Saturday, July 8, 2023

Saturday Morning Hot Links

 Things were going pretty great for Hunter Brown until suddenly they weren't! Seattle beat the Astros 10-1. Houston is 49-40, now three games back of Upper Keene. The Mariners are now in third in the AL West, four back of Houston, and seven back of the division lead. 

*The Astros lost back-to-back games for the first time since June 23-24, and back-to-back home games for the first time since June 18-19. 

*Houston's offensive offense has been held to 1 run in consecutive games for the first time since all the way back on June 15-16. It's the sixth time since Yordan's oblique injury that the offense has been held to 0-1 runs. 

*The Astros have two extra-base hits in the first two games of this Mariners series. They've drawn one walk in 18 innings. Last night was the first time since June 7 that the Astros did not walk once. 

*Kirby/Castillo, this series vs Houston: 13.2IP, 11H/2R (1ER), 6K:1BB. 

*The Mariners have struck out 24 times in the first two games of the series. Last night was the 3rd time this season that Astros pitchers have struck out 13+ batters and still lost the game. 

*Hunter Brown's 28 Game Score was the sixth game this season in which an Astros starter has posted a Game Score below 30. Four of them have come since June 21. 

*Brown's first six outs were all strikeouts, and his eight Ks were the most in a start since May 31. After recording at least 17 outs in four straight starts, Brown has managed to get just 21 of the last 41 batters he has faced out. 

Brown's last two starts: 7IP, 18H/8ER, 14K:3BB. 


He really didn't have command of his breaking stuff or his fastball really. His fastball was high; his breaking ball was low...That was a tough inning. I don't think I've seen a nine-run inning in a long time.

*The Mariners' 9-run 4th Inning is the most runs the Astros have allowed in an inning since a 9-run 2nd Inning against San Diego on August 22, 2020. The Mariners in the 4th: Single, Walk, Single, Single, Single, Strikeout, Walk, Fielder's Choice, HBP, Walk, Double, Double.

*Maldonado, on Brown:

This guy's going to be really good in the future. I think he's starting to understand how to get hitters out. It's always a big test the more information is out there for the hitters. And I feel like he's thrown the ball really, really good for us. He has been valuable when he needed to be valuable. And a couple of bad outings, everybody's going to have those. 

Chandler Rome: Brown is highlighting the thin-ness? thinnity? of the Astros' rotation options.

*The Mariners had 13 hits and eight walks, for a total of [takes off socks] 21 base runners. It's the 5th time this season the pitching staff has put that many runners on. Such a thing only happened once in 2022. 

*Phil Maton: 1IP, 2H/4ER, 1K:2BB. He had given up 4ER in his last 14 games dating back to June 6. The last time Maton gave up multiple extra-base hits in an outing was August 19, 2022

*In three games vs Luis Castillo, the Astros are hitting .171/.247/.257, the lowest OPS for any team Luis Castillo has pitched against. 

*Bligh Madris, career home runs as a hitter: 1

Bligh Madris, career home runs allowed as a pitcher: 1

*Alex Bregman drove in the Astros' lone run with an infield single. 

Bregman, 2016-2019: 517 games, 2238 Plate Appearances, .286/.384/.527, 45.6% of his hits went for extra-bases. 

Bregman, 2020-2023: 376 games, 1628 Plate Appearances, .256/.356/.431, 37.8% of his hits for extra-bases. 

*Chas McCormick apologized to Ty France after Thursday's game in which he did The Shenanigans.

*The Astros hope this break gives Cristian Javier a "second wind."

Meat Wagon Update

*Yordan Alvarez hit on the field prior to Friday's game. 

*Jose Urquidy threw a 22-pitch bullpen before the game, and will have four rehab starts before being activated (provided he doesn't end up on Weiland Island) in early August. 

*Michael Brantley still has not returned to baseball activities.

*Catcher-of-the-Future? Korey Lee is also out with a strained oblique. The Astros organization needs a new Oblique Guy.

*29 people died in one of the worst mountaineering accidents in history. What happened?

*Cyclist Mark Cavendish abandoned the Tour de France this morning after a crash. If he does, in fact, retire at the end of the season, he will end his career tied with Eddy Merckx with 34 stage wins. Even more sad, he finished 2nd in yesterday's stage (that would have eclipsed the record) at the line.

*Something I like to do when Things are Overwhelming (which happens often!) is watch Slow TV. Like this 10-hour train ride through the Norwegian Arctic Circle.

*A Musical Selection: