Pondering the Astros’ numbers for the month of July so far makes one wonder a bit.
What if they told you that in July:
- Staff ace and All-Star Dallas Keuchel would not pitch an inning
- All-Star and #2 starter Lance McCullers Jr. would make three starts with a very un-All-Star 9.88 ERA and 2.268 WHIP
- #3 starter Collin McHugh would make his first start for the season and post a 7.71 ERA after 4-2/3 IP
- 2017 All-Star Chris Deveski would allow four HRs in 10 IP and put up a 6.30 ERA
- 2016 All-Star and solid set-up man Will Harris would have a 20.25 ERA in 1.1 IP before falling onto the DL
- That new #3 starter Charlie Morton would have a very pedestrian 4.58 ERA in only three starts after starting the month on the DL
- That 11 of 18 starts would be made by BOR or worse starters Mike Fiers, Joe Musgrove, Brad Peacock and Francis Martes
- That the Astros bullpen, which had been ranked at the top of the AL would slip to 9th with a 4.14 ERA
And what if after you were told all that, you were told the Astros were 12-6 for the month (a 108 win pace)?
You would be scratching your head pondering how the heck this team did this. The answers are fairly straight forward while being a little unexpected:
- Number one is that while the pitching staff gave up a rather un-Astro-like 4.5 runs/game through 18 games in July, the unworldly hitters were putting up 8.72 runs/game
- Numbers 2 and 2A are Peacock and Fiers. In four starts each, Peacock has posted a 2.05 ERA, while Mr. Fiers has pitched to an equally shiny 2.25 ERA
- Quietly Martes has shown the coaches and front office why he has been their number one prospect for most of this season. He appeared in six games, including one start in July with a 2.51 ERA, 0.767 WHIP, 11.9 K/9 IP and 1.88 BB/9 IP
- Due to the many routs this month, Ken Giles is the most underused closer around, but in four appearances his 2.70 ERA and 0.600 WHIP have been solid
In the end, the Astros have survived a month where Dayan Diaz, Reymin Guduan, Ashuer Tolliver, James Hoyt and Tony Sipp pitched more innings together than Keuchel, McCullers and McHugh. Now that is maybe the most amazing stat of all.