August ChipalattAwards: Astros coming back to earth


August was a month of, ahem, adjustment for the Houston Astros’ offense. As noted here, July was a historic month offensively for the Astros offense as they led the majors by a large margin with a .323/.380/.948. They were in the bottom half of baseball in August with a .254 BA (17th), .314 OBP (22nd), .726 OPS (21st). They scored an astounding 7.25 runs/game in July and a pedestrian 4.00 runs/game in August. Pairing their below average offense with their average pitching stats, the Astros struggled with a 11-17 record in August and while they still held an insurmountable lead in the AL West, the Cleveland Indians and for a time, the Boston Red Sox were a lot larger in the rear view mirror for the best record in the AL.

So, it was a month the team survived rather than one in which they thrived. Nevertheless there are awards to be handed out for the month.

Everyday Player of the Month. Alex Bregman.

In July, Bregman’s performance would have been lost in the noise of an incredible team month, but in August he stood out. Alex put up a .345 BA/.395 OBP/ .979 OPS slash line that included 15 runs scored, 6 doubles, 3 triples, 5 HRs, 20 RBIs and 5 SBs. He was the most dependable hitter in a month where the team as a whole struggled.

Runners-up. Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel.

Jose’s “off” months would be welcomed by almost every other hitter in the league. His .304/.345/.865 slash line was paired with 15 runs scored, 6 HRs, 10 RBIs and 7 SBs. It is worth noting that he only drove in 4 runners other than himself for the month. Yuli was very solid with a .323/.368/.853 slash, 13 runs, 8 doubles, 2 HRs and 9 RBIs for August.

Starting Pitcher of the Month. Collin McHugh.

McHugh put up the best numbers for the month while working to build up his innings. His 2.94 ERA and .200 batting average against were very good and he was deserving of a better than 2-2 record.

Runner-up. Charlie Morton.

While his 4.20 ERA was middle of the road, his 1.200 WHIP and his .646 OPS against were the best from the starters by a long shot. Brad Peacock was a bit behind him for the month (4.45 ERA and 1.412 WHIP) and Dallas Keuchel, Mike Fiers and Lance McCullers Jr.? Well that is a discussion for another award…..

Top of the ‘Pen Award. Ken Giles.

Monsieur Giles earned his keep in August with a microscopic 0.64 ERA and 0.857 WHIP in 11 appearances with 5 saves. More than half his outs were strikeouts (14.8 K/ 9 IP) and the slash against him (.174 BAA/.240 OBP/.501 OPS) were top notch. Oh and he was used a number of times for more than one inning in high leverage situations successfully, which had to bring a smile to A.J. Hinch‘s face.

Runners-up. Joe Musgrove and Chris Devenski.

Musgrove gave the bullpen a huge late inning boost with Will Harris out. In August, he put up a shiny 1.17 ERA and 0.848 WHIP in 11 games. His slash against .163 BAA/.268 OBP/ .513 OPS was second only to Giles. Devo was the tight rope walker during the month as he successfully put up a 0.90 ERA in his 10 games, but scared the heck out of the fans while doing it. The .171 Batting average against was very good, while the .326 OBP against was not. He walked a lot of guys during the month as his 1.29 K/ BB ratio and his 1.300 WHIP showed. But he got outs to get out of the jams.

The “Yikes” Award. Evan Gattis.

OK, he only played in 6 games and probably was playing through injury, but his .095/.095/.238 slash along with his 0 Runs, 0 HRs, 0 RBIs and even 0 BBs was a huge bagel in the lineup when he did play.

Runners-up. Carlos Beltran and George Springer.

Carlos continued to sink during the month, his .210/.258/.511 slash and 2 HRs and 8 RBIs not helping the cause in August. Mr. Springer looked like someone who had returned from a DL stint who was trying to quickly be who he was before the injury and failing. His .200/.297/.609 slash matched the eyeball test as did his paltry 2 HRs and 5 RBIs in the 20 games he played.

“They Sent These Guys Down Because?” Award. Tyler White, and James Hoyt.

OK – small samples, but White was sent down after putting up a .417 BA/.417 OBP/1.667 OPS slash with 3 HR and 6 RBIs. Hoyt, who had not pitched as well in July had strong numbers in six appearances in August – 1.50 ERA, 0.833 WHIP and a .182/,217/.536 slash against.

“They Are Using These Guys Because?” Award. Juan Centeno and Francisco Liriano.

Yeah, they are using Centeno I’m guessing because Max Stassi is injured, but when they were both here Centeno seemed to get a lot of undeserved starts. In 30 ABs in August Centeno showed that his July success was a fluke as he put up 1 run scored and 1 RBI. Liriano has been a disaster whether it is leftys, rightys or switch hitters facing him. His 6.23 ERA, 2.192 WHIP and .364/.500/.985 slash against stink.

“The Guys Who Need to Forget August” Award. Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers (but especially LMJ).

The prayer is that Lance was hurt and won’t repeat his August numbers (0-2, 9.64 ERA, 2.304 WHIP and .386/.480/.950 against) when he returns in September. Keuchel was up and down, but his overall numbers (5.05 ERA, 1.374 WHIP and .250/.318/.718 against) in August were more reminiscent of a bad 2016 than his first few months of 2017.

Do you have any additions or changes to this list? It is your turn to comment.

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103 comments on “August ChipalattAwards: Astros coming back to earth

  1. The Stalking Award goes to Nori Aoki.
    The In Your Face Award goes to Colin Moran.
    The My Hair is Better Than My Arm Award goes to Lance McCullers.
    The I Brought My Better Half With Me Award goes to Justin Verlander.
    The Not One Good Pitch Award goes to Liriano.
    The Shaking in My Boots Award goes to Francis Martes.
    The Fogged Up Glasses Award goes to Tyler Clippard.
    The I Can Find Fresno In My Sleep Award goes to James Hoyt.
    The Fix Houston Award goes to JJ Watt.
    The Hey, What About Me Award goes to Preston Tucker.
    The Most Beautiful Bird Award goes to Brad Peacock.
    The Hey, Don’t Forget June Award goes to Mike Fiers.
    The Miss You Award goes to Carlos Correa. Beltran is the runner up here.
    The I Shoulda Beena Pitcha Award goes to JD Davis.
    The Three Homer Demotion Award goes to dave’s nephew.
    The I Didn’t Want to be Here Anyways Award goes to Alex Cora.
    The That’s Why They Have a Backstop Award goes to Juan Centeno.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My apologies for not posting much lately. I haven’t watched much live baseball the last couple weeks, but my impression is that Reddick has also deserving of some recognition. As for Bregman, it’s great to see him hitting at such a high level. If seemed to me as though he was doing most of his damage in garbage time early on and in 2016, but in the second half this year he’s been integral in most of the wins. Good for him! Also good for Luhnow for not trading him last winter.

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  3. Here are some other numbers for August that may help explain the swoon….

    Carlos Correa – 00000000
    McCann – .231/.302/.610 0 HR / 5 RBIS
    Fisher – .164/.282/.511 1 HR / 5 RBIs
    JD Davis – .210/.279/..754 2 HR / 4 RBIs
    Jake M – .210/.279/.683 – 3 HR/4 RBIs (only drove in one runner not named Jake)

    Fiers – 1-4 / 7.44 ERA / 1.592 WHIP – .290/.386/.951 against
    Peacock – 1-1 / 4.45 ERA / 1.412 WHIP

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  4. Off subject but I loved that lineup last night Gurriel DH and Marwin better D at 1st, .JR behind Correa protecting him. We have a lot of righties 1-5 but they can hit any one. I’m sure we can debate who should start in Center but Maybin or Springer both awesome there, and Maybin batting 9th love it

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    • I expected him to regress, but not as much as he has. I was expecting a slash line around .265/.315/.775 with around 21 HRs and 65 RBIs, but he has been much worse than I anticipated. I can’t see them leaving him off the playoff roster, but, right now, he is dead weight. He offers no defensive value and if his only contribution is a weak bat can they justify giving him one of the 25 spots on the playoff roster?

      Liked by 1 person

      • We should make him honorary Captain /coach during the playoffs Period. he is a HOF but you are right he is dead weight…

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    • dan, i think beltran is one of those older veteran guys that can no longer grind out a full year. just too many games for the old bones to continue to perform at high level. however i think he is a prime candidate to come alive during a post season run. maybe its just a big sf to score a run to win a game or a clutch hit or two in a tough series. but he may be helpful, especially if he goes into the post season rested and not nicked up.

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      • So is this the equivalent of Bagwell in 2005? Is there a concern that they will let him play and he will not be up to it as Baggy was lacking due to his injury back then?

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      • well bags had a serious physical problem. beltran, seems like to me, is more worn down than having any one particular physical ailment. Bags wasnt gonna get better with rest. beltran may.

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      • So RJ – in your mind does Beltran have to show some life down the stretch to secure a precious spot or are the spots not quite as precious because they will likely go with one less pitcher?

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      • dan, he needs to show some life and/or heal whatever physical nicks that are keeping him down. now it very well may be that the tank is empty. but you look at the slash line he put up just last year and compare to this year, it seems to me its more than just age.

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      • Let’s assume they are going to take one fewer pitcher. What two position players from our current 40 man roster are you thinking make more sense than Beltran for a spot? Centeno or Stassi? No. Tyler White or JD Davis…definitely not for defensive reasons. Neither have hit much better than Beltran in a limited sample. I can understand Maybin, Fisher, and Kemp as speed options. Tell me who I’m missing, but I’m thinking the 13 guys, if the postseason started today, would be:

        mccann
        gattis
        altuve
        gurriel
        correa
        bregman
        marwin
        springer
        marisnick
        beltran
        fisher
        reddick
        maybin

        Beltran hasn’t been great, but if we’re honest we know that his salary was a case of being paid for what you’ve done in the past. It was a good gamble. He still can play LF and is still a switch hitter.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Low A Quad Cities River Bandits will have a battery of Michael Feliz and Evan Gattis for their first playoff game against Peoria. They had better win!

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  6. Some 2017 Josh Reddick stats…..

    RISP – .342 BA/ .884 OPS 66 RBIs
    Men on 2nd and 3rd – .833 BA (no kidding) / 1.556 OPS
    Bases Loaded – .500 BA / 1.536 OPS
    Man on 3rd – .412 BA / 1.011 OPS
    Two Outs RISP – .377 BA / .977 OPS
    Late and Close – .296 BA / .755 OPS

    His numbers in tie games are bad and his numbers are better with a big lead than not – but damn – I’ll take those overall numbers.

    I find his late and close numbers to be interesting – he has a very good BA and a so-so OPS – he is obviously hitting to get on – not hitting for power and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You know how the Red Sox and the Yankees always get top billing on MLB.com? Well, there is nothing on the website about the biggest baseball scandal of the year, and it involves their two dearly beloved teams.
    Why don’t they just rename it the Upper East Coast Baseball Network?

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  8. Anybody think Jake just got Wally Pipped by Maybin??!! I do! You could tell Verlander had some butterflies early, but he came out in the 2nd with “that” look in his eyes! Gosh I’m happy he’s here!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I know that it did not fall exactly on Fiers turn in the rotation, but if Fiers starts last night the Astros lose. So, trading for JV looks great considering how he pitched last night and how the team has played since the trade.
    And I am eating crow (with farva beans and a nice Chianti) over Maybin. I did not understand this pickup but it is making up for Liriano.

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  10. Did you see the bench’s reaction when Maybin hit that HR? This team has that energy back and it is great to see. Initially, I didn’t think trading for Verlander was a good idea and after the trade, even though I was excited to have him, I thought we gave up too much. That may still turn out to be the case, but the trade has definitely pumped new life into this team and it is fun to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice game – near ‘no-no’ for the M’s, Verlander’s first game, extreme pitcher’s duel and all. The two former Tigers showed their stuff. But tonight would be a good night for our old friends Springer, Altuve, Correa, Gurriel, Bregman, Reddick, and Marwin to come alive again, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Verlander showed the drive and the ability to forget the last pitch in his first start. He is that guy. LMJ could learn a lot from JV.
    The Astros are one of the elite teams in baseball and this is going to be a war for the next two months. The Astros hitters need to start hitting.
    The article on the Astros’ website about Beltran sounds like a prelude to retirement as I read it. How did you interpret it?
    What in the world is happening to the Dodgers?
    Can Peacock and Morton turn into playoff bullpen beasts like Joe Musgrove?
    Last night Giles had the best slider he has had all year.
    I was surprised about Centeno coming in late in the game. I guess they wanted to get McCann out of there.
    They brought in a righty reliever to face Maybin. Ball game. Fisher was a big distraction for that young pitcher at first base. He finally made a mistake. But the biggest mistake of the night was the lefty reliever walking McCann, which led to Fisher being on first base. Walks kill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was the 5th time Miranda had pitched against our guys this year and this was by far the most effective.
      Previously
      5 IP 2 runs
      5.2 IP 4 runs
      7.1 IP 4 runs
      5.2 IP 5 runs
      They said he was throwing a ton more off-speed stuff last night – I think that was one of the biggest reasons for the guys poor showing – they like the fast balls and they seemed to be being out guessed on when the fast ball was coming.
      Of course both Marwin and Beltran are not good from the right side. Springer was trying to repeat the 4 HRs he has hit off Miranda. Correa is not back hitting like his normal self.
      Anyways – don’t know why a right-centric team struggles pretty often against leftys.

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      • He said he deals with hurricanes by bathing in the ocean, drinking warm beer, and eating BBQ chicken, courtesy of the locals. Hope Irma isn’t messing with that too bad.

