yankees on June 25, 2022.

*Until this series in Houston, Oakland pitchers - as a whole - posted a 7.83 ERA / 1.68 WHIP. They had allowed 11+ runs in a single game 12 times (out of the 45 games they played against Not-Houston). Oakland held the Astros to ten runs (9ER) in a three-game series - or a 3.00 ERA.

*A's pitcher James Kaprielian came into Sunday's start with a 10.17 ERA then threw 5IP, 3H/1ER, 5K:4BB to get his ERA down to 8.68.

*Houston went 5x27 with runners in scoring position in the series.

*Martin Maldonado had his first 2-hit game since April 30.

*Jose Abreu was 0x2 but drew two walks for the third time all season, and the second time this series. He also grounded into an inning-ending bases-loaded double play. So Abreu gonna Abreu.

*Alex Bregman was 0x4, his second hitless game since May 12. 

Bregman, March 30-May 7 (34 games): .195/.322/.320 - .196 BABIP.

Bregman, May 8-Present (12 games): .283/.346/.478 - .262 BABIP.

*Prior to Jake Meyers' 8th Inning groundout, he had reached base safely in nine consecutive PAs.

*Uh-oh: Lance McCullers Jr won't be ready until at least the All-Star Break, which is [checks notes] July 10. Dusty [LL Cool J voice]: Don't call it a setback.

Lance McCullers Regular Season IP, 2019-2023: 265.0

Framber Valdez Regular Season IP, 2022-2023: 267.1IP

*Danielle Lerner: How Chas McCormick is working himself back into form.

*The Rays might get bought, and then moved, leaving Tropicana Field to fulfill its destiny of being a skateboard park.

*The New Yorker: A Philosophy Professor's Final Class.

*It was a must-win game for Leeds United, who for the second week in a row had a 1-0 lead, and for the second week in a row blew it. Whereas LUFC got a tie against Newcastle, an exhausted West Ham still managed to find the net three times. FiveThirtyEight has Leeds at 94% to get relegated. Here's what has to happen for Leeds to not get relegated to the second division:

1a: Beat Tottenham Hotspur 

1b: Everton lose to Bournemouth

1c: Leicester City get a maximum of three points away at Newcastle today and at home to West Ham.

If 1a doesn't happen, then 1b and 1c don't matter. It's Bleak Hours at ACHQ. 

*A Musical Selection: