ChipalattAwards for May

May looked like it would be a tougher month than April on paper, but the Astros ended up a ½ game better than April at 15-12 as they went 8-5 in the division and split with some tough teams outside the division (Rays, Yankees, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Padres). They held on despite pitching injuries (Framber Valdez, Jose Urquidy, Jake Odorizzi, Lance McCullers, Enoli Paredes, Blake Taylor, Kent Emanuel) and positional player injuries (Michael Brantley, Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel). And the team is starting June on a roll, so hopefully, this will be the month they take over the division.

Anyways, it is time to give out our Chipalatta Awards for May……

Starting Pitcher of the Month. Jose Urquidy – It may seem strange that someone who spent time on the IL this month gets to be the POTM, but Urquidy in his 4 starts was 3-0 with a sparkling 1.14 ERA and 0.676 WHIP. He was excellent and came back off the IL in fine form again.

Runner-up.  Luis Garcia – Is he really going to lose his spot in the rotation when McCullers comes off the IL? He was outstanding in May with a 3-0 record, 3.12 ERA, 1.000 WHIP and allowing opponents a .181 BA/ .257 OBP/ .629 OPS slash.

Note – Everyone who started for the Astros in May was good or better, including Zack Greinke, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers, Framber Valdez, and Jake Odorizzi.

Last Month – Starting Pitcher of the Month – Cristian Javier / Runner up – Lance McCullers

Positional Player of the Month.  Kyle Tucker – Tucker put up a strong .296 BA/ .378 OBP/ .940 OPS for the month that, along with 23 runs scored, 6 doubles, 6 HRs and 20 RBIs, nudged him just ahead of the runner-up for the month. A striking stat was his improvement in walks vs. Ks as he toted up 13 walks against 15 Ks for the month.   

Runner-up.  Jose Altuve – Altuve was right with Tucker for the month with a .321 BA/ .384 OBP/ .893 OPS along with 23 runs scored, 3 doubles, 6 HRs and 15 RBIs for the month. His awakening at the top of the lineup greatly helped the team’s offense in May.  

Last Month – Positional Player of the Month – Yuli Gurriel / Runner-up – Michael Brantley

Relief Pitcher of the Month. Ryan Pressly – Pressly was not as good as in April, but with the overall bullpen performance of the team, he did not have to be. He was 0-1 with 4 saves, a 3.75 ERA and a 0.833 WHIP and held opponents to a .190 BA/ .227 OBP/ .513 OPS slash.

Runner-up. Kent Emanuel – The only other reliever with an ERA below 4 for the month was Bryan Abreu and well, Emanuel was better. In 8 games, Emanuel put up a solid 3.38 ERA and 1.250 WHIP and held the opposition to .200 BA/ .294 OBP/ .694 OPS.

Last Month – Relief Pitcher of the Month – Pressly / Runner-up – Ryne Stanek

Biggest Surprise (Positive). Chas McCormick – McCormick despite sporadic playing time and having less than half the bats of the regulars scored 8 runs, hit 3 home runs and had 10 RBIs on the month. His BA (.235) and OBP (.317) in May were not great, but his .817 OPS was good.

Runner-up. Jake Odorizzi, Framber Valdez and Jose Urquidy (tied) – The surprise here was that each of these pitchers came off the IL at the end of May and pitched excellently in their first time out. Odorizzi (5.1 IP, 1 run) and Urquidy (6 IP, 1 run) had pitched earlier in the year with Urquidy quite good and Odorizzi quite abysmal before the IL stint. In his first start on the year (4 IP, 1 run), Valdez was very good and even better (7 IP, 1 run) in his first start in June.

Last Month – Biggest Surprise – Stanek / Runner-up – Garcia

Biggest Disappointment. Ryne Stanek – After a very good April, Stanek really struggled in May with not only his 5.06 ERA, but his dreadful 2.063 WHIP fueled by giving up 12 walks in 11 innings. He still has good stuff (11 K / 9 IP), but he has to put it in the zone without allowing it over the fence.

Runner-up (Tie). Andre Scrubb, Enoli Paredes, Brooks Raley (tied) – Call this the teased us in the 2020 award. Each of these pitchers contributed strongly last season, and this season, especially in May, have let us down – Scrubb (6.75 ERA/1.667 WHIP), Paredes (9.00 ERA/ 2.250 WHIP) and Raley (7.20 ERA / 1.700 WHIP) may all end up on the outside looking in if they don’t improve with Scrubb already having been sent down.

Last Month – Most Disappointing – Odorizzi / Runners-up (tied) – Joe Smith and Brooks Raley

The “How Do You Explain This” Award. Yordan Alvarez – Even in his 2019 ROY season, Alvarez struck out (94 Ks) more than he walked (52 BBs). But as my Irish neighbor used to say, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, how can you explain Yordan having 2 walks and 27 Ks in May which piles on having 3 walks and 21 Ks in April? The only weirder thing is that the young man still batted .306 and put up a .859 OPS in May with those stats as a baseline.

