Thursday, September 7, 2023

Thursday Morning Hot Links

They did it. They eclipsed the 2017 Harvey Revenge Series, beating the absolute piss out of the Pride-less Rangers in three straight games. Houston is 80-61, the first AL West team to reach 80 wins (an accomplishment the 2023 A's should achieve no later than July 2024). 

*The Astros have won eight of their last eleven games. They're 20-8 in road games since the All-Star Break. The last MLB team to score 39+ runs in three consecutive games was...the Houston Astros, all the way back from August 26-28, 2023. 

*10.3% of the Rangers' home losses in 2023 came in the last 72 hours. Dusty:

It really wasn't about making a statement. It was more about winning games and trying to get into first place. You love to see your offense come alive like that. We got some good pitching performances. We played an excellent series.

Bruce Bochy:

Obviously, it was not a good series, wasn't a lot we did well. We just didn't execute pitches, left a lot up throughout the series and we paid for it...They put it to us, and there's no getting around that. 

The Rangers had never given up 16+ home runs in a three-game span before. 

*AL Playoff Picture:

1. Baltimore (88-51)

2. Houston (80-61)

3. Minnesota (73-67)

4. Tampa (85-55)

5. Seattle (78-61)

6. Toronto (77-63)

7. Pantego +0.5 (76-63)

8. Boston +5.0 (72-68)

If MLB just seeded the teams with the six best records in the AL, Minnesota would be 3.5 games back of Pantego, in 8th. 

*AL West Odds (and change since yesterday):


Houston: 67.2% (+2.7%)

Seattle: 28.3% (+1.9%)

Pantego: 4.5% (-4.6%)


Houston: 67.9% (+6.0%)

Seattle: 25.8% (-0.8%)

Pantego: 6.3% (-5.2%)

The Game

The Astros eclipsed the Harvey Revenge Series of September 2017. In that series, the Astros collected 37 runs on 46 hits - 11 doubles and six home runs. This series, the Astros collected 39 runs on 50 hits - seven doubles and 16 home runs.

The 16 home runs in three games are the 2nd-most in a 3-game span in MLB history, behind the 19 that the 2020 Yankees hit against Toronto in September 2020. Only four other teams hit 16 home runs in a three-game series: the 2023 Astros (just now), the 2019 Nationals, 2019 Yankees, and 1977 Red Sox. The 2023 Astros and 2019 Yankees were the only ones to do it on the road against the same opponent. 

*Most runs in a game, single-team, Globe Life Field's history:

1. 18 - by Pantego vs Oakland: Apr 22, 2023

2. 16 - by Pantego vs Philadelphia: April 1, 2023; by Pantego vs Seattle: June 3, 2023; by Los Angeles vs Pantego, July 22, 2023; 

5. 15 - by Pantego vs New York, April 30, 2023; by Houston vs Pantego, September 13, 2021

7. 14 - by Houston vs Pantego, Sept. 4, 2023; by Oakland vs Pantego, July 12, 2022; by San Diego vs Pantego, August 17, 2020.

10. 13 - by Houston vs Pantego, Sept. 5, 2023; by Pantego vs Colorado, May 21, 2023; by Pantego vs Houston, August 29, 2021; by Oakland by Pantego, June 22, 2021. 

*Jose Abreu was 2x3 with a grand slam and a 3-run homer. The three-run shot left his bat at 113.3mph, his hardest-hit ball of 2023. His 7RBI tie a career-high, also set at Minnesota on September 4, 2016 and against Detroit on September 12, 2020. It's the 20th multi-HR game of his career. Abreu:

If there's one person here that gets impressed by what this team can do, it's me because I'm new here. I think that this organization, these guys, when the lights are shining bright, they know how to handle things, they know how to do things well. I'm just very grateful to be part of this, as well. 

*Yordan Alvarez was 1x3 with 2BB, 2RBI, and his 25th homer of the year. Since the beginning of the 2021 season, Yordan is hitting a home run every 16.5 Plate Appearances.

*Michael Brantley was 2x3 with a homer and 2RBI. Brantley has played in six games in 2023, three of them have been 2-hit games. 

*Chas McCormick managed to talk his way into a PA in a blowout and responded by hitting his 20th home run of the season. He had an RBI in all three games of the Rangers series. McCormick has an eight-game hit streak in which he's hitting .375/.432/.563. He has a hit in 10 of his last 11 games. 

Chas McCormick has 384 PAs. Only four centerfielders have a higher fWAR than McCormick's 3.8 fWAR:

1. Julio Rodriguez: 5.5 fWAR (612 PAs).

2. Corbin Carroll: 5.2 fWAR (552 PAs).

3. Luis Robert, Jr.: 5.1 fWAR (538 PAs).

4. Cody Bellinger: 4.2 fWAR (463 PAs).

Chas McCormick leads all MLB CFs with a 147 wRC+. Please find a way to play this man every day.

*Jeremy Pena was 2x6 with a double. It's his 4th straight multi-hit game. Since August 1, Pena is hitting .339/.413/.449.

*Justin Verlander: 7IP, 4H/2R (1ER), 6K:1BB. It's the 133rd start of Verlander's career in which he has thrown at least 7IP and been charged with 0-1 Earned Runs. It's the 31st time he's done it in an Astros jersey. Verlander:

As a starting pitcher, your job is to carry the momentum. Our offense made it pretty easy on us this series. 

Verlander vs. Scherzer last night was the first time that opposing starting pitchers had 3,000 career strikeouts since Schilling vs Clemens on September 16, 2007.

Other Stuff

*Chandler Rome has a pretty electrifying piece in The Athletic, in which it is learned that the front office shares the fans' frustration with the number of Chas-less lineups. Rome:

This week, four people with knowledge of the team's inner workings said that McCormick's weight has become a talking point for Baker. 


I like being this heavy. I guess if I was a little lighter it'd be easier, bit easier to move a little bitter. I feel stronger. I feel healthier. I feel I can do more being at 220. Usually I'm at 216. When I'm 210, I'm too light. I was 214 last year, I think, and I felt too light again. I kind of like being where I'm at right now, at 220. 

It's weird. 

*The Ringer: The AL West is MLB's last great hope for an interesting division race.

*Check out this rundown of the Astros' farm system, on ApolloHOU.

*'s "One Player On Each Team With Something To Prove in 2023" features Cristian Javier.

*Washington Post: The biggest match-fixing network in Tennis is out of an apartment in Brussels.

*The Guardian: The Inside Story of the Unravelling of Liz Truss' Premiership.

*Outside: Walking in the Footsteps of Legends: 10 Amazing Historical Hikes.

What To Watch, September 7, 2023:

The Astros and Rangers are off.

Euro 2024 Qualifying: Ireland at France: 1:45pm Central.

Mariners @ Rays: 5:40pm Central

Murray State @ Louisville: 6:30pm Central

*A Musical Selection: