Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

What can you say? Roadstros showed up, as usual (for 2023), Cristian Javier showed up. Houston took a 2-1 lead and needs to win one of the next two to advance to play Six Flags for the AL Pennant. 

*FanGraphs: Houston 77.8 - 22.2 Minnesota

*Houston is 7-3 in potential series-clinching games since 2020. The Astros push the Twins to the brink of elimination.

*Cristian Javier was unreal, again: 5IP, 1H/0ER, 9K:5BB. The walks were stupid, don't worry about them. Maybe we'll get to them in a bit.

Javier, postseason appearances, career: 15GP, 37.2IP, 15H/8ER, 57K:21BB, X.XX ERA / 0.96 WHIP.

Javier, postseason starts, career: 3GS, 16.1IP, 2H/0ER, 23K:10BB. 0.00 ERA / 0.73 WHIP.

Javier, on the Twins fans counting down the pitch clock as a way to try to frustrate him:

I did notice it, and when I did, I used it in my favor. At that point, I stopped paying attention to the clock because they were counting and just paid attention to the catcher. 

Full and complete list of pitchers with three consecutive scoreless postseason starts of 5+ IP: 

4: Whitey Ford (1960-61)

3: Cristian Javier (2022-23)

3: Madison Bumbarner (2014-16)

3: Kenny Rogers (2006)

3: Christy MF Mathewson (1905)

Full and complete list of pitchers with back-to-back postseason starts of 5+ IP and 0-1 hits allowed:

1. Cristian Javier

Martin Maldonado, on Javier:

The only way you can rattle him is if you punch him.

Yordan, on Javier:

It's incredible. Obviously, nobody's surprised about what he does in the playoffs. I know in the regular season he was a little bit up and down. But now it's the real Cristian Javier. 

*Twins SP Sonny Gray had allowed 8HR in 184IP - his 0.4 HR/9 led the League. Gray had given up 2HR in 26.1 career postseason innings thrown. Gray had not allowed 2HR in a game since September 24, 2021.

Yet, there he was, serving up homers to Jose Abreu and Alex Bregman - accounting for all four of his charged earned runs. 

*Jose Abreu hit two home runs in Game 3. He had one 2HR game in all of 2023 (September 6, against Six Flags). Granted, it was only the 10th postseason game of his career, but Abreu's 2HR/5RBI game improved his postseason numbers from 1HR/6RBI in the previous nine games combined. He had not homered in a postseason game since his first career postseason game, in G1 of the 2020 Wild Card Round.

*Alex Bregman was 2x5 with a homer and 2RBI - his 16th career home run and 49th career RBI in the postseason. The 49 RBI move Bregman past Reggie Jackson into sole possession of 9th place in MLB Postseason history, one behind Jose Altuve, who is in 8th with 50. 

Bregman's 16 postseason homers are the 3rd-most by anybody who played even an inning at 3B (Pujols, 19; and Jim Thome, 17), and the most by anyone who only played 3B in MLB history.

*Yordan Alvarez was 3x5 with two doubles and a home run. It was the 5th 3+ hit postseason game for Yordan's career. Yordan has a home run in four straight postseason games - only the 11th time in MLB history that's happened. 4+ postseason game homer streaks:

6: Daniel Murphy (NYM), 2015

5: Giancarlo Stanton (NYY), 2020; George Springer (HOU), 2017/18; Carlos Beltran (HOU), 2004

4: Yordan Alvarez (HOU), 2022/23; Evan Longoria (TB), 2008; Jim Thome (CLE), 1998/99); Juan Gonzales (6FL), 1996; Jeffrey Leonard (SF), 1987; Reggie Jackson (NYY), 1977; Lou Gehrig (NYY), 1928-1932.

Reggie Jackson who, with Yordan, are the only players to have six extra-base hits with at least three homers in any three-game postseason span:

He's a force, buddy. He's nice to have on your side. 

To have two doubles and a homer in a postseason game has been done 31 times, with Jeremy Pena's 2022 ALCS G1 coming as the last time it's happened.

*57 MLB players in history have hit 10+ career postseason home runs. Six of them have played with the Astros (Altuve, Beltran, Correa, Springer, Bregman, Yordan).

*Martin Maldonado was 2x4. It's his 2nd 2-hit postseason game, 2019 ALDS G2 being the first. Yesterday was his 16th multi-hit game of 2023, and the first since September 25 against Seattle. Yainer Diaz is 0x6 with 4K:0BB in the 2023 ALDS. 

*Jose Urquidy will start G4 this evening. Twice before in Urquidy's career, he wanted to quit.

*The AL East's three playoff teams (Baltimore, Tampa, Toronto), who went a combined 289-197 in the regular season, went 0-7 in the 2023 Postseason.

*This Day in Astros Postseason History:

2022: Yordan hits a walk-off moonshot off Robbie Ray.

2015: Dallas Keuchel and the Astros win Game 3 of the ALDS to take a 2-1 series lead.

2004: Roy Oswalt gets the win and Jeff Bagwell actually homers in a postseason game as the Astros win NLDS G5, and the Astros actually win a series, over the Braves.

*What To Watch, October 11:

Braves @ Phillies: 4:07pm Central

Canadiens @ Maple Leafs: 6pm

Astros @ Twins: 6:07pm 

Sam Houston @ New Mexico State: 8pm

Dodgers @ D'Backs: 8:07pm

*The gorgeous, eternal guitar tone of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun."

*Is it cheaper to make your own granola?

*The Mississippi River is losing its fight with the ocean.

*A Musical Selection: