Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

The Houston Astros raced out to an early lead and beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 yesterday to improve to 32-22, tying a season-high ten games over .500. The Rangers obviously won, so the Astros still sit three games back. 

*Astros after 54 games:

2023: 32-22
2022: 35-19
2021: 30-24
2019: 35-19
2018: 34-20
2017: 38-16
2016: 25-29
2015: 34-20
2014: 22-32
2013: 17-37

The Astros are 19-11 in their last 30 games but have managed to lose two games to the Rangers in that span, though the Astros' 15-5 record in their last 20 games is a game better than the Crowley Rangers. The Rangers are playing at a 2019 Astros pace through the first third of the season, and I'm just skeptical that that's sustainable. 16 of Crowley's games have been against teams currently in last place in their division, posting a 13-3 record. Only six of the Astros' games have been against those teams (all Oakland, and Houston is 6-0). 

*Alex Bregman hit a Unicorn Homerun (a homer that would only be a homer in one ballpark) - his first HR since May 17. Bregman has a hit in each of his last six games, and seven of his last eight. In his last 20 games Bregman is hitting .313/.356/.488 with almost as many extra-base hits (7) as he has strikeouts (8). 

*Chas McCormick hit a two-run homer, the second consecutive game in which he has homered (he didn't play in the Monday game), something he hasn't done since July 1-2, 2022. 

*Twins pitcher Joe Ryan hadn't allowed a home run since April 19, and gave up four bombs all season...before yesterday. 

*Brandon Bielak pitched well: 5.2IP, 3H/1ER, 6K:3BB. Bielak has given up two or fewer earned runs in five of his six appearances in 2023. 

Astros runs in Bielak appearances:
0 runs: 1
1 run: 2
5 runs: 2
7 runs: 1

McTaggart: Bielak's mid-game change in approach helped him out a lot.

*Phil Maton, 2023: 26.2IP, 11H/2ER, 30K:3BB, 0.68 ERA / 0.53 WHIP. Chandler Rome: Maton is pitching angry, and it's helping.

*With a hit yesterday, Carlos Correa improved to 3x29 against the Astros in his career. And if you were one of the fans that booed Litos on Monday, please exit this web site and never come back. 

*Chandler Rome: How Bielak and J.P. France have entrenched themselves in the Astros' rotation.

*Dusty is "very encouraged" by Jose Urquidy's rehab progress.

*ESPN: How the Rays proved in May that they could win it all in October.

*Jake Marisnick is back (with AJ Hinch in Detroit)!

*Leeds United are set to lose both Brenden Aaronson (boy bye) and Tyler Adams (please God no) this summer. Adams suffered a hamstring injury following Leeds' March 11 2-2 tie against Brighton, and Leeds got eight points from their remaining 12 games. Adams apologized to Leeds fans this morning on Twitter.

Brenden Aaronson was statistically the worst player in the Premier League this season.

*Mental Floss: The making of "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

*A Musical Selection, not "Smells Like Teen Spirit," but it does contain my favorite guitar solo of all time: