Saturday, July 22, 2023

Saturday Morning Hot Links

The Astros beat the Oakland "Athletics" 6-4. They are 55-43, 12 games over .500 for the first time since they were 35-23 on June 3. The Rangers had a 5-4 lead over the Dodgers and blew it, so the Astros are three games back. The Astros have won three straight, and are 5-2 since the All-Star Break. 

*Houston is 8-0 against Oakland in 2023, and are 5-0 at Whatever That Stadium Is Called. Since getting swept at Oakland July 25-27, 2022, the Astros are 14-1 against the A's. 

*Last night was the 38th time in 2023 the Astros have scored 6+ runs. They're 32-6 in those games.

*The Big Story of the night was Kyle Tucker's three homers. It was the 3rd multi-HR game of his career, the first since May 17, 2022. His 3x4, 4RBI night last night raised his average to .303, over .300 for the first time since April 26. 

Kyle Tucker, since Yordan's oblique injury: 35 games, 156 PAs, .356/.439/.644. 20 of his 47 hits in this span have been for extra bases (11 doubles, 9 homers). OPS leaders among qualified batters since June 9:

1. Shohei Ohtani: 1.422 (like, for real, dude is hitting .366/.487/.935 since June 9). 

2. Corey Seager: 1.096 (who sprained his thumb and left the game after sliding head-first last night)

3. Kyle Tucker: 1.083

It was also his 6th home run in July. He needs one more this month to tie his previous record of 7 (September and June 2022, July 2021), or two more to break that record, which could be achieved by the 5th inning today. 

One more home run against the A's would tie his career-high of homers against a single opponent, as he has hit 18 against the Angels, and hit his 15th-17th against Oakland last night. 

Pressly, on Tucker:

Three homers in one game is a pretty good day at the office. Tuck's a special player. He puts in a lot of work...It's nothing new to me - I've seen him do it in batting practice and stuff like that. But he's kind of forming into a low-key superstar.

*Alex Bregman hit another home run, the first time he's hit a homer in consecutive games since April 11-12. Since the All-Star Break, Bregman: .355/.394/.710.

*Framber Valdez: 5IP, 6H/4ER, 4K:2BB. Framber has made 19 starts in 2023 and allowed 4+ ER in four of them, but three of those have been in his last four starts. 

Framber, beginning of season until that St. Louis start where he "slipped on the dugout steps:" 15 starts, 99IP, 78H/25ER, 104K:21BB, 2.27 ERA / 1.00 WHIP. 

Framber's last four starts: 4 starts, 23.1IP, 26H/15ER, 29K:9BB, 5.79 ERA / 1.50 WHIP.

*Ryan Pressly recorded his 100th career save, and his 99th with the Astros. He's the 17th active pitcher with 100 career saves, and the 160th player in MLB history to record triple digits. Pressly:

Whenever you get something like that, I think it's pretty special. I never thought I'd get here, to be honest with you. 

I was going to put this on the cursed Twitter website, but realized I don't want that level of engagement/notifications, so I'm putting it here where no one can comment [evil laugh]. Pressly is one of five active pitchers on this list have been in the Astros organization at some point. Name the other four (answer underneath the musical selection).

*Rafael Montero, beginning of 2023-June 25: 31.1IP, 44H/27ER, 36K:17BB, 7HR. 7.76 ERA / 1.95 WHIP. 

Rafael Montero, June 26-present: 10.1IP, 3H/2ER, 7K:4BB. 1.74 ERA/ 0.68 WHIP. 

*Yordan might be back in time for the Rangers series on Monday. 

*How the USWNT's pipeline got fractured by a youth soccer turf war.

*How a careless slip killed a Manhattan Project physicist

*Hotel wifi sucks. I'm getting out of here.

*A Musical Selection:

(Trivia Answers: Mark Melancon, Josh Hader, Ken Giles, Will Smith)