Saturday, September 2, 2023

Saturday Morning Hot Links

The Astros "returned" from a road trip, sadly, and were forced to play in front of 40,000 of their own fans last night. Stupid Manfred. Bad Manfred. Houston lost to the Yankees at Minute Maid Park for the first time since July 10, 2021. The Astros are 77-59, and are 35-32 at "home." 

*The "Good News" is that the Mariners and Rangers both lost. It's the second time since the All-Star Break that all three AL West teams (there are two AL West JV teams in the division, as well) lost on the same day. 

*Here's the AL Playoff Picture going into Partidos de 2 Septiembre:

1. Baltimore (83-51)

2. Seattle (76-58)

3. Cleveland (70-65)

4. Tampa (82-53): +6.5

5. Houston (77-59): +1.0

6. East Benbrook (75-59): -

7. Toronto (74-61): -1.5

8. Boston (69-66): -6.5

*Unfortunately, we're Scoreboard and Playoff Odds watching all month. Odds to win the division:

FanGraphs (and the change from yesterday):

Houston: 52.4% (-0.0%)

Seattle: 33.1% (-0.0%)

East Benbrook: 14.5% (-0.1%)

Baseball-Reference (and the change from yesterday):

Houston: 43.9% (-1.8%)

Seattle: 36.6% (-1.8%)

East Benbrook: 19.5% (-7.8%)

The Game

*The Astros, according to Win Expectancy, were never favored to win last night's game.

*Justin Verlander was Efficiently Bad, only needing 88 pitches to give up 8 hits - four of them home runs - and 6ER in 6IP. He had allowed 9ER in his previous five starts as an Astro. It's the fifth time in his career, and his third time as an Astro, that Verlander allowed four home runs in a single game.

He allowed two home runs in the first inning, the second time this season he's allowed 2HR in the same inning (his season debut - May 4 - was the first time).

*Astros pitchers only needed 112 pitches total to lose to the Yankees, tied for the 7th-fewest number of pitches to get 27 outs in 2023. Houston is 5-3 when throwing 112 or fewer pitches.

*There were 11 balls put in play with an Exit Velocity over 100mph: eight for the Yankees, three for the Astros (Diaz's single, Abreu's homer, Tucker's double).

*The offense didn't do much, collecting just four hits - three of them for extra bases. 

*Houston's offense at home, 2023: 67 games, .252/.327/.411, 76 home runs, .737 OPS.

Houston's offense on the road, 2023: 69 games, .261/.332/.442, 102 home runs, .775 OPS.

*Jose Altuve forgot that there was a piece of equipment available that guarded your shins, fouled a ball off of it (for apparently the umpteenth time this season!), and left the game. Mauricio Dubon was 0x3 as his replacement.

*Jake Meyers was 0x3. Since the All-Star Break, Meyers (30 games, 22 starts): .238/.281/.405. Since his 2HR game at Yankee Stadium on August 6: 45 PAs, .186/.222/.233.

Meyers vs LHP, 2023: 76 PAs, .269/.355/.463.

Chas McCormick since the All-Star Break (40 games, 39 starts): .309/.393/.571.

McCormick vs LHP, 2023: 112 PAs, .356/.420/.663.

I had an idea of what I'd find when I looked that up, but Holy God starting Jake Meyers over McCormick, for any reason, is indefensible. Unless Chas is hurt, I guess. And then I'd want to know what hurt. 

*Since coming off the IL, Jose Abreu is hitting .292/.370/.583, with hits in five of the six games in which he has appeared.

*Kendall Graveman is feeling better.

*Rafael Montero is regaining the Astros' trust.

*Boston lost to Kansas City 13-2. The Fightin' Coras have now allowed 7+ runs for the fourth straight game, the first three coming against the Houston MF Astros. The Red Sox let Former Astros Great Jordan Lyles throw 8IP, 4H/2ER, 7K:0BB and improving his 2023 ERA from 6.51 to 6.29. Since August 26 Boston's chances of making the playoffs have slipped from 16.7% to 3.2%. Unlucky. Alex Cora is a piece of shit.

*Michael Clair: The baseball game that never ends - on purpose and for charity.

*Texas Monthly: A Cheat Sheet to Ken Paxton's Impeachment Trial.

*The fruits that are rich in antioxidants.

What To Watch, 2 September:

Arkansas State @ Oklahoma: 11am Central (ESPN)

Newcastle @ Brighton: 11:30am

Rice @ Texas: 2:30pm (ABC)

New Mexico @ Texas A&M: 6pm (ESPN)

UTSA @ UH: 6pm (FS1)

Yankees @ Astros: 6:10pm 

Mariners @ Mets: 6:10pm 

Twins @ Rangers: 6:15pm (Fox)

Blue Jays @ Rockies: 7:10pm

Sam Houston State @ BYU: 9:15pm (FS1)

*A Musical Selection: