Sunday, October 8, 2023

Sunday Morning Hot Links

The Astros enjoyed OktOBERfest haha got em. Hector Neris made it interesting, but the Astros go to Game 2 of the ALDS with a 1-0 lead for the 8th time since 2015, and the 7th straight time from 2017-2023. Houston is 22-7 in the ALDS since the beginning of the 2015 postseason (20-4 since 2017).

*Jose Altuve hit a first-pitch homer to open the game. It's his 24th postseason home run. He needs five more to tie Manny Ramirez for the most in MLB history. It was also his first postseason homer since 2021 World Series G4 - a span of 13 postseason games. 

Altuve RBI, 2022 Postseason: 0

Altuve RBI, 2023 Postseason (so far): 1

Houston Astros with a leadoff postseason home run:

Jose Altuve, G1 2023 ALDS

George Springer, G5 2020 ALCS

Craig Biggio, G7 2004 NLCS

*Justin Verlander is now tied for 2nd all-time with 35 postseason starts. He started Game 1 for an MLB-record 13th time. 

Verlander needed 23 pitches to get out of a (scoreless) 1st Inning. He only had three innings as an Astro in 2023 where he threw more: 2nd Inning September 30, 2nd Inning August 27, and 2nd Inning August 11. He took a little while to settle in:

1st Inning: 23 pitches, 0H/0ER, 0K:2BB

2nd Inning: 13 pitches, 2H/0ER, 0K:0BB

3rd Inning: 19 pitches, 1H/0ER, 1K:0BB

4th Inning: 10 pitches, 0H/0ER, 1K:0BB

5th Inning: 13 pitches, 0H/0ER, 2K:0BB, HBP

6th Inning: 15 pitches, 0H/0ER, 1K:1BB

Verlander got two GIDPs in the first two innings, the most he's induced in a game since May 10, 2022 against...the Twins. It's just the 27th time in his career he's gotten two GIDPs in a start, playoffs included, and the 3rd time he's gotten two GIDPs in a postseason outing. G1 was his 545th career MLB start. 

Dusty, on Verlander:

Early, he was forcing his breaking ball...he couldn't get it over. He got in trouble a couple times early, but if you don't get to JV early, he usually finds his groove.

Postseason Wins, MLB Career:

1. Andy Pettitte: 19

2. Justin Verlander: 17

3. John Smoltz: 15

4. Tom Glavine: 14

5. Clayton Kershaw: 13

Verlander, regular season career: 18 seasons, 257-141, 3342K:925BB, 3.24 ERA / 1.12 WHIP

Kershaw, regular season career: 16 seasons, 210-92, 2944K:669BB, 2.48 ERA / 1.00 WHIP

Verlander, postseason career: 36 appearances, 17-11, 236K:71BB, 3.54 ERA / 1.11 WHIP 

Kershaw, postseason career: 39 appearances, 13-13, 213K:51BB, 4.49 ERA / 1.11 WHIP


It's been a whirlwind of a year, season for me. To find myself back here in Houston and pitching in the playoffs is not something I foresaw, but happy to be here, happy to help contribute, and happy to be in the playoffs.

*Jeremy Pena was 1x4. He has at least one hit in 13 of his 14 career postseason games. 

*Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run homer in the 3rd, the 7th postseason home run of his career, and the second consecutive postseason game with a home run, going back to the when he turned the game upside-down in G6 of the 2022 World Series. Yordan has at least one RBI in four straight postseason games. 

Worth mentioning that Yordan Alvarez has 199 career post-season plate appearances, and just one GIDP. 

2+ HR games, postseason, Astros history:

Jose Altuve: 3 - G1 2017 ALDS

Yordan Alvarez: 2 - G1 2023 ALDS

Kyle Tucker: 2 - G1 2022 World Series

Michael Brantley: 2 - G4 2020 ALDS (somehow I have zero recollection of this)

George Springer: 2 - G2 2020 ALDS

Carlos Correa: 2 - G1 2020 ALDS

George Springer: 2 - G3 2018 ALDS

Carlos Correa: 2 - G4 2015 ALDS

Carlos Beltran: 2 - G5 2004 NLDS


When I go up there, I try not to think about the situation, try not to think about the noise. Just say to myself, 'I'm the only one that can get the job done at this moment.

Dubon, on Yordan:

It's not easy to face him in general. You have no idea what he's going to do. He can hit a ball out dead center 460 feet or he's on his front foor and (hitting) it out 400 feet. Pick your poison - what do you want?

Twins pitcher Caleb Thielbar had not allowed a home run to a lefty all season. Lefties big, righties small...Yordan hits them all.

*FanGraphs: Behind Verlander's arm, and Yordan's bat, the Astros snatch Game 1. 

*Jose Abreu now has at least one RBI in five of his career eight postseason games. The Athletic: A healthy Jose Abreu now has a clean slate in front of him.

*Hector Neris had not allowed a home run since August 14. So of course he gave up a 3-run shot to make it 5-3 Astros in the 7th and then another one a batter later to make it 5-4. Neris had only given up two homers in a game five times previously in his career. The last time he gave up multiple homers was June 29, 2018

Neris, 2022 postseason: 6IP, 2H/1ER, 9K:0BB

Neris, 2023 postseason; 0.2IP, 3H/4ER, 2K:0BB, HBP

*The Astros were 2x10 w/RISP, the Twins were 1x12 w/RISP.

*Kendall Graveman was left off the ALDS Roster because he is literally butthurt

*It was the 48th time the Astros have won a postseason game with Carlos Correa in uniform:

Wins with Correa as an Astro: 47

Wins with Correa as a Twin: 1

Elsewhere in the playoffs:

Rangers 3 - 2 Orioles. FanGraphs has it: Rangers 72.6 - 27.4 Orioles

Phillies 3 - 0 Braves. FanGraphs: Phillies 59.9 - 40.1 Braves 

D'Backs 11 - 2 Dodgers. FanGraphs: D'Backs 61.7 - 38.3 Dodgers

Other Stuff

*Two climbers were stranded on a big wall. An iPhone saved the day.

*A 1994 UFO sighting changed lives. What if this guy made it up

*The Struggle Is Awesome

What To Watch, October 8:

Roma @ Cagliari: 11am Central

Texans @ Falcons: 12pm 

Barcelona @ Grenada: 2pm

Rangers @ Orioles: 3:07pm

Twins @ Astros, 7:03pm

*A Musical Selection: