Thursday, June 15, 2023

Thursday Morning Hot Links

Well that got weird. The Astros were cruising comfortably - a 96.9% win probability as the 9th Inning opened. Then a couple of throwing errors later it was 4-4. Chaos reigned in the bottom of the 9th (the best time for chaos to reign imo) and the Astros win 5-4. At 39-29, Houston is once again 10 games over .500. Richardson won, so the Astros remain 3.5 back in the division.

*Nationals manager Dave Martinez was Big Mad following the game, in which he held up a screen grab of the camera shot like it was a proof of life video from a terrorist bunker of Jake Meyers on the basepath, presumably because he wasn't on it. Martinez:

There it is right there. Take a look at it. Is that on the line? I don't think so. I'm over this play. Seriously. They need to fix the rule. If this is what the umpire sees that he's running down the line, I'm tired of it. I'm tired of it. Fix it. We lost the game, and he had nothing to say about it because he can't make the right call. Brutal.


I think they were disputing whether he was in the baseline or not. That's always a questionable call. Nobody really has the vantage point very good except really the home plate umpire, and he said it was nothing. 

Meyers, eloquently:

I'm not really sure, but I know we scored, and we won. That's good.

You can watch Martinez's Meltdown in full here.

*McTaggart noted the similarities between last night and 2019 World Series Game 6.

*The Astros have won three of their last four following the season-high four-game losing streak.

*Houston is 7-7 in 1-run games this year. 

*Astros pitchers didn't issue a single walk for just the 5th time this season. They're 4-1 in those games. The starting pitcher in all five of those games? Framber Valdez.

*Framber threw extremely well: 7IP, 5H/1ER, 6K:0BB. Framber's last eight starts: 52IP, 37H/12ER, 58K:12BB. 2.08 ERA / 0.94 WHIP.

*Jose Abreu was 3x4 with a home run and a double. On May 27 Abreu's OPS sat at a paltry .519. Since then (16 games), he's hitting .295/.348/.541. He has five hits in his last seven PAs, and multi-hit games in five of his last six games. Last night was Abreu's 3rd 3RBI game, all of which have come since June 9.

Meat Wagon Updates:

*Well the big news of the day, other than Keibert Ruiz's throwing ability, is that Lance McCullers Jr is officially out for the year, having undergone surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right arm and remove a "lima bean-sized bone spur," which he injured during 2021 ALDS Game 4. That game was played on October 12, 2021...611 days before having surgery.

Dana Brown addressed what the news means for the Astros' activity at the trade deadline, noting that he's looking more at hitting, particularly a lefty bat.


You hate seeing anybody hurt, especially hurt a second time. From what I've talked to the trainers and the doctore, he has a chance to be back as good as new. If anybody can come back, it's Lance because he's in great shape and works his butt off. I'm sure it's a little bit of a downer, but he knew something was wrong.

Lance will not throw a baseball until November and it's unclear when, exactly, in 2024 he'll return. Chandler Rome put McCullers' injury history into some perspective.

*Yordan Alvarez will be out for at least a month with his bad oblique, which he injured during BP...and then proceeded to play in the game, lasting one PA. Seems like a dumb decision to let him play that game. Yordan will be re-evaluated in two weeks, and then three.

Here's who the Astros play in the next month: vs Cincinnati, vs NY Mets, at LA Dodgers, at St. Louis, at Lewisville, vs Colorado, vs Seattle, All-Star Break. Not having Yordan for four at Six Flags over Texas is not ideal. 

*Jeremy Pena should be back in the lineup today, having last played on June 10, presumably down with the sickness

*Check out Chandler Rome's Notes column, in which he addresses Jose Abreu's batting tweaks, Drew Gilbert's not great start at Corpus (plot twist: his elbow hurts), and more.

*ESPN: How the A's and Raiders' relocations to Vegas compare.

*The USMNT plays Mexico tonight at 9pm Central in the CONCACAF Nations League Semi-Final (I think).

*RIP Gordon McQueen.

*Last night (with the Astros game on the laptop on mute) The Wife and I watched the 2013 movie "The World's End," which I had never seen, but very much enjoyed.

*UT will play A&M at Kyle Field in 2024.

*A Musical Selection: