Astros 2017: ChipalattAwards for May


After putting up one of their best Aprils in history, the Astros put their pedal to the metal and smoked the competition in May with a brilliant 22-7 May. This placed them at the top of the baseball world. They are 11 games ahead of the Angels in their division, six games ahead of the Yankees (spit!!) in the AL, and four games over the Nats for the best record in all of baseball.

So, part of recognizing the team is recognizing how the individuals performed in May. So, here are May’s ChipalattAwards.

Starting Pitcher of the Month. Lance McCullers Jr. After an up and down April, young Lance had an up only May. 4-0, 0.99 ERA, 0.853 WHIP – any way you slice it one of the best months in baseball, much less with the Astros.

Runner-up. Dallas Keuchel. Even with his quick in and with an injury, Cy Keuchel again avoided a loss – going 3-0 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.

Everyday Player of the Month. Co-winners. Carlos Correa and Marwin Gonzalez. After a meh April for both men, they were both excellent in May. Correa – 24 runs scored, 7 HRs, 26 RBIs with a .386 BA/.457 OBP/ 1.130 OPS had a little better overall numbers than MarGo – 19 runs, 7 HRs, 22 RBIs with a .382/.461/1.198 slash. But if you factor in Correa having 25 more ABs – they look about even.

Runner-up. George Springer. He stepped up his game in May to show more solid leadoff numbers (despite my moaning and groaning) with a .294/.379/.884 slash and 23 runs, 6 HRs and 17 RBIs.

Relief Pitcher of the Month. Ken Giles. Giles was pretty good in April and top drawer in May. 1-0 with 8 saves, a 1.80 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP resulted in the team holding on to the leads they handed to him.

Interesting pitching stat of the month. The Starting and Relief Pitcher of the month (McCullers and Giles) shared one thing in common. McCullers K/9 IP went down from 11.2 to 9.2 and Giles went down from 12.2 to 9.9, but their other numbers improved significantly. This is probably more important for LMJ, who really needed to lower his pitch count per inning and go deeper into games.

Road Warrior. Jose Altuve. To date, Jose’s road numbers are .430 BA / .520 OBP / 1.217 OPS with 23 runs scored, 4 HRs and 14 RBIs in 23 games.

Biggest Dropoff – Yulieski Gurriel – While most of the hitters had a better May or a pretty good May – Gurriel put up a .200/.255/.566 slash in May. Maybe he needs to avoid haircuts.

Best New Face. James Hoyt. He did make 2 appearances in April, but he has cemented himself with a solid showing in May (10 games, 3.65 ERA, 15.3 K/ 9 IP) into someone, who can be called on late in games and not melt.

Critical Appearance. Brad Peacock. The Astros had lost 3 in a row at home against the Indians and had just put Charlie Morton on the DL. Cracks were showing. Peacock was brilliant in an emergency start after having pitched a maximum of 2 innings at a time all season and gave them 4.1 innings of one-hit ball. Chris Devenski, Will Harris and Ken Giles turned it into a 1-0 win and the Astros were off to a red-hot 9-1 streak.

So, are you OK with these awards? Want to add-on or change anything?

Advertisements

201 comments on “Astros 2017: ChipalattAwards for May

  1. When your starter goes only 4.1 innings, your SS commits a huge error, your set up guy sets up the other team, your closer gives up a run, you are only 4 for 16 w/ RISP, you have 2 wild pitches and a balk and you still beat your biggest rival on the road, you are a helluva baseball team!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Some may not agree, but I love how Hinch managed his bullpen tonight. Yes, he brought in Gregerson in the 7th inning, but he had a plan to use Harris, if needed, to clean up any mess. If Gregerson got through the 7th inning he could have used Harris for the 8th and Giles for the 9th. The fact he went to Harris in a very high leverage situation in the 7th allowed him to use Hoyt to face the bottom of the Rangers order in the 8th inning. That, to me, is perfect bullpen management.

    Like

    • I’ve got absolutely no problem with how the pen was used tonight. We won the series. Like I said earlier, Sunday would be a bonus. Let’s score a dozen and make it easier.

      Like

  3. Post game show…Eric Karros predicted Astros v Dodgers in the series. Him and Frank Thomas both really talked up the Astros and said they are historically and record setting good.

    Like

    • Billy, i have to say thats the funnest fact i have seen in along time!! i figure we can do that. and 100 w’s win the division for sure and most likely the league’ best record. what a deal!!!

      Like

    • Billy, we have 106 games left. If we win half of them that is 53 additional wins. Added to the 40 wins we already have, I come up with 93 wins in that scenario.

      Like

  4. Paulino will start on Tuesday. Musgrove is still not feeling good…..so today it very well may be Sipp for more than one inning, as well as Feliz. Today is a crap shoot.

    Like

    • In all fairness we said the same thing about the game Fiers started last week, and we knocked the hell out of the Twins, so I won’t count this team out. We might give up 8 runs, but we also might score 12.

      Like

  5. Well, I’m glad Paulino will get another start, but not because Musgrove is still not well. It’s a shame too, as Joe had just given us the best outing of his season against the Fish.

    Today will be interesting. Hinch will resist using anyone that would normallly be sitting. Big outing for Peacock. We need at least 5, but 6 would be grand.

    Like

    • This is just unbelievable Billy C – every day they have a great shot at winning and treating the Rangers like the red jerseyed step children makes my heart sing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been seriously watching baseball since 1991, and I’ve never seen a tgeam look this dominant. I’ve seen teams win as many games, but not the baseball equivalent of the Jordan-led Bulls. What a difference from 2013 huh?

        Like

  6. I stopped reading TCB awhile back because it was nearly as nonsensical at times as a Chron.com article comment section. Last week I went on after someone mentioned Tim was busy in the comments one day. I was treated to a post which argued Rex Grossman is a better (more valuable?) Hitter than George Springer. Ridiculous! This confirmed that I have made the right decision once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This season has been beyond satisfying for those of us who stayed through the lean years (. Even Bopert said good things before the season! This is so much fun.

    Like

  8. If Peacock keeps pitching like this, it makes waiting for Mc Hugh an easier proposition. Adding another quality arm to the rotation without giving anything up is a real bonus.

    Like

  9. Dang-it…..lost his no hitter! Can’t complain about the way he’s stepped up. He’s making a good case for staying in the rotation. Musgrove is a lot better…..Hinch said he wanted to give him a few more days……we have to remember he’s never pitched that many innings.
    Dave…..I concur with everything you said. I want to REALLY see what we have in Paulino. He’s got some great stuff…..we won’t know how he reacts to MLB hitters unless we get hm on the mound.
    George will get the player of the game belt today!!

    Like

    • He has just grown into the pitcher the A’s, thought he would be. As long as his guys can tack on big runs for him….he will be fine. He still has trouble from 4-6 innings.
      Peacock has earned the place in our rotation. AND…..*9* strikeouts!!!

      Like

  10. As one that believes behind every silver lining is a dark cloud. Personally I wish the ‘Stros were terrible again. We are in the New Mexico mountains. Root comes in fine on DIRECTV. However there is apparently no Fox stations in the state. The Fox station listed on the Internet is actually Telemundo. So I missed two games. So tomorrow morning and I wake up to mid-40s degrees , please feel sorry for me. 😡

    Liked by 1 person

    • AC, as my 9th grade science teacher once said after an “unfair” test question, “I feel for you but just can’t quite reach you”. Have a great time. Beautiful country.

      Guys & Gals, Is this a dream? If so hope we don’t wake up. After all of the frustrating years since 1962, this is great! Keep on rolling ‘Stros.

      Like

    • 45, if you’re going to be remote for a week or two, it might be worth picking up a month of MLB media. Just go to MLB.com. You can watch live on any device.

      Enjoy the fire in the morning!

      Like

      • There will likely be a Father’s day sale coming up soon. It’s worth it as long as you are out of market.

        Like

  11. Yep I’m dreaming, too. This: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/index.jsp
    Our Astros lead the AL West by 13.5 games over the Angels and the Mariners.
    I slapped myself twice and I am awake. And it is the 4th of June.
    Now, we have to find a way to make up for that series we lost to the Royals.
    Does anyone have any ideas about how we might go about doing that?

    Like

  12. One of the things I’m seeing different about the Astros is the patience shown by Springer and Correa at the plate. They are seeing a lot of pitches and familiarizing themselves and picking out ones they like. They are fouling off pitches. Springer saw 25 pitches today and Correa saw 34. That’s a ton of pitches.
    LMJ’s start yesterday was a little different than he used to have. He got in big trouble in the first inning but worked his way out of it with only a run scoring. But I believe that inning took its toll on him and wore him out early.
    Brad Peacock lasted six innings today and threw 86 pitches. He is extending his outings in small increments and showing the Astros some special stuff. I still don’t think he has shown us his best yet. Peacock has 47 strikeouts in 31.1 innings pitched.
    The fifteen game lead by the Astros is half the result of who the Astros are vs who they were last year and half the result of who the Rangers are vs who they were last year. These two teams have moved quickly in the opposite direction.
    Yuli Gurriel is starting to hit the ball hard. He has a quiet 22 RBIs.
    The Astros dominated Texas in Arlington today with Peacock, Sipp, Feliz and Gregerson on the hill. Think about that for a minute. They struck out 13, issued only 2 walks and gave up only 6 hits.
    Two weeks ago Springer was hitting below .230. Tonight he is at .280.
    This article is a great read, including the part about the Astros:http://www.espn.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/80135/real-or-not-astros-could-be-legendary-team-high-fives-for-ender-inciarte

    Like

  13. My guy Altuve had the worst game that I have ever seen him play. At bat and in the field. And the Astros won. So this year we can safely discard “As Altuve goes, so go the Astros.”

    Like

    • This season – so far at least – has been very, very special. I have never seen us so uniformly talented, so relentlessly tuned-in on offense, and so healthy, all at the same time. Especially during this last 10 game streak there has always been two or three, and sometimes five or six, of our position players that come to the fore and for a game or two are just too hot for the other team’s pitchers to handle.

      This season we are the ultimate seamless flock of Mighty Ducks – whenever one lead duck starts to tire or falter, another one is always ready to seamlessly move to the front and lead us forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. In what they call a teaser in the business, Chip is writing a piece to be posted tomorrow on a very interesting subject……and if you want to know that subject you need to come back and visit on Tuesday.

    Like

  15. The patience factor is really remarkable. Why have we been able to change our approach so successfully over one season? I know that part of it it the result of having a different lineup, but it also has to be at least partially attributed to a mentality that has spread thoughout the roster. I don’t think Dave Hudgens decided all at once to start working counts. If it was so simple, he’d have done it sooner!

    In all of MLB, we are 2nd in OBP. We were 19th last year.
    We’ve got the 2nd fewest strikeouts. We had the 4th most last year.

    A couple more obscure stats.

    We were 28th in sacrifice flys in 2016. We’re 2nd in 2017.
    Two outs in scoring position? Our BA was 23rd in 2016. We’re 2nd in 2017 with a .399 OBP and a .911 OPS. That OBP stat tells me a lot. These guys are not selfish. They are perfectly willing to take a walk in these situations and let the next guy see better pitchers.

    Our DH position used to be a black hole. Gattis helped improve on it last year, but our numbers this years are far superior.

    2016 . 218/ .299/ .677
    2017 . 282/ .346/ .825

    Those numbers will get better too, because Carlos Beltran will continue his recent improvement.

    Certainly we’ve got guys that will not keep hitting as they are now. But then we’ve got other guys who will end up doing more. OP mentioned Gurriel. Reddick will do better. Bregman is getting better. Guys will cool off and others will heat up. It’s a really encouraging situation to be in.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I suspect Hudgens has always been an advocate of patience at the plate. Until this year, however, we had only one hitter – Jose Altuve – who had any ability whatever to hit the ball consistently when behind in the count, much less with a two-strike count. Remember the likes of Gomez, Castro, Rasmus, and Carter?