The “ERA Doesn’t Match the Other Numbers” Award. In May, Joe Smith – Smith gave up a slash of .375 BA/ .417 OBP/ .948 OPS (which is like treating the league like they were all Mike Trout) with a 1.826 WHIP. But his ERA was a not that bad 4.70 ERA. The likely reason is that several other relievers came in and kept his runners from scoring.

Anyway, bottom line, do you agree with these awards?

Want to propose awards of your own?

50 comments on “ChipalattAwards for May

  1. The ‘Money for Nothing and Your Chicks for Free’ award goes to . . .
    Justin Verlander

    The ‘Sultan of Swing’ award goes to . . . Kyle Tucker.

    The ‘I Want My MTV’ award goes to . . . Alex Bregman [who can’t find a walk-up song]

    The ‘Brothers in Arms’ award goes to . . . Framber Valdez and Jose Urquidy.

    The ‘Where Do You Think You’re Going’ award goes to . . . Myles Straw.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m enjoying this MTV era vibe, Mr. Bill (back when MTV actually played music or music I wanted to hear).
      – Let’s Hear it for the Boy – Luis Garcia
      – Against All Odds – Framber returning instead of having surgery
      – Self Control – Yuli and his increased walk rate
      – Say It Isn’t So – Astro fans ever since “IT” came out
      – I Can Dream About You – Astro fans thinking about Forrest Whitley (OK we are over it)
      – I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues – Kent Emanuel and his upcoming surgery
      – Hard Habit to Break – Yordan and his inability to take walks
      – Running with the Night – Apparently all our baserunners who do stupid stuff like getting thrown out with Alvarez at the plate
      – Cover Me – Home plate singing to Ryan Pressly (I still can’t get over that nonsense)
      – Legs – Myles Straw
      – Thriller – Dusty going to the bullpen
      – Give It Up – The bullpen with any lead

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan, we’re probably going to have to make the blown assignment a monthly category at this point as it’s clear there are multiple players who don’t understand what they’re supposed to do once the ball is put into play.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve got the day off today so I’m sitting here watching daytime baseball while the sun shines outside. I hope it rains so I won’t feel so much like I should be outside doing something productive.

    When this homestand started, considering the injury and bullpen situation, I thought winning 5 games was a best case scenario. Dan yeah, it looks like Dusty is trying to help me out. But maybe our motley crew today will surprise us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like a good day for Christian Javier to get some work in. Odorizzi is back to being the Odorizzi we are used to – the one I call Rougned-easy.

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  4. Garcia sure deserves to be in the rotation, but along with Javier, he will provide a real a boost to the pen and that’s where we need the most help right now.

    Keep Chas on the field until Brantley gets back and then give him half of Straws time. Is there anything that Straw does better than McCormick, including running fast?

    I agree with the pen stinkers, but I really can’t pick out one guy that would be the worst.

    But Yordan also has an OPS way below his norm. He’s getting pitched to differently and has not yet figured it out. And he’s lost his patience tool. He might end up hitting fewer homers this year. (See Bregman, just 1 in May).

    When her 7 sons finally put my saintly mother over the top, her Jesus, Mary and Joseph would scatter us quicker than our 6’4″ father ever could.

    I think Joe has become an expensive mop up guy.

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  5. Yes and the TV folks are rubbing this in as they show how well Correa and Tucker (both out today) have hit on the homestand and how terrible the rest of the team has hit.
    And I’m staring at a 3-0 deficit with Gurriel on first and so wishing Kyle Tucker was batting instead of Taylor Jones.

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  6. The number of weak one-pitch outs we are giving Mr. Perez in this game is staggering. As a result, he is averaging less than 10 pitches per inning. HORRIBLE AT BATS.

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    • So, we better start hitting him, because at this rate he could get a complete game against us. Or as you say at least make him sweat a bit and have a 20+ pitch inning.

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    • Jake could remain our least reliable starter. What if he does not contribute going forward? Do you send a 10 million salary into the pen for long relief work? I think we’d be forced to watch him every 5th day until well after the All-Star break. Let’s hope he gets it together.

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  7. Well that was a snoozer of a finale. Again, I don’t understand sitting players who are hot, unless they are old and worn out. You ride those hot players until they cool off and theeeennnnn you sit them.
    Might not have mattered today, but you never know, a big hit here or there by Tucker and Correa could have changed the complexion of the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was at my oncologist office so I didn’t get to hear the game. WHY?? Did Mr. Odorizzi not last more than 3 innings? That big big contract sure looks like money down the drain so far, and yes Daveb the message Dusty sent to him was “we’re not gonna even TRY to win your game today…GOOD LUCK DUDE.
    Positive was Yuli’S homerun, kept them from getting shut out, and keeping J.D. Martinez out of the Crawford boxes.
    I remember Perez when he was with the Texas Rangers, VERY good then and he still is. Brantley had better get his butt on the field tomorrow, they’re not playing on turf and Dusty can stop babying him now. Isn’t it odd that Tucker and Straw BOTH played on that turf in Arlington but they never had a problem with it that we know of. Hmmm….playing favorites are we Dusty?

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  9. It’s just an opinion, but it seems that if you tell a team you have beaten three times in a row that it is more important to rest your players than to win game 4, they will be inspired to help you lose that game.
    If you tell your starting pitcher that you are going to play your subs, he will pitch like a sub.
    The Iron Man honored yesterday would abhor what the Astros did with their lineup today. You honor the guy on Wednesday and spit on his memory the next day. What a bunch of crap the Astros pulled today.
    Whatever happened to trying to win every game?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s why nobody will ever beat Ripkin’s/Gehring’s record. Players have to have a day of rest. At least that what the manager thinks. It was definitely a different time in baseball. I like many here sometime thinks its not important to try to win every game (managers prerogative). What gets me is when you give a day off to a player immediately preceding a no game day.

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      • Zanuda, for me, not in June when we’re poised to sweep a good club and we’ve got to play them again next week at their park. A club that could well affect our entry into the post season. Delay that scheduled day off a week until Brantley and Maldonado or Castro are back on the field. I know Tucker was ready to play. And we clearly needed Correa in the lineup yesterday. I’m sure our pitcher would have been more pumped up.

        And after a day game in Buffalo on Sunday and a short flight, they’ll be in Boston for an early dinner with a day off on Monday and a sleep in on Monday and Tuesday both. I’ve seen much worse schedules.

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      • This always gets really interesting. They crack down on the pitchers with a little dab will do ya on their caps, gloves, etc. and then the next thing is the catcher has a little bit of it an rubs it on the ball before throwing it back. They go after the catcher and then the first baseman has a little bit and when they throw over to hold a runner on – he “helps” out.
        They used to scuff the balls – with hidden emory boards or the catcher had a sharpened shin guard or the pitcher has a sharpened belt metal hole dingy.
        When they close one door – somebody figures a way around it.
        Eventually they will have to run baseball like Naked and Afraid…..

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      • I can remember Dizzy Dean talking about during the old days, Burleigh Grimes was the only pitcher that could legally use the spit ball. So other pitchers thought that unfair and used the spitter also. When the ump asked to see the ball, the catcher would comply by rolling the ball down the first base line dirt to the first base umpire.

        I am not sure how you roll you cap or glove or pants.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Considering the lackluster performance of Odorizzi I’d rather see the starting five as Greinke, LMJ, Framber, Urquidy, Garcia, and/or Javier before I see the former. I think he’s has one good outing so I make my case.

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  11. Lorenzo Quintana had a very solid year at the plate between AA and AAA in 2019. I don’t know what he looks like behind the plate. 2020 hurt him as much as anyone. At 32 time is running out. I sure hope he gets at least a cameo.

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  12. Unfortunately, he has not panned out defensively. So far this season he has 2 errors at 1B and 1 at C. He has had 10 bases stolen against him and no caught stealing. I think he is organizational depth at this stage of his career.

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    • Selective enforcement of the rules is a great way to undermine the integrity of the game. Ultimately the consumer loses trust in the product. And if SI is close to being accurate, the majority of participants simply blow off the rules. And then you know darn well the guys getting paid to hit will be open to any edge they might get in an effort to battle back against the cheating guys on the mound. Separately, I wonder if this whole sticky business has helped lead to the deteriorating performance by umpires trying to call balls and strikes?

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  13. I’m done with Dusty Baker. NOW he says Brantley “MIGHT” be back in the Red Sox series. WHY?? Didn’t they put him on the IL days ago? He’s lost all the confidence I ever had in him. Just say you’re playing favorites Dusty, we all see it you’re not fooling anyone. No Bregman in the lineup tonight….that might be a good thing since he hasn’t had the best luck the last few games.
    Let’s hope Greinke can be the good Greinke and go at least 6-7 innings tonight..cross your fingers.

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  14. I don’t feel great about these next six games. The Jays are becoming the team most expected them to be. The Red Sox will be delighted to return the favor next week, especially after game 4. They might just turn a lack of respect into a lesson.

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  15. Talk about “A Tale of Two Centuries.” Zack Greinke has been a potential Hall of Fame pitcher. So this is not a knock on him. But for his career spanning parts of 18 years, he now has 17 complete games. In 1972, Steve Carlton pitched for the last place Philadelphia Phillies. Carlton won 27 games and COMPLETED 30 games that year. He had 8 shutouts that year.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. * Toronto was 0 for1 w/RISP against Greinke.
    * Myles Straw’s 3 hits last night were infield hits.
    * Toronto started a lefty pitcher and the Astros RH batters feasted.
    * Pitches for Toronto relievers: Edwards 21, Chatwood 21, Beasley 46.
    * Toronto had 2 outfield errors, one guy thrown out trying to stretch a single and one caught stealing.
    * The ball was jumping out of that stadium last night. What’s it going to be like playing this afternoon?

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