ChipalattAwards for September/October

The Astros went 17-13 for the combo-month of September and October, which allowed them to just hold off the Mariners for the AL West and the White Sox for home-field advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. The month was a relatively blah run to the playoffs featuring nothing better than a 4 game winning streak and nothing worse than a 4 game losing streak.

However, what is really important is who takes home the coveted Dundee, correction ChipalattAwards for the month plus three…

September / October results will be grouped here together to include the three games that lapped into my favorite month of the year. 

Here is a quick chart of the Astros’ pitchers in September/ October

Zack Greinke 0 1 0 11.1 11.12 1.412 .255 .314 .909
Luis Garcia 1 2 0 27 3.67 1.481 .287 .354 .780
Lance McCullers Jr./td> 3 1 0 30 3.00 1.067 .181 .275 .580
Framber Valdez 2 2 0 29.1 3.94 1.348 .223 .331 .697
Jake Odorizzi 0 1 0 20 3.15 1.250 .256 .310 .643
Jose Urquidy 2 0 0 29.2 4.25 1.079 .234 .277 .710
Ryan Pressly 0 2 4 10 4.50 1.300 .263 .317 .685 3/1
Kendall Graveman 0 0 0 10.2 1.69 1.875 .263 .429 .718 5/4
Ryne Stanek 2 2 0 12.1 1.46 1.054 .178 .260 .504 0/0
Yimi Garcia 1 1 0 11.2 6.94 1.114 .233 .283 .701 8/1
Brooks Raley 0 0 0 11 2.45 0.818 .167 .231 .481 6/2
Cristian Javier 1 0 0 14.1 7.53 1.535 .228 .371 .845 1/0
Blake Taylor 2 0 0 8.2 2.08 1.385 .214 .353 .853 9/1
Phil Maton 2 0 0 12 4.50 1.583 .271 .357 .753 8/5
Brandon Bielak 0 1 1 11.2 2.31 1.714 .256 .400 .682 0/0

Note – I added the IR (Inherited runners) / IS (Inherited runners who scored) stat to this month’s ledger for the relievers. Some interesting numbers there.

Starting Pitcher of the Month. Lance McCullers Jr. was by far the best and most effective of the pitchers, leading them all in wins, innings, ERA, WHIP, and BA/OBP/OPS against.

Runner-up. Framber Valdez – OK – if I was truly honest, I would look at the stats and say that Jake Odorizzi had the second-best stats. But C’mon man – I can’t do that. The guy can barely get through 4 innings without wearing us all out.  It comes down to Urquidy or Valdez, and I give Framber a slight thumbs up on ERA and slashing numbers against.

Last Month – Starting Pitcher of the Month – Framber Valdez / Runner-Up Luis Garcia

Relief Pitcher of the Month.  Ryne Stanek – I think this is the first time this season that this was not Ryan Pressly, who was quite mediocre this month. Stanek had that wonderful 1.46 ERA and those great .178 BA/ .260 OBP and .504 OPS against. And he did not allow an inherited runner to score, though it helps that he inherited no runners.

Runner-up.  Blake Taylor. No, Kendall Graveman’s 1.69 ERA did not earn him this spot, not while allowing 4 of 5 inherited runners to score and putting up a bothersome 1.875 WHIP. Taylor did give up that game-tying home run in the 9th inning of the last game, but we know that was just to allow Yuli Gurriel to have his big moment in the sun. Right? He only allowed 1 of 9 inherited runners to score and had very good numbers across the board.

Last Month – Relief Pitcher of the Month – Ryan Pressly / Runner-up – Rafael Montero

Special Recognition Award. Brooks Raley had the best slash against numbers on the staff for the month, allowing a .167 BA/ .231 OBP/ .481 OPS.

Name ABs Runs Dbls HRs RBIs BBs Ks BA OBP OPS
Martin Maldonado 67 6 0 2 4 7 22 .149 .230 .469
Yuli Gurriel 102 17 3 2 11 8 14 .343 .387 .819
Jose Altuve 112 28 12 6 15 11 12 .304 .371 .942
Carlos Correa 104 17 5 6 23 8 18 .288 .339 .849
Alex Bregman 102 14 2 5 20 12 8 .245 .325 .737
Michael Brantley 47 2 1 0 2 1 4 .277 .292 .632
Jake Meyers 70 12 3 3 12 8 26 .200 .309 .680
Kyle Tucker 104 20 10 8 19 17 16 .346 .438 1.130
Yordan Alvarez 102 15 10 5 15 14 28 .255 .345 .845
Chas McCormick 65 8 0 3 8 6 26 .246 .319 .704
Aledmys Diaz 58 3 3 1 7 5 16 .155 .246 .505
Jason Castro 23 6 1 4 8 4 5 .478 .556 1.599
Jose Siri 46 10 0 4 9 1 17 .304 .347 .956
Marwin Gonzalez 34 5 0 3 8 1 8 .176 .222 .663

Positional Player of the Month. Kyle Tucker was plain old nasty for the month, hitting 10 doubles and 8 HRs and slashing a sensational .346 BA/ .438 OBP/ 1.130 OPS. And he did a lot of this damage out of the 7th spot in the lineup. Now, who were we going to trade him for?

Runner-up. Yuli Gurriel. OK, this probably should be Jose Altuve and his 28 runs, 6 HRs and 15 RBIs for the month, but we give it to the 37 year old Cuban in a rebound season, who rode a .343 BA in the last month-plus of the season to a well-deserved batting title.

Last Month – Positional Player of the Month – Yordan Alvarez / Runner-up – Jake Meyers

Special Recognition Award (Part 2). Jason Castro – Castro entered the season’s last month slashing a barely better than Martin Maldonado .190 BA/ .320 OBP/ .653 OPS. But his bat roared down the stretch, especially late in the games, as he scored 6 runs, hit 4 HRs and knocked in 8 runs in only 23 ABs. That .478 BA/ .556 OBP/ 1.599 OPS slash looks like a misprint, but it isn’t.

Biggest Surprise (Positive). Has to be Castro. I thought he was totally washed up as a hitter.

Runner-up. Let’s give a tie to those two lefties, Taylor and Raley, for a solid month. Raley surprises the most for doing well for two months in a row.

Last Month – Biggest Surprise – Brooks Raley / Runner-up – Taylor Jones

Biggest Disappointment.  Zack Greinke. Maybe it was the illness. Maybe the injury. But he had been struggling a bit the whole second half of the season, and though he had a great attitude about helping out of the bullpen….he has looked eminently hittable.

Runner-up. Cristian Javier. This guy has too much stuff to scrabble as much as he did at the end of the season. Maybe he just needs to pitch more and more consistently.

Last Month – Most Disappointing – Jose Altuve / Runners-up – Kendall Graveman

A Bad Stat…..Many young hitters are upside down in the BBs vs Ks, but no one more so than Jose Siri with 1 walk and 17 Ks for the month. And the only reason his on-base percentage is .347 (besides a .304 batting average) is that his showboating got him plunked a couple times to go with that single walk.   

As usual, it is your turn to comment. Any awards you disagree with? Any you want to award?


22 comments on “ChipalattAwards for September/October

  1. Going into the post season, Graveman has got to be a real concern. He was an automatic when we picked him up. Since then, his ERA has more than tripled. His WHIP has more than doubled. His walks have more than doubled. I could end up second guessing myself. Against all those righthanded bats on the Chicago roster, I might give Javier a shot. We don’t have enough guys to throw strikeouts.

    Bregman and Brantley. We’ve always relied on these two guys. I don’t think either is especially healthy though. Bregman might be running worse than Mike. He was terrible the last two weeks of the season. They both need to hit in this 5 games series. That’s two big holes otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When the sticky stuff got taken away from all the pitchers, LMJ started throwing a slider and it may have been one of the most important moves in the Astros run to the AL West title.
    The only things that kept Kyle Tucker from AL MVP consideration was his BABIP in April, and his bouts with stomach flu and Covid in late summer, all three of which are tied only to bad luck. The 17 BBs and 16 Ks in the last month of the season tells us a lot about what Tucker has done to become one of the best players in baseball.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Since Graveman admitted that the Astros got him to change what was working for him in Seattle, I’m hoping they will now leave him alone and let him try to find what he obviously has lost in the last two months.
    Only coaches with big heads would take a successful rental pitcher and try to change what he brings, when they know he will not be with the team next season.
    The best policy would be to not mess with success.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Yes. It’s one thing to offer a guy recommendations who you get in a trade at the deadline and he has one or more extra years with the team to use your info.
        But they got Graveman to do what he was doing in Seattle.
        With his obvious disappointment with the trade, I think it was a big mistake to try and change the things he was doing that made you go get him in the first place.
        It’s like hiring a great salesman and then telling him to sell differently than what he was doing to sell so well in the first place. The first thing that he will think is “big mistake!” and then he begins to doubt himself and his circumstances.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. From watching him, Graveman has really good stuff, but his control since he came here is off. Looking at his numbers for this month, it takes a pretty good pitcher to have a 1.8+ WHIP and not give up a lot of runs. Of course sometimes these guys look really good without the big pressure of a pennant race and melt under that pressure.
    Graveman does not have a long history of being as effective as he was the first half of this season. Maybe water is finding its level over a whole season.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think it was fatigue rather than Strom tinkering/screwing him up. He also had his lesser performances for Seattle on the road rather than at home. Is that good news or bad news entering the postseason? I’m not sure. What I do know is that in 2021 he induced more contact to the right side of the field than he had during his prior years. This may have been the result of throwing almost 2mph harder on his four seem fastball than at any point in his career. One drawback to being a two pitch guy, however, is that if a right handed hitter is expecting either a slider or something hard away they can gear up to go the other way.


  5. Toward the end of the season, the only guys I always felt good about coming to the plate were Gurriel and Tucker and, if/when there were men on base, Correa. Altuve was ice cold [except, of course, for that strange 4-5 game]; Brantley was clearly not healthy; Bregman did not seem anywhere close to focused; and Alvarez was struggling to shake off an ugly slump.

    From a bullpen standpoint, everything pretty much came unraveled those last couple of weeks. Nobody seemed to be able to throw strikes. Our three touted ‘prime time’ trade-deadline additions – Graveman, Maton, and Yimi Garcia -horribly stunk up just about every appearance they made. Javier just kept getting bombed. Pressley generally managed to keep the damage to a minimum, but he rarely had a clean inning, and he generally got pushed to the brink of disaster before coming through to pull a miraculous Houdini. Only Stanek, Raley, and Peter Solomon (when he was not confined to the taxi squad) were consistently good.

    So, I would give the ‘Finish Strong, Son’ award to: Tucker, Gurriel, Stanek, Raley, and Solomon. Sure wish Solomon would be chosen for the play-off roster, but i presume high-dollar disappointment Jake Odorizzi will get the nod instead.


  6. Solomon did have good numbers:
    1 0 0 11 1.64 1.18 .212 .333 .545 0/0

    Odorizzi will probably be on the roster, but I think I would rather have Solomon instead of Maton.


  7. Been watching the Yankees -Red Sox game, the Sox chased Cole after the 3rd inning….ReD Sox 3 Yankees 0 top of the 4th.
    Do you know the LAST time we faced the White Sox in the playoffs was in 2005 World Series! Much gas changed from those days, although the Astros in 2005 had an AWESOME rotation! Clