The Astros had some ups and downs in August, but in the end, rolled to a very good 19-9 record. Just like in July, the hitters and the starting pitching carried the load, while the bullpen clung for dear life. There were some excellent performances and we will honor those here.
Starting Pitcher of the Month. Gerrit Cole. Both he and Justin Verlander were terrific in August, but Cole nudged out his rotation mate. Cole was 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA and a tiny 0.713 WHIP. His opponents only managed a slash line of .165 BA/ .195 OBP/ .515 OPS for the month, which is like having 9 so-so hitting pitchers in the lineup.
Runner-up. Justin Verlander. JV’s numbers were plenty good in August with a 2-1 record, 2.57 ERA and a 0.773 WHIP. He was just a little less stingy than Cole with an opponents slash line of .188 BA/ .220 OBP/ .621 OPS. The Astros have the best 1-2 punch in the majors and that trend continued in August.
Last Month. Verlander and Cole tied and no runner up was awarded.
Positional Player of the Month. In a month of great performances by the Astro individuals, Alex Bregman was the best. He combined a .404 BA/ .487 OBP/ 1.235 OPS with an outstanding 27 runs scored, 14 doubles, 6 homers and 31 RBIs. He has lifted that mid .260 BA to within shouting distance of .300.
Runner-up. You Pick ’em. Is it Yuli Gurriel slashing .344 BA/ .423 OBP/ 1.101 OPS with 7 HRs and 29 RBIs? How about Michael Brantley hitting .378/ .431/ 1.033? Jose Altuve with a one month club record of 32 runs scored, 9 HRs, and 20 RBIs? How about super youngster Yordan Alvarez with a .309 BA/ .425 OBP/ 1.095 OPS with 23 runs scored, 9 HRs and 26 RBIs?
Last Month. Yuli Gurriel was the winner and Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley tied for the runner-up spot.
Relief Pitcher of the Month. Will Harris. This was another month with a dearth of good relief pitching performances. But Harris in 12 games was 1-0 with a save, a 1.64 ERA, and a 0.545 WHIP. Opponents hit a miniscule .088 BA/ .162 OBP/ .427 OPS against the former LSU Tiger.
Runner-up. Joe Smith. Smith was good and pitched in a club leading 15 games for the Astros in August. His 2.03 ERA and 1.050 WHIP were quite solid along with allowing only a .229 BA/ .275 OBP/ .650 OPS against.
Last Month – The winner was Joe Smith and Chris Devenski was the runner-up.
Biggest Surprise (Positive). Wade Miley. Not sure how positive this is; it may depend on your point of view. Miley was a team-leading 4-0 with a very good 3.07 ERA. How he did this with an awful 1.636 WHIP and a nasty .293 BA/ .366 OBP/ .815 OPS against is a real head-scratcher.
Runner Up. N/A.
Last Month – Yuli Gurriel was the winner with Yordan Alvarez as the Runner-up
Biggest Disappointment. Roberto Osuna. He is on the other side of the Miley surprise. How did a guy with an excellent 0.889 WHIP and a .194 BA/ .257 OBP/ .709 OPS against end up with a 5.00 ERA?
Runner-up. Josh Reddick. He continued his second half slide with another poor month of hitting. He has not hit a homer since June. In August, he hit an anemic .213 BA/ .268 OBP/ .562 OPS and was the worst hitter in the lineup.
The amazing stats award.
- Justin Verlander showed unbelievable control in August striking out 47 hitters and only walking 3.
- Joe Biagini had a mediocre 4.22 ERA, while putting up terrible 1.875 WHIP and allowing hitters to pound him for a .357 BA/ .426 OBP/ .949 OPS. How did he do this? He toted up 5 double-play grounders in 10.2 innings of pitching.
- The Astros had five hitters who had as many or more walks than strikeouts and none of them were named Michael Brantley (with a still good 8 walks/9 Ks). Yuli (12/11), Carlos Correa (14/13), Bregman (15/11), Aledmys Diaz (6/6) and Abraham Toro (5/4) were all on the good side of hitting eyes in August.
Anyway, bottom line, do you agree with these awards?
Want to propose awards of your own?