September thou art a heartless witch….


The Astros are melting like the Wicked Witch caught in a car wash as the heat of the pennant race is cranked up in the month of September. Heading into Saturday’s games they are 4-12 for the month and except for a miracle last Sunday would be on an eight game losing streak instead of a five game losing streak.

Here is a quick look at how the hitters have been doing in the month of September.

Hitter                            BA      OPS        HR     RBI
Luis Valbuena            .190    .498          0          2
Jason Castro              .200    .533          0          0
George Springer        .231     .599          0          1
Evan Gattis                .224     .631           2          8
Carlos Correa            .238     .685           2          7
Hank Conger             .244     .712           2          11
Jose Altuve                .369      .748          1          5
Marwin Gonzalez     .303      .797          1          1
Colby Rasmus           .283      .836         2          4
Jed Lowrie                 .267      .839         3          10
Chris Carter               .286     .946          1          3
Carlos Gomez            .306     .992          2         4
Jake Marisnick         .346      1.088       3          8

In general, a number of the guys they really need to carry them down the stretch (Springer, Correa and Gattis) have been struggling and Valbuena has been almost a total zero in September. Some of the most productive guys (Gomez, Lowrie and MarGo) have been missing time, Conger has been letting in as many runs as he produces, Carter is a mirage based on very few ABs and Marisnick and Rasmus are in and out of the lineup. There certainly has not been anyone carrying this club the last few weeks.

The pitching has been more consistent than the hitting – consistently below average to bed.
Pitcher                     W-L       IP        ERA
Lance McCullers    0-1        18         3.00
Scott Kazmir          0-1        17.1       4.15
Mike Fiers              0-1         18         4.50
Collin McHugh      2-0       16.2       5.40
Dallas Keuchel       1-2       18.2       5.79
Scott Feldman       0-0       2.2        10.13

Chad Qualls           1-0         5.1         3.38
Will Harris             0-2        7.0         3.86
Tony Sipp               0-0        2.0        4.50
Luke Gregerson    0-1         3.1         5.40
Oliver Perez           0-1         3.0        6.00
Pat Neshek            0-3         4.2         7.71
Josh Fields            0-0         6.0        12.00

McCullers has really been the best thing happening in September for the pitching side of the club. The bullpen has as many losses as the starters (6 each) and the starters beginning with Keuchel have been under-performing this month.

The Astros have ridden solid starting pitching, a top three bullpen and clutch hitting to their best season in many years. All three of those areas can take blame for their recent troubles.

Questions:

  • Any comment on the September stats above?
  • Are the Astros choking?
  • Are the Astros, especially the pitchers, just tired?
  • If you could wave a wand and have one area of the team come alive (starting pitching, bullpen, or hitting) which one would you choose and why?
  • Which three players need to step up and carry this team the last 14 games of the season?
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38 comments on “September thou art a heartless witch….

  1. Actually, it’s the pitching that has really gone south. Apparently, per the broadcast guys tonight, Kazmir’s velocity is down. And we know that Keuchel has never thrown so many innings. I do think the pen is gassed, even though they really have not been overworked.

    Can’t help but to note that my buddy Domingo now has 8 dingers and 23 RBI’s along with a .275 average in 120 at bats. Sure he’s striking out, but still has produced a .360 OBP.

    Congrats to Matt Duffy, a two base hit in his first ML at bat, just missing a dinger. Give the kid a start. Try something new!

    Like

    • daveb, I’ve said it before…I’d be surprised if Phillips is a bigger loss (from that trade) than Santana. You have to especially like his chances to be a star playing in that home park.

      Liked by 2 people

    • dave, did you realize that Preston Tucker only has 69 plate appearances in all of August and September. And he has 18 doubles and 13 HRs in 300 plate appearances this season?
      Santana’s getting a chance to play. Tucker’s not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Unfortunately, Tucker has not hit lefties, but as you correctly note, he has not had too many chances against them. But for the life of me, I still can’t understand why he’s sat against righties even when Gattis is at DH.

        Like

      • And you know oldpro, Santana never got a chance with the Astro organization. Carter, Gattis, Valbuena, Conger, all the negative WAR stiffs playing and we’ve got a kid under our noses, continually ignored. Another reason Luhnow is not my favorite GM.

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  2. Just saw a flash on the screen that said Qualls has allowed 0.00 ERA vs the A’s this year. Talk about a 180. I am not sure he got any of them out last year. He has done well since coming back from the DL. Glad to see Gattis get a 3 run dinger.

    Like

  3. Heh….didn’t realize there was a new thread…I’d been posting in the other one!

    Happy for my boy Stassi…not just that opposite-field shot, either. Looked good behind the plate. Turned it on at just the right time, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Duffy had an impressive at bat when he hit the double. He kept spoiling the tough pitches until he got one he could do something with and he did not miss it.
    And Stassi made his mark too. Hope it means something.

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  5. Stepper uppers: Starting now and for the next x number of years, Correa and Springer have got to be the leaders by on-fields performance (assuming Altuve will just continue to do his thing. And right now I think Gattis needs to come up big too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Chipalatta bloggers can thank me for the win. I stayed true to my word and did not watch an inning tonight choosing to watch 50 Shades of Grey with my sexy wife. You can take it from there.

    Like

  7. Well……..slap me naked and hide my clothes!! The boys pulled one outta the ditch
    tonight! Went to the Casino, thought I’d give myself a break from the cellar we’ve all been living in! AND……..DID STASSI GET TO CATCH??? AND…..DID DUFFY GET TO HIT??? Somebody go check and see if Hinch has come down with a fever!!
    WOW!! Kazmir has been uh…….a *bust* for all we gave to the A’s for him. I want a do over……so far I’m not impressed. Going to bed, see ya’ll back here tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am in a time zone six hours ahead of you all for the rest of this bloody September, and have only occasional access to internet, so I won’t be able to watch any games. But I will be checking in when I can and will be relying upon you all to keep me informed about the status of the recovery of our beloved patient.

    Like

  9. The Fresno Grizzlies held on for a 2-1 win last night to force a 5th and deciding game today. Wojo was the winning pitcher and Big Jon had both RBIs last night. Mark Appel has a chance to prove he is worthy of being the top pick in 2013 as he is the starting pitcher tonight.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have been working on my pitching staff for next year. Assembled by Luhnow, I’m only going with 12 because of the experience factor.
    Bedard
    Humber
    White
    Ely
    Rasmussen
    Harrell
    Peacock
    P Clemens
    J. Williams
    Blackley
    Fausto
    Weiland
    If I decide to add a closer, I’ll go with
    F. Cordero
    I fully expect this to be a playoff caliber staff.
    We’re satisfied with the players we have.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. DaveB, not only was Kazmir’s velocity down, his control was way off. I wonder if there was something wrong with him (stomach flu????) that Hinch knew about and came and got him. But also, on my computer, MLB TV feed kept showing Sonny Gray was in the high 80’s with his fastball. And he too was all over the place with his control. Lucky for us, FRod, that we all love and remember, showed up. And it did not look like Will Harris expected to face one batter. Maybe he is our Roogy.

    I believe all pitchers are tired right now.

    Like

  12. DanP: As to September stats, these next 7 games will determine whether it is wild card, division winner, or go home early. This is Super Bowl week for this team. Win and advance, or go home. And that is the way the season should end. If I had a magic wand, I would wave it over all 3.

    Like

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