On the plus side, the Astros had their fifth consecutive winning month in August. On the minus side, they were barely above .500 at 14-13, which seemed to match the eyeball test of a team idling in neutral.
In general, they were barely better than the opposition. They did outscore the opposition 122-100 for the month, but that rode the back of a couple huge blowouts. It was a blah month that needs to be followed by a much better September.
But of even greater importance to the Chipalattites is….. who will get the coveted ChipalattAwards for August?
Here is a quick chart of the Astros’ pitchers in July….
|Lance McCullers Jr./td>||2||2||0||34.2||3.12||1.356||.239||.329||.695|
Starting Pitcher of the Month. Framber Valdez. He was only .500 for the month, but he could have easily won a couple more of those starts with more help from his friends. That .205 BA/ .282 OBP/ .552 OPS slash line against was just excellent.
Runner-up. Luis Garcia. This could have been Lance McCullers, but we will give it to the king of the rocking three-step who has pitched himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation. He has been a very consistent and cool customer for a youngster.
Last Month. Starting Pitcher of the Month – Zack Greinke / Lance McCullers Jr.
Relief Pitcher of the Month. Ryan Pressly. He’s not perfect. No relievers are. But he has been terrific and dependable. That 0.90 ERA and 0.900 WHIP for the month are sterling numbers.
Runner-up. Not too much standing out here – we will give it to the unfortunately injured Rafael Montero, who had the best numbers on the staff in his 6 appearances.
Last Month – Relief Pitcher of the Month – Pressly / Runner-up – Ryne Stanek
Special Recognition Award.Brooks Raley. This is my nominee for not matching the eye test as Raley showed very well in the month, especially his 11 Ks vs. 1 walk. But what about those inherited runners he lets score? Only one this month.
Positional Player of the Month.Yordan Alvarez. He led the team with 8 doubles, 9 HRs, 22 RBIs and a .977 OPS and was a critical figure in many of their wins.
Runner-up. Jake Meyers. He nudged out Carlos Correa due to the unique situation of being added to the roster of a contender after the trade of Myles Straw and not blinking as he received a lot of playing time with Michael Brantley and Kyle Tucker missed time. He never acted overmatched and had outstanding run and RBI numbers, considering he was hitting the 8th spot in the order.
Last Month – Positional Player of the Month – Jose Altuve / Runner-up – Kyle Tucker
Special Recognition Award (Part 2). Taylor Jones has the best Offensive month of his young career. On top of 11 RBIs, he had two big outfield assists in minimal playing time in the OF.
Biggest Surprise (Positive). Raley. I know those numbers surprised the heck out of me.
Runner-up.Jones. He went from overmatched to solid in one month.
Last Month – Biggest Surprise – Brandon Bielak / Runner-up – None
Biggest Disappointment. Jose Altuve. He is much too good a hitter to be so ineffective. With this lineup, he left many ducks on the pond to only have 3 RBIs for the month.
Runner-up. Kendall Graveman. After his excellent stats with the Mariners, he has struggled with the Astros. Yes, the grand slam tilts his numbers, but he has been putting many runners on in his appearances and flirting with disaster.
Last Month – Most Disappointing – Carlos Correa / Runners-up– Yordan Alvarez
Bad Stat – Pitching – Bryan Abreu – Small sample size, but a 94.50 ERA is tough to beat.
Bad Stat – Hitting – Astro prospects and walking. With his 5 walks in 60 ABs, Chas McCormick looks absolutely patient next to Jake Meyers and his 2 walks in 76 ABs and Taylor Jones and his 0 walks in 45 ABs. They were both hitting over .300, so there can be some allowance for the youngsters, but they need to do better going forward.
As usual, it is your turn to comment. Any you want to award? Any awards you disagree with?