      Beltran, Aoki, and Reddick have always been both patient and skilled at hitting behind in the count. Bregman and Gurriel have shown the ability, though neither is doing it consistently yet. Carlos Correa, on the other hand, is maturing rapidly in this regard – and is really getting really good at waiting for the pitch he wants, fouling off the close pitches, and nailing the best pitch he gets. Even George Springer is better at it than he was last year, though he still strikes out a good bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. In 19 games at Quad Cities, Yordan Alvarez, the 19 y/o, 6′ 5″ tall Cuban 1B we got from the Dodgers in the Josh Fields’ trade last year, is slashing .403/.488/1.114 with 3 HRs, 6 DBLs, and 14 RBI. He is also 2 for 2 in stolen base attempts. He has also walked 12 times in 79 PAs. He has struck out 21 times over that stretch, and he will need to work on that.

    It will be fun to watch this one as the quality of the competition goes up!

    Liked by 3 people

    • He’s also playing some outfield, which is one of the reasons he was kept in extended spring training. The other reason was to work on his swing plane, as he was considered a line drive hitter and not a power hitter, despite his size.
      The other guy I am so jazzed about is Fisher, who is showing signs that he will be ready for the majors soon. His K-rate is falling, the contact rate is soaring and he is getting to many more balls in the outfield. And he is doing it at the highest level of the minors. Lord knows he is getting many opportunities to field balls in the outfield, with that terrible pitching staff in Fresno.

      Like

      • OP TY for the Fisher blurb , I was going to bring that up again since when I did a few weeks ago when it seemed most were not keen on it , being polite. I’m sure it just me, but DK in left and let him learn how to hit lefties. I think by August it will be an an upgrade from Aoki and I like Aoki.

        Like

    • Great to see Fisher separate himself from the pack. If we lose an outfielder to injury, he’s got to be the first guy up. But even Hinch has said that there is really no room for him right now. If Fisher came up and Aoki got released, Marwin would ultimately lose at bats and Fisher would not be playing everyday, unless Gurriel also got dropped into a bench role. If our club was stumbling along, playing .500 ball, Fisher might already be here. But that’s not the case and as long as these guys are all healthy and playing well together, Fisher is going to get a little more grooming.

      Like

      • You might notice that I did not say Fisher should be up soon. What I did say is that I thought he would be READY soon. I do not recommend he be brought up before September. He is not on the 40-man and I don’t see creating a spot for him on a team that is the best in baseball, just for the sake of doing it. Aoki is a decent player on a team that is a juggernaut right now and I don’t see having him in the lineup as a bad thing. If you believe in regression to the norm, Aoki is hiting a lot below his career numbers and is due for a hot spell.
        When we get to the playoffs we might need a guy like Aoki in that nine spot getting on base and acting like a major league hitter against pitchers like we are going to face every day in every inning in a world championship arena. Aoki has been in that arena for years!

        Like

      • 1OP, I was responding to Kevin. You explained much better why I would not have Fisher in Houston anytime soon. But it sure is great to have him standing by as an option. The Aoki commentary is important. I see him being a tough out against premier pitching down the road this season. And right now, I also want Marwin and Gurriel playing as much as possible.

        Like

    • Alvarez is also almost 2 years younger than the average age in the Midwest League. There are still 3 more levels to go before he reaches the major leagues, but so far, so good.

      Like

  17. Former Astro prospect Brett [Maverick] Phillips just got called up by the Brewers. He was slashing .297/.369/.957 for the AAA Colorado Spings Sky Sox with 11 HR and 47 RBI. Congratulations, Maverick!

    Like

    • Well, he crushed at Lancaster and at Colorado Springs. Milwaukee’s ballpark plays similar to those environments, so he may have some success. I remain skeptical that he’ll be able to produce against big league pitchers, but certainly am not rooting against him (except in so far as I don’t want MIL to win games).

      Like

    • Mr. Bill, I wonder if they find a place for Phillips once Braun comes off the DL? I think the Brewers would be happy to get Braun out of the outfield at this point, but unfortunately for them, he’s a DH in a non DH league. Looks like Domingo Santana is finally settling in. He’s hitting .270 with a .364 OBP and an OPS of .853. 10 homers too.

      Like

      • I am not sure what Brett can do against MLB pitching. I am just glad he’s getting a shot to try. He probably would not have had to have waited at least another year in Houston.

        Like

      • That should have read ‘he probably WOULD have had to have waited at least another year if he had stayed with Houston’.

        Like

  18. Just a thought here. We might have the two best center fielders in MLB today. And I don’t think either is measurably better than the other from a defensive standpoint. .

    Like

  19. So is George Springer embarrassed to get the AL player of the week award. I mean it is not a full month like Correa, LMJ and Keuchel….

    Like

    • No, George does not care. He might be the least arrogant, most humble 27 year old major league baseball player in the business. He is legitimately delighted when his “defensive replacement” makes a quality play next to him. I don’t want to dig too deep, but he was raised well.

      Liked by 3 people

  20. That attempted steal by MG was not the brightest move. Why try to steal third with one out? Otherwise, playing solid baseball.

    Like

  21. So do we finally have a situational lefty in Guduan? Nice escape by Guduan and Hoyt after Marwin’s error put runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs.

    Like

  22. And Harris. 27 when he got his first shot. And this is the first year he’s made more than the minimum. At 2.2 million, he’s a bargain. Great presence on the mound.

    Like

  23. Question…..since it appears Chris Archer isn’t going to be available, would you consider Sony Gray as the guy who would be what this club needs to pair up with our 2 front guys? Quintana is absolutely awful this year….and Garrett Cole is one step from an ingury. The A’s…..are going to be out of it, just asking your opinion.

    Like

    • He checks a lot of boxes for this FO: young, decent contract situation, groundball pitcher. But because of the reasons you cited, he’ll probably be in high demand. I don’t see the Astros getting into a bidding war for a pitcher with recent injury issues, although he’s pitched decently since coming back this year. I’d like to have him at a reasonable price

      Like

    • The biggest issue, for me, with Sonny Gray is his injury history. He is a nice pitcher and if I was confident he would remain healthy I would be happy to get him, but I have my concerns considering his recent injury past. If we could get him without including KTuck, H. Perez, Whitley or Martes I might be interested, but not sure if this is possible.

      I think a more realistic target might be a package to get both Clayton Richard and Brad Hand from the Padres. Clayton’s peripherals indicate he is pitching better than his main numbers show, he is a heavy groundball pitcher and a lefty. Hand is a very underrated LH reliever.

      Like

      • Tim, going back to some of your previous posts, I’m not so sure we have to go out and get another TOR or even a MOR. Hopefully, McHugh will be able to return and he could be that solid MOR. Nothing wrong with exploring possibilities but I don’t like the giving away several top prospects for a two month rental. At least when we might have some home grown options. Especially, if we’re 20 games above everybody else in the division. What about a 6 man rotation to make sure all are rested? Just thinking out loud.

        Like

      • I don’t want to trade our very best prospects either. This is why I suggested someone like Clayton Richard. Yes, he is only a rental, but this should make the acquisition cost much lower. As I mentioned before I am very comfortable with Keuchel and LMJ fronting our rotation. If McHugh and Morton are healthy I just think the Astros need a #3-4 pitcher to add depth. However, with this being said I like what I have seen from Fiers recently and a healthy Musgrove gives us another option. The key, for me, is will McHugh return healthy and be the pitcher we expect? I just want to add depth in the event McHugh, Morton and/or Musgrove have lingering issues all season.

        Furthermore, if Guduan continues pitching like last night we may not need that LOOGY we keep discussing. Maybe Hand is not a high priority. There is still a long way to go until October and still nearly 2 months until the trade deadline so no reason to panic and make any trade right now.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s