clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

TuesdoLinks: Astros offense takes a Sabathia

New, comments

The Astros got a dose of their own juggernaut juice

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at New York Yankees Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

I have decided that I hate playoff dates with only a single game. Which, I know, means I am going to hate a lot of upcoming days. Fortunately, I am about to check out of 2017 Baseball completely. I have a long overdue vacation coming up, and will be absolutely ignoring things as of Game 3 of the World Series. My plans for the Angels to be holding the home field advantage in the WS and doing the road Games 3 & 4 at Citi Field have fallen through, but pre-paid airline tickets being what they are, well, you know...

I’ll give you more info later. For now,

Do the Dance of Day Fifteen Playoff-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Matt Thaiss at instructs. Taking batting practice.....and kicking ass..........

An LAA fan visits Cooperstown and takes shots of all the Angels items therein, and all I notice is that the Baseball Hall of Fame is still calling our team “of Anaheim”...........

Bill James taking a moment out of his day to remind us Halo fans of our pain and suffering. James actually had to spend 10 to 20 minutes out of his life figuring that out..........


October Baseball

Charlie Morton might not be affiliated with the steakhouse, but that doesn’t mean he is not excellent at serving up meatballs. To be fair, that’s another one of those base hits off the wall in any other ballpark (the same short porch that makes flyballs look like heroic moments). But both sides are playing in the same bandbox, and that got things off to a bad start for the Astros, who could not punch through the pitching of C.C. Sabathia. The Astros did almost nothing at all until the 9th inning, when they managed to snag a single run out of a bases-loaded, no out, rally. It was almost interesting there for a second, but a Jose Altuve GDP wrapped it all up and parked the Yankers in the win column, 8-1. So there are 4 games left, and the Astros still only have to win 2 of them. The Yankees have to win 3 of those 4, and they are going to have to face Verlander and Keuchel again. New York may be dancing and smiling, but things still look grim.

Aaron Judge popped a 3-run homer himself, but he also added to his ongoing charge at the playoff home run record:

Tracking Aaron Judge’s 2017 Playoff Strikeout Accomplishments

Aaron Judge has an unfair strike zone? And MFY manager Joe Girardi is complaining about it? Well, well. Maybe this is one of those teachable moments, where it serves to point out that life has its trade-offs. It’s Judge’s very size that create that massive zone, and its Judge’s massive size that grant him so much effortless slugging power. You don’t get to have one without the other, Joe..........Also, baseball is just hard..........

Reading about John Lackey instead of Wade Davis and all that becoming Joe Maddon’s brain fart, (something Sam Miller saw coming) not to mention Maddon fighting back with silly stories, I saw a lot of stuff about Lackey giving up HR’s early in his starts before settling in. Turns out that the WORST place to put Lackey is not a 1st inning, but a 9th (sort that table by SLG). Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that the 9th-inning pitcher decisions were not the only place that Maddon did something screwy his with his game management that night..........

When I first read the title of this piece, “Pitching Labels Are Increasingly Irrelevant“, I was hoping they were talking about four-seam fastballs versus split-fingered fastballs versus sliders versus curveballs, etc. Because people are all over the amp on these things. That home run pitch by Lackey to Turner? MLBAM called it a four-seam fastball (as does PITCHf/x, which gets that stuff from MLBAM). And FanGraphs called it a sinker. Alas, it’s yet another stepping stone on our journey through the valley of bullpenning, towards some ultimate destiny over the horizon...........But worry not, my fiends, ESPN is here. Closers are still for closing, except in the playoffs. Now, at playoffs time, even ESPN has moved over to the “user your best option in your highest-leveraged situation” line of thinking..........

Yesterday I linked to a tale about how the Astros and their advanced analytics improved the slider of newly-acquired Justin Verlander. Jeff Sullivan calls bullshit..........Either way, Verlander is back to being badass..........

Justin Turner clocked only the second walk-off playoff home run in LAD history, 29 years to the day after Kirk Gibson did it first. Gibson did it off Dennis Eckersley, as we all know. But did you know that it was Dennis Eckersley who coined the phrase “walk-off”?..........Oh, and speaking of Dodger anniversaries, yesterday was another one. One not as pleasant of a memory..........

Umpires are having fun in these playoffs too. (MLBAM blocked that last video in that article. Here is the official insurance-selling source.).........

We might have to suffer these Dodger fans for while longer..........

Managerial Merry-Go-Round: Alex Cora is one popular dude.


Everywhere In Baseball

Messy messy messy, I I’n not talking about the soccer player. The MLB infractions being blamed on Atlanta Braves ex-GM John Coppolella keep growing, Even though the initial problems are supposed to be amazingly egregious, after his firing the other MLB teams started popping up with even more stories of abuse. Oddly, instead of reacting with an outright firing, the Braves offered Coppolella a buyout. More oddly, Coppolella said no! Because most oddly, Copolella has lawyered up and is going to sue the Braves for firing him for being suck a jackanape!! ...........

Hey, do you want a job? postings for analytics types have been made by the White Sox, and the Rays, and the Rays again, and the Reds, and the Blue Jays..........

BaseballAmerica plays with expansion and realignment. These thought experiments are always fun for winter chatter, and there are no wrong answers. But this is the first time I have found one that shuts down the American and National Leagues entirely..........

This is the saddest baseball story I have read in eons. But it needs to be shared. It’s important. We have a monumental tragedy on our hands among our friends up north, one that will impact some aspects f the entire nation.........

Breaking down The Tebow. My guess is that even though his first minor league stint ended up being respectable, he is still aging year over year and he did NOT get his start as a 20-year old. He is already 30. By the time he gets his novelty MLB at-bats, he will be well into his baseball athletic decline.........

UPDATE on cord-cutting in our own home: the missus is learning that all the programming she prefers might end up costing as much as the Uverse bundle for which we already pay. Her best friend revealed that throughout their extended family they “share” subscriptions to keep their costs down. In other words: they steal. And Sunday night was a disaster. She hosts a neighbor over on Sundays to watch Outlander. Girl’s night thing. We subscribe to STARZ via Amazon Prime and she knows how to fetch her program on demand. All should be good. Well, last night STARZ did not show a new episode and she freaked out, insisting that it was merely a matter of tracking it down via some other alternative source. I spent an hour chasing it via laptop, SmartTV, AppleTV, Amazon, Uverse, all to no avail. And I did this right in front of her, introducing to her the process that might lie in her future. Frustrated, she started to insist that I just go out AND INCREASE MY UVERSE PACKAGE JUST TO MAKE IT EASY TO WATCH “HER SHOWS”. 180 degrees away from where we want to go. It wasn’t until we went to Google and learned that STARZ was skipping a week and no new episode at all was being broadcast that she stood down. But, by then, I learned a valuable lesson about how hard this is going to be.............Not that I can choose to avoid it, what with the general direction of the industry (using Disney labor-slashing as my example today)..........


The Duffle Bag

Let’s see here. Yankee TV ratings are up as the Yankees were winning (see yesterday’s Links). Yankee ticket prices are down as the Yankees were losing? I smell a bandwagon nearby...........Social media has become the new bulletin board for clubhouse motivational material.........HBP minor leaguer making a recovery..........

.