Monday, October 9, 2023

Monday Morning Hot Links

Pablo Lopez (whose parents are both doctors and, you may be aware, was accepted to medical school at 16) was good. Framber was not. It's the Astros' first home loss in the division series since Game 4 of the 2015 ALDS, a streak of 12 straight wins. They managed to snatch a game at Minute Maid Park and finally go back on the road in what is now a Best-Of-Three. So there's that. Game 3 is Tuesday. 

*FanGraphs: Houston 55.7 - 44.3 Minnesota.

Twins outfielder Michael A. Taylor:

We're in the driver's seat now.

*The Astros' 2 runs scored are the lowest scored in a playoff home game since Game 6 of the 2021 World Series. 

*Framber Valdez was...not good. Framber goes as his mindset goes. And while I am certainly not one to say that Framber - the winning pitcher in two of the 2022 World Series games - is "mentally weak" or a "basket case," it's pretty well-known that if Framber gets in his head, it's going to be an uphill battle for him. And ALDS G2 looked like Framber had the incline setting to Max thanks to D.J. Reyburn's "strike" "zone." 

Framber's seven hits allowed were tied for the second-highest he's allowed in 14 postseason starts, and the most since 2021 World Series G1

Framber, by postseason: 

2020: 24IP, 14H/5ER, 26K:10BB, 1.88 ERA / 1.00 WHIP

2021: 19.2IP, 28H/17ER, 16K:7BB, 7.78 ERA / 1.78 WHIP

2022: 25IP, 14H/4ER, 33K:8BB, 1.44 ERA / 0.88 WHIP

2023: 4.1IP, 7H/5ER, 5K:3BB, 10.38 ERA / 2.31 WHIP

It's not fair to put one start up against three full postseasons, but the point is the Astros need Framber's Even-Year Bullshit to come back. 

*That strike zone was wild for both sides, so let's not pretend that it was a total screw-job on the Astros. But if I remember the home plate umpire's name the morning after the game, it's safe to say that the home plate umpire needs to look in the mirror and re-evaluate some things. 

*How Pablo Lopez, whose parents were doctors and was accepted to medical school at 16, stymied the Astros to tie up the ALDS. Szymborski:

Houston's lineup, despite the dangerous hitters in the top half, mostly just watched their demise pass them by, only swinging at 52% of Lopez's in-zone pitches; Lopez is at 70% for his career and has never had a game in which opponents swung less often at his in-zone offerings. The result was seven strikeouts on just 12 whiffs the entire game, against 22 called strikes. To put that into context, of the 251 games in 2023 in which a pitcher struck out seven batters, only 17 featured fewer swings-and-misses.

Were you aware that Pablo Lopez has two doctors for parents, and was accepted to medical school at the age of 16?

Dusty, on Lopez, whose parents are doctors and who himself was accepted to medical school at the age of 16:

There's nothing you can say. The guy was dealing tonight.

*Yordan hit a two-run homer and is responsible for five of Houston's eight runs in the ALDS, and eight of their last 12 postseason runs. He has four homers and eight RBIs in his last three postseason games. Yordan also has a five-game postseason RBI streak, which has only happened 53 times in MLB postseason history. Astros with 5-game postseason RBI streaks:

Carlos Beltran: 5 (2004)

Alex Bregman: 5 (2017)

George Springer: 5 (2017-2018)

Carlos Correa: 5 (2020)

Yordan Alvarez: 5 (2022-2023)

*Speaking of Carlos Correa, he had 3RBI in G2 of the 2023 ALDS. He had five regular season games in 2023 of 3+ RBI. It was his 8th postseason 3+ RBI game. 


I thought Correa got a little bit lucky with the sinker there. It was going down to the ground, he was able to get to it.

How Correa prepared for the AB that knocked Framber out of the game.

*Jose Altuve was 2x4, the 32nd multi-hit postseason game of his career. Jose Altuve is the greatest Astro of all-time, and it's not even close.

*In the seven postseason games since Kyle Tucker went 3x5 with 2HR/4RBI in 2022 World Series G1, he's hitting .087/.214/.174.

*The Astros have "parted ways" with Assistant GM Bill Firkus and Farm Director Sara Goodrum.

*Baltimore is going to "reset" after losing their two home games to Six Flags.

What To Watch, October 9:

Cambridge United @ Burton Albion: 2pm Central

Phillies @ Braves, 5:07pm

Packers @ Raiders? I think?, 7:15pm

We're 24 hours from NHL Opening Night, and 48 hours from my beloved Montreal Canadiens' 2023 season opener. 

Diamondbacks @ Dodgers: 8:07pm

*A Musical Selection: