July ChipalattAwards: Offense, offense, offense

Despite losing two of their best three offensive players during the month (Carlos Correa and George Springer) and despite having to deal with shorter starting pitching stints for replacement starters and returning starters and despite having some really crummy bullpen support, the Astros finished the month of July with a 15-9 record. That would be on pace for 101 wins for the season.

How did they perform so well as a team in July? Historic offensive numbers is the answer. The team put up a .323 BA/.380 OBP/.948 OPS for the month. This would be like having a whole team perform like Marwin Gonzalez has performed in 2017 for the whole month. According to Tuesday night’s broadcast that .948 OPS for the month of July is the highest number for a team for a month…..ever.

Now pitching? Well that’s another story. Anyway, here are the ChipalattAwards for the Month of July.

Player of the Month. Jose Altuve.

This one was obvious to anyone who watched the team during July. Jose Altuve seemed to be on first base more often than the opposing first basemen. .485 BA – look out Ted Williams!! .523 on base. 1.251 OPS. 22 runs scored/10 doubles/4 HRs/ 20 RBIs in 23 games. You may never see a month to rival this again in your life.

Runners up. Carlos Correa and George Springer.

Imagine if they had a whole month of Correa or Springer doing that thing they do.

In 10 games Carlos scored 9 runs, hit 4 HRs and knocked in 14 runs with a .417/.500/1.333 slash.

In 18 games George scored 19 runs and knocked in 14 with a .403/.456/1.083 slash.

Starting Pitcher of the Month. Brad Peacock.

In his four starts for the month he was 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Oh…and he would have undoubtedly been 4-0 in his starts but he was only allowed to pitch three innings in the Astros’ rain delayed 13-4 win over the Phillies. Oh…and he came in when Dallas Keuchel struggled in his first game back from the DL and threw four solid innings of relief and earned a fourth win for the month. And we want him out of the starting rotation, why?

Runners up. Mike Fiers and Charlie Morton.

Fiers had the better ERA at 2.89 and gave them a shot in his starts despite the 2-2 record. Morton came off the DL and was 4-1 with a 3.23 ERA and a 0.946 WHIP. His .165 BA against and .258 OBP against were standouts. So Morton is Runner up 1 and Fiers 1A.

Reliever of the Month. Ken Giles.

In a month where the offensive show did not allow for that many save opportunities, Giles hit his stride with very strong pitching. His 1.23 ERA and 0.682 WHIP were strong but the .130 BA /.192 OBP / .366 OPS against were microscopic. He walked two batters during the month, gave up 0 HRs and interestingly struck out less than one batter per inning, which really did not matter. Throw in his four saves and he was just so good in July.

Runner up. This space for rent.

Except for two scoreless innings out of rookie Reymin Guduan, no other reliever in the Astros bullpen had an ERA below 4.00 for the month and that matches the eye test that the fans took during the month…..

Lone Wolf Award. Brian McCann.

McCann’s hitting line for the month (.169/.258/.597) was in another world from the rest of the team and it was not a good world. For the 13 main hitters for the month of July, the next worst BA was .268 (Jake Marisnick), OBP .318 (Josh Reddick) and OPS .749 (Carlos Beltran). Those are all in another zip code.

In a Limited Role Award. Tie Evan Gattis and Derek Fisher.

Gattis was an under the radar main contributor to the great offensive month for the Astros. In only 15 games, he scored 11 runs, hit 6 HRs and had 14 RBIs along with a very sweet .322 BA and 1.060 OPS. Mr. Fisher looked like anything but a rookie in 6 July games as his .348/.423/1.032  made guys like Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez look expendable.

The Hope It Is Because Of An Injury Award. Lance McCullers Jr., Michael Feliz and Tony Sipp.

The threesome has seen better days than what happened in July and all three are currently on the DL.

Sipp. In 10 games (shows how many games the Astros were murdering the opposition) 12.46 ERA and 1.846 WHIP along with .316 BA/ .372 OBP/1.214 OPS against

LMJ. In four starts, 0-2 record, 9.64 ERA, 2.304 WHIP and…. .386 BA/.480 OBP/.950 OPS against

Feliz. Over the Lucas Harrell line with a 10.57 ERA, 2.870 WHIP and yikes .421 BA/.489 OBP/1.357 OPS against

Comeback of the Month Award. Alex Bregman.

Not that he was playing that poorly before, but Bregman was a big performer on the field even as his tweeting skills were getting him in trouble off the field. In July he had 24 runs scored, 11 doubles, 3 HRs and an excellent .329/.413/1.021.

The Taken for Granted Award. Marwin Gonzalez.

If he was on almost any other team his month would have been the big focus. Here he is just one of the guys despite scoring 17 runs, hitting seven doubles and six HRs and knocking in 18 runs. His .307/.378/.978 slash? How pedestrian….

So, it’s your turn. What do you want to award to whom? What do you agree or disagree with above?


77 comments on “July ChipalattAwards: Offense, offense, offense

    • I think I am going to cry……
      I know for a lot of folks that all they care about is the future and the playoffs. But looking at the July stats for individuals did reveal to me the following:
      1) This is a very resilient team to overcome so much and still have a very solid winning percentage in July.
      2) The offensive show for July was unsustainable – they are due for regression and it is happening right now.
      3) There are serious problems in the bullpen and just getting Will Harris back or Liriano added will not resolve this
      4) There are some pitching performances from July starters that are likely unsustainable vs. career performance – Peacock and especially Fiers.


      • If it’s any consolation, your post gives all the stats and award and then stops, but your reply to dave’s comment is absolutely brilliant.
        You took the info and then made four conclusions that sum it all up in a terrific synopsis.
        Don’t cry. Hold your head up because you finished your post right there.
        Please, keep up the good work. You are doing good work here!

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Those were all great and articulated very well. I was going to ask the other day if it was just me or had McCann really stunk at the plate lately. Now I know.

    Time to get better in August geez. We need Springer and his energy back asap. I can see Altuve is pressing. When the team starts loosing he starts becoming the anti Altuve at the plate. Relax little guy this isn’t 2012, that nightmare is gone


  2. In 2015 we had a big win streak early in the year and a lot of mediocre the rest of the way – especially after Lowrie tore a ligament in his thumb sliding into home plate and Springer went on the DL with a quad injury.

    In 2017 we had a longer, more impressive, win streak – and have been inconsistent at best since Correa tore a ligament in his thumb sliding into home plate and Springer went on the DL with a quad injury.

    Deja’ vu, anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And I was not picking on daveb – I really appreciate what he brings to the blog. And believe me I have very thick skin from many years of working engineering in the oil field.
    And perhaps what I need to do is when I have the Awards – add on a paragraph that talks about general trends for the month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A little positive and awards are fun, I think we can all see the trends )-: . We haven’t really had on long funk all season , this could be it. I know someone here can share that time last year when the Cubs went into a funk, their record was not good there for a while..


  4. ‘Missed it By That Much’ award goes to Jeff Luhnow.

    The ‘Sorry about that, Chief’ award goes to Dallas Keuchel.

    The ‘Would you believe that at this very moment, hundreds of TOR pitchers and closer-quality relievers are being fitted for Astro jerseys’ award goes to the Astro blogging world.

    ‘The Old ‘Throw Tony Sipp at ’em’ when the game is on the line’ trick award goes to A.J. Hinch.

    The ‘I asked you not to tell me that!’ award goes to the Houston Astro’s fan base.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I forgot one thing Dan. There is no crying in baseball of course. I am not an excuse for crying. Whine, say mean things about me, tell me Tony Sipp is going to put this club on his shoulders, anything, but there is no crying in baseball.


  6. And of course the little back and forth above leads us to the infamous quote “There’s no crying in baseball.” But I will admit crying once over the Astros.
    1980 – the team needs one win to go to the World Series against the Royals and two games to get it.
    They take a 2-0 lead into the 7th inning that should have been 3-0, except that Gary Woods left early from 3rd base on a sac fly and was out on appeal. The Phillies breakthrough for 3 runs against Vern Ruhle, Dave Smith and Joe Sambito.
    The Astros tie it in the 9th but lose it in the 10th 5-3.

    They go on to the 5th game. The Astros rally from behind to take a 5-2 lead into the 8th inning behind Nolan Ryan. Nolan gives up 3 singles to including a bunt single to load the bases. Sambito gets a force out at 2nd and then Ken Forsch strikes out Mike friggin’ Schmidt for the second out. But he then gives up a single and a triple and the Phils go ahead 7-5. Landestoy and Cruz knock in runs to tie it in the bottom of the 8th, but the Phillies score one in the top of the 10th.
    Enos Cabell makes the last out in the bottom of the 10th and Dan P watching the game on a little 12″ black and white TV in my wife and my first apartment starts crying.

    So daveb can’t hurt me by comparison lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t cry in 1986 – yes they had a good chance of going to the WS but even if they won the 16 inning game they had to win game 7 and I knew that was no sure thing even with Mike Scott.
      I didn’t cry when Pujols hit his moon shot. I was in total shock, totally numb, but I knew we had one more game to make it.
      I didn’t cry when Bud Selig retired – but I almost cried when he made the Hall of Fame.


  7. These last posts sound like three old men sitting on a bench at Walmart. They talk about all their injuries, surgeries, aches, pains, ungrateful kids and grandkids, etc.

    Tim has promised us a division pennant. Focus on that. (Where is that “I am Kidding” font?)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yeah ac45 what is funny is that I should have been crying from about 1965 to 1980 – all those years I was a fan and the team stunk.


    • Obviously he won it after I wrote the blog post. Gurriel had good numbers last month but probably about 6th best on the team so lost in the general greatness of the month.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The only time I cried about this ream was when we ended the one and only time we were in the World Series…..that we didn’t win one game. When the last game was over I sat in my living room and cried for two hours. I was as proud of that team as I am with this year’s team. I felt like we had better pitching than the White Sox did, and better hitters as well. I have no idea how far this team will go, but right now they are playing their hearts out for this city and for themselves. That’s all I can ask of them.
    I hope McHugh can pitch well tonight, and the rest of the guys bring their bats to the plate!


  10. Just watched Julia’s interview with the Rookie of the Month. Great interview. Especially when he said for a 7:00 pm game in Cuba, he reported at 6:45. And the played 3 games a week. Also his dad was the one that called him first about the award.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The Astros and Dodgers are the only teams in MLB to not have a 4-game losing streak this year. The Astros need to beat the Blue Jays tonight if they want to remain on that short list.


  12. Mrs. and I were watching Devinski, last night, and we believe we have discovered his problem. He is falling off the mound way to his glove side and pulling the ball to that side with his follow through. Watching the succession of the other pitchers (both teams) confirmed this as they tended to fall mostly straight ahead with their follow through. Has Strom lost his magic?


    • That is the delivery he’s always had. His problem is the location of his pitches and his dependence on the change up, to the point that batters are sitting on it. Batters are jumping all over that change up higher in the zone than normal.


  13. So my fellow smart baseball friends. We have all seen a lot of the same pitching slippage the last Month. I would love to hear some thoughts on solutions , crazy ideas, anything, that could turn the pitching ship around.


  14. The two pitchers squaring off tonight for Houston and Toronto, Brad Peacock and Cesar Valdez, were teammates for almost the entire season of 2016 for the Fresno Grizzlies.


  15. Kevin, I know you were talking to “them” but let a dummy comment. 1. You have 7 defenders behind you, throw strikes. 2. Every stat shows the best pitch in baseball is first pitch strike. 3. You almost never get a swinging strike on an outside pitch that is over 1 foot off the plate.

    So my suggestion is when each batter comes to the plate, have McGattis go to the mound and ask “what pitch can you throw for a strike.”


  16. Here’s something that has always bothered me. You have a 3 – 0 count and you take a fastball right down the middle of the plate. Then you swing and miss or take the next pitch for another strike and finally strike out on a pitch out of the zone. This literally makes me want to pull my hair out. I saw a lot of this last night and recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Verlander has cleared revocable waivers. Can now be traded to anyone who can make a deal. Must waive his trade rights for the trade to happen.


  18. There is a great article on MLB.com on how the Astros have morphed into the highest Har hitting/ lowest striking out team in the majors.


  19. ok now this verlander thing is interesting. he’s owed 28 million each of the next two years, then has an option for 22 million the third year. if y’all know me you know i almost without exception rail against expensive, longterm contracts. and i’d say no to that contract. however if detroit got 3 good prospects (none from our top 5), how much salary would they be willing to eat? if they would eat half of that contract, i’d think about it. we’d be getting a decent starter at a time when we need some reinforcements, crane would be spending some more cash but not lavishly so, and detroit saves 34.5 million over three years and gets three guys to help with their rebuild. for us its a 3 year contract, not 5 or 6. not sure i’d do it, but i’d think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have said I would be in on a decent deal for Verlander for weeks, Winner , still can pitch and a bull dog. On a pennant team he could have that second or third wind for 2 years.


    • Verlander has a no-trade clause and a $22M vesting option for 2020. I am guessing he will require obtaining club to guarantee his vesting option to approve the trade. I wouldn’t get your hopes up for Verlander as I don’t see him coming here.


  20. Given our bullpen woes of late, I realize this game is far from over, but what does it say about Astros depth when top three players are out and team scores 12 runs through 4 innings.


    • Sorry if you are can’t see the game. Bregman HR, Margo HR, and Bregman missed his second home run of the inning by maybe 10 feet. It was caught leaning up against the wall in deep left.


  21. Been checking the box score , I am in hospital after a stroke. Driving myself nuts here.. at least looks like our boys are doing well tonight


  22. Gattis has been diagnosed with a concussion. Not sure if he will go on DL or not, and Reed was optioned back to Fresno, and J.D. Davis is joining the big club, until Springer comes back. Centeno, would probably be the backup catcher if they need to put Gattis on DL.


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