Thursday, October 19, 2023

Thursday Morning Hot Links

A quick story, one that I'm not terribly proud of (but proud enough to lead the Hot Links with): I live in Ramger Country. It's gross. I shower four times a day. Anyhow, a co-worker was giving me crap about the Astros being down 2-0. Annoying. So I hollered back, "I've watched the Astros lose more World Series in the last five years than your middle aged ass has ever seen the Rangers play in." Might have ended it with, "Bitch." I'm not sure. I was a little Ragey. 

Anyhow, the Astros won 8-5 to make the series 2-1. Michael Brantley:

They eliminated the big inning for the first two games against us. So we had a nice crooked number to put up on the board. But at the same time, it's a great offense over there. We had to keep scoring. We continued to keep pressure on...and we have to continue to do that throughout the entire series.


I thought we did a heck of a lot better job passing the torch to the next guy.

FanGraphs: Houston 37.9 - 62.1 Six Flags.

Houston has won 17 of their last 20 road games. They're 3-0 on the road in the 2023 postseason. 

*Five Astros runs scored with two outs. 

*Jose Altuve's PAs, Game 3:

1st Inning: 100.7mph off the bat, flyout to dead center. A homer in 13/30 parks.

3rd Inning: 104.4mph off the bat, homer. A homer in 30/30 parks.

5th Inning: 102.4mph off the bat, flyout to dead center. A homer in 12/30 parks.

That would have been 3HR in 3PAs if the game was played at Wrigley, Cincinnati, whatever the White Sox call their field, Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Milwaukee, or Oakland.

It was Altuve's 25th postseason home run of his career. He needs four more to tie Manny Ramirez for the most all-time. Altuve:

Down in the series 0-2, it feels like we had no choice but to win tonight. 

*Yordan Alvarez: 2x4, 2RBI. He has 10RBI in the 2023 postseason. The Astros have scored 32 runs in the 2023 postseason. It was the third game out of seven in the 2023 postseason that Yordan didn't hit a home run, but...

Alvarez's 6th Inning flyball that was robbed by Leody Taveras had a 1.000 xBA and would have been a home run in 22 out of 30 ballparks. 

*Kyle Tucker hit 6th in the order for the first time since June 11, 2022 and went 0x1, 3BB. It was the 7th 3BB game of his career, and just the 3rd multi-BB postseason game of his career. He also got a double, his 3rd hit of the 2023 postseason, and his first XBH since ALDS G1. 

*Mauricio Dubon had three hits for the 12th time in his career and the 7th time in 2023. He's 6x12 in the 2023 postseason and got his first career postseason RBI. Dubon:

I was telling somebody today that, yeah, I got smarter, I got a little stronger. But my ability hasn't changed. For me, it was a matter of getting a chance. And the Astros gave me a chance to get out there and show people what I can do.

*Martin Maldonado was 2x4 with 2RBI - the 3rd 2-hit game of his postseason career, and 2nd of the 2023 postseason. It was his first postseason RBI since Game 1 of the 2022 World Series

Maldonado, on his AB vs Scherzer:

He can throw any pitch any count. Because he bounces a slider doesn't mean he doesn't come back with another slider. So I was trying to see something up, just to put a good swing on it.

*Alex Bregman hit a ball in the 9th (stop me if you've heard this before) that Leody Taveras caught against the wall. It would have been a home run in 18 out of 30 ballparks. 

*Cristian Javier: 5.2IP, 3H/2ER, 3K:1BB.

Four career postseason starts: 22IP, 5H/2ER, 26K:1BB, 0.82 ERA / 0.27 WHIP.

How Cristian Javier re-found his fastball.

*Hector Neris gave up a single and a home run to make it moderately interesting, the 3rd homer he's allowed in the 2023 postseason. 

*Bryan Abreu allowed his first earned run since July 15 - a streak of 32 games / 33IP

*Ryan Pressly has converted his 14 of his last 14 save opportunities in the postseason. 

Four of Six Flags' runs came courtesy of 2-out 2-run homers by #8 hitter Carl Josh Jung. All five Ramger runs were with two outs. 

*Michael Brantley's shoulder survived his enormous catch.

*It's Game(s) 4 Hero Jose Urquidy vs. Andrew Heaney tonight in Game 4. 

*ESPN: How the Astros-Ramgers rivalry defines the state of Texas.

*BBC: How I rewired my brain in six weeks.

*Odes to the Texas Indie Bookstores.

*A Musical Selection, in which I discover that I really like French-Canadian Synth-Pop Girls: