Do you take your Chicago dog with Colby Jack?
Triple plays are awesome. Except when the team you follows hits into a triple play like the Astros did Wednesday. We can sit back and laugh at the event because the Astros won, but at the time, it was a bit frustrating.
Triple plays are special in themselves, but I don't think many people would expect the Astros hit into one with Tony Kemp, Jose Altuve, and George Springer -- three of the team's fastest runners. But here we are.
With Kemp and Altuve on base, Springer grounded sharply to Chicago third baseman Todd Frazier. The ball took Frazier to the bag, retiring Kemp and he then threw to second to Brett Lawrie. Lawrie retired Altuve and whipped the ball to first a half step ahead of Springer at first.
Statcast took a look at the play:
2) Colby Rasmus makes a friend at Shriners Hospital
Everyone knows that Colby Rasmus is a good dude. He once again showed that on Wednesdays he visited the Shriners Hospital in Chicago. Rasmus met eight-year-old Owen Mahan. Owen, as reported by the Houston Chronicle's Angel Verdejo Jr., had suffered second- and third-degree burns over 98 percent of his body in 2009.
Rasmus spent the morning with Owen and the boy came to the Astros game later that day.
Today Colby Rasmus visited Shriners Hospital & met Owen Mahan! He's a huge baseball fan & will be at tonight's game. pic.twitter.com/l5DZI81iI3— Houston Astros (@astros) May 18, 2016
Owen gave Colby a little pregame pep talk. pic.twitter.com/XNFap07Gdj— Houston Astros (@astros) May 18, 2016
Clearly the pregame pep talk worked, Rasmus hit a solo home run on Wednesday that proved to be the winning run in a 5-3 game.
The Houston area has two Shriners hospitals: a Houston hospital that focuses on orthopaedics, cleft Lip and palate, and a Galveston hospital that focuses on burn care.
3) Altuve makes adjustments
Ken Rosenthall did a rundown of notes from around the Major League Baseball including Fredi Gonzalez's departure from the Braves and the brawl between the Blue Jays and Rangers. The notes included a tidbit about Jose Altuve and Astros hitting coach Dave Hudgens:
Altuve, in fact, dramatically improved his selectivity after a conversation with Hudgens at the end of last season. Hudgens showed Altuve that he was chasing 37.7 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, explained that he would get better pitches to hit if he cut that down to the league average.
Well, Altuve has reduced his chase rate to below league average, dropping all the way down to 25.8 percent. He's seeing more pitches per plate appearance, his walk rate is up and pitchers have to attack him in the zone because he no longer is swinging at marginal strikes.
I have to guess that Hudgens worked with Altuve on pitch recognition, but Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs brings up a good point. As the article is written, Hudgens told Altuve to cut down on pitches out of the zone and he just did it:
was it...was it really this simple pic.twitter.com/ro3hdP1xTM— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) May 19, 2016
Hudgens: you should swing at better pitches— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) May 19, 2016
Hudgens: I know those pitchers are incomprehensibly talented, bu-
Altuve: I got it