We know how this goes: Consistency in anything can end up with a person, group, product, company, etc. being taken for granted. The Astros’ starting pitching may be headed in that direction as they are the one part of the team not named Jose Altuve that has been very consistent this season, especially down the stretch.
Season to Season Improvement
In almost every category of import, the Astros’ starting pitching has shown drastic improvement.
- ERA: A nasty 4.72 ERA is now down to a decent 3.95
- Innings pitched per start (with this bullpen this is critical): A not impressive 5.59 innings per start is a much better 6.00 innings per start
- OPS Against: Was a crummy .778, down to an average .719
- GOAO: An average 1.09 is now a league’s best 1.23, which also helps them to lead the league in enticing double plays (88) on the season
Down the Stretch
The Astros’ starters have been the key to the surge late in the season and to the way they have been playing near .500 ball since May.
- In the last 18 games, the Astros have had only one game where the starter had given up more than 3 runs or failed to go at least 5 IP.
- In the 48 games since the All Star Break, the starters have held the opposition to 3 runs or less in 38 of those games.
- They have held the opposition to 0 or 1 run in 17 of those starts; 0, 1 or 2 runs in 27 of those 48 starts.
- They have gone at least 7 innings in 17 of those starts and gone at least 6 innings in 30 of those starts
McHugh – Good first half becomes great second half
Collin McHugh has been good the whole year and nails since the ASB. He is 4-1 with a 2.26 ERA after the break and the only complaint is that he is only averaging 6.45 innings per start, which is not bad – but 3rd on this staff in the second half.
Keuchel – Strong Starter – Bad Luck in the 2nd half
Dallas Keuchel has had a rotten 1-4 record after the ASB, off with his head. Oh well, that would ignore his fine 2.71 ERA and an even finer 6.9 innings per start. He has been super strong and super deserving of more run support.
Feldman – Very Solid and an Innings Eater
Down the stretch, Scott Feldman has been very solid and pitches deep into games. Since the break – his 3.55 ERA and his 7.1 innings per start have helped show the youngsters how it is done as he has compiled a 4-4 record.
Oberholtzer – Up and Down but not bad
Brett Oberholtzer has been inconsistent this year, but for a fourth starter has been decent. Down the stretch after the break his record has been 3-3, his ERA has been an average 4.24 and he is completing 6.37 innings per start.
Peacock – No doubt who is 5th in the rotation
Talking about Brad Peacock in the same conversation with these other four gentlemen kind of reminds me of how in A League of Their Own the news reel is showing the Rockford Peaches and gives close-ups of all the cute players and then cuts away to a shot from 200 feet away of Marla Hooch. Peacock’s second half stats are ugly compared to the other guys. His 1-2 record, 5.67 ERA and 4.95 innings per start are trailing the pack, but there is hope. In his last 4 starts since discovering he was tipping his pitches – he has given up 1, 1, 2 and 1 run in those starts (though he still has trouble getting through more than 5 to 6 innings due to pitch count).
So, what do you think of the Astros’ solid rotation and more importantly, who will be in it when they crank up 2015?