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    • Irma passed to the North of St. Kitts and Nevis around 5:00AM. This means they didn’t get hit with the strongest bands, but obviously got hammered based on the size of the storm and are still feeling the effects. The media is reporting mostly about St. Maartens and Barbados right now, which ideally means that Dave’s islands are in good shape. There is a lot of flooding and some of the strongest buildings on St. Maartens sustained heavy damage. At this point, the most positive report I’ve been able to find is that the shelters setup at the vet school on St. Kitts are safe and secure as of 7:00AM. The students were able to go back to their dorms, but first level rooms experienced some flooding.

      The NEOC has cleared their hurricane warning effective 11:00AM, but flood advisories remain in effect.

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  13. I’m pretty sure that dave said he is not at his home right now – was out of harms way. Why do I picture dave’s home as two palm trees with a hammock strung between them???

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hey guys, thanks for the concern. First of all, the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis really dodged a bullet late last night. I live on Nevis. A bit of a last minute move to the north kept us out of the core of Irma, and as Devin noted, we were also on the south side of the storm which is certainly less worse. Unfortunately, the devastation on Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Maarten, and St. Bart’s has been incredible. Those of us that live around here all have friends on those neighboring islands. I’ve seen just a bit of video and It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before. It’s tough to pray for a miss when it likely means someone else is going to get hit. That’s what happened. I sure hope to get home late Friday if my flights finally happen. There is another storm lurking, heading right at us again. Jose should turn into a hurricane in the next 24 hours or so.

    I have not watched any baseball but I did get a score from last night. I expect the guys to have a very solid month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No problem dave – good to hear from you – sounds like prayers are needed big time for the other islands. The Weather Channel shows Jose as a Cat 1 on their front page – just at 75 mph. They are acting like that may go a bit farther north as it goes through the islands, but after us going through Harvey here – the thought of another storm coming through in any way after the first is so difficult to fathom and psychologically swallow. I feel so bad for the folks in harms way.

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    • We knew your home was in harms way, and don’t think for one minute that we haven’t een thinking about you and your situation. We will pray you home dave….and we all hope you and yours will be safe again. Deal?

      Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve been in prayer for DAYS praying that this horrible storm would take a hard right and go out to sea too Diane. I have elderly family in Kissimmee…..I just hope her family gets her out ASAP! At least they have been given a LOT more time than we had here in Houston. I had gotten so depressed about this flood, I was grateful to have a baseball break. Glad to see you posting again. Becky⚾

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Here in Houston and surrounding areas – things feel very surreal. We have nice weather including a cold front on the way through (which is unusual for early September here). Thousands of people are clearing out their flooded homes. On the west side where the Corps of Engineers flooded certain areas to protect the reservoirs and still are releasing water, thousands cannot get back to their homes to start the repairs and it may be weeks for some.
    Tied into that – the traffic on the west side has gone back to the bad old 1970’s and early 80’s. Because a number of the north south routes are still flooded out including the very important Beltway 8, people are having to find other ways to get around and have 1.5 to 2 hour+ commutes, where they used to be able to do it in less than an hour. This could be going on for another two weeks.
    People are flooded out where no flood was supposed to occur. People did not take flood insurance because they were not in the flood plain. But when you live in a bath tub with levees and reservoirs and the 800 year rainstorm comes, man made devices cannot save you or your home.
    I am having some survivors guilt myself – I’m sure others feel this way. My condo is dry and untouched while so many are hurting. It is very humbling and psychologically tough to deal with – I’m lucky, but why when so many good people are not lucky. Hard to put into words.
    So – this is my release, the place I can turn for some sanity and entertainment.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. After the most devastating flood in US history, we’re now witnessing what will end up being the most devastating hurricane ever recorded in the Caribbean. At some point soon, I’d just like to have a pause in these natural disasters. Too many human lives being impacted, and unfortunately, I know too many being impacted by both events. Dan, I don’t know about survivors guilt in my case, but I sure am out of sorts right now. Irma has decimated entire islands like never before. I just want some return of normalacy. I’d like to get excited about a baseball game again.

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  17. McCullers pitched better than Keuchel on his first game back but ran out of gas. And the offense has been lagging a bit…maybe it will turn it on late again.

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  18. When a team gets hot, they find ways to win. That is a lethargic offensive team that Cameron Maybin has decided to put on his back and carry.

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  19. This is all of a sudden a different team with Maybin in the lineup. Up until he came into this game the only guys getting it done were Marwin and Reddick . Awesome how one guy and one pitch can turn a game around! Not sure how he feels about it, but I’m sure the guys laid the player of the game at Maybin’s, feet! McCullers appeared to be his old self tonight….that’s encouraging. *7* game winning streak!!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Steve Sparks said that Maybin told Devenski that the Angels knew he was tipping his pitches this year….that’s a bit of interesting news.

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