September (plus one game in October) was an interesting month for the Astros as they put up a very good 21-8 record during the month and fell short of holding off the insanely blazing Cleveland Indians who were 26-4 over the same time period for the best record in the AL.
C’est la vie – it is pretty tough to hold off a team that rips off 22 straight wins and has not lost two in a row since August 23rd. But as usual we are not here to shed a tear, but to honor (mostly) the top Astro performers for the last month +1.
Everyday Player of the Month. Josh Reddick.
Depending on how you value stats, this could have gone to a number of players, but Reddick outshone the others with a tremendous .391 BA/.459 OBP/ 1.053 OPS for the month and here is hoping his back is back for the playoffs. Reddick has been a key cog all season for the team with his hustle and excellent play.
Runner-up. Marwin Gonzalez.
Margo was very good again after a mid-season swoon. He had a .363/.440/1.015 slash and 14 runs, 17 RBIs and 11 doubles.
Starting Pitcher of the Month. Justin Verlander.
If he doesn’t win the AL Pitcher of the month also there needs to be a re-count. His 5-0 record, 1.06 ERA and .647 WHIP were brilliant. The .149 BA/.192 OBP/.464OPS that he “allowed” the opponents was insanely good. One more month like that Justin….
Peacock (3-0, 2.57 ERA, 0.893 WHIP) and Morton (4-1, 2.54 ERA, 1.094 WHIP) should have solidified their rotation spots with strong pitching down the stretch.
Reliever of the Month. Francisco Liriano.
Can you really give this honor to someone who only pitched 5.2 IP during the month? Hey, I invented this I can do whatever I want. Liriano came here with very little experience out of the bullpen and tremendous control problems and was being asked to be a LOOGY. Supposedly the coaching staff convinced him to throw for the middle of the plate and let his ball break to the edge rather than pitch for the edge and have it fly off the radar. Voila – he pitched in 10 games mostly against leftys and his slash against was .105 BA/.227 OBP/.385 OPS. That is sick.
Runnerup. Ken Giles.
Probably the real reliever of the month, but variety is the spice of life. Giles put up a solid 1.64 ERA and had 7 saves while striking out 12.3 batters per 9 innings. Or maybe it was Joe Musgrove with a 1-0 record identical 1.64 ERA and a great 0.909 WHIP in September.
OK, don’t want to kick Carlos while his home is devastated, so I will ignore his .208/.250/.533 slash and 0 HR and 2 RBIs for the month and give this award to Fiers.
Fiers kept the boat afloat when it seemed like the whole rotation was on the DL, but immediately went into free-fall after everyone else returned. In September he only pitched 9 innings (thank the Lord) with a 16.00 ERA, 2.667 WHIP and a slash against of .463/.532/1.190. There would seem to be no way he is on the playoff roster.
The Other Lefty Award. Tony Sipp.
His peripherals don’t support it but somehow Sipp put up a 1.69 ERA despite a 1.875 WHIP and a .348/.400/1.009 slash against. That means he was putting the runners on but not letting them score. It also meant he was likely letting inherited runners score (4 of 5 for the month scored).
The “What Are You Griping About, Kid” Award. Lance McCullers Jr.
We know you were an All Star earlier in the year. We know you at times have killer stuff including a curve ball with a Ferrari rotation to it. But Lance in September you only pitched 13 innings and not very well – 6.92 ERA, 1.385 WHIP and .264/.328/.837 slash against. Be happy if they give you a bullpen spot.
Great Micro-month Award. Carlos Correa.
In a three game run (Sept. 26 to Sept. 28), Carlos was 11 for 15 with 6 runs scored, 3 HRs, 4 doubles, and 10 RBIs. Now if he saved a little of that for the playoffs, we will be very happy fans.
The All or Nothing Award. Cameron Maybin.
His .186/.226/.666 slash is pretty bad. His 11 hits for the month is bad also. But since he had 6 extra base hits (4 HRs, 1 double, 1 triple) in those 11 he still scored 6 runs and drove in 13 for the month.
So, anyone you want to honor in any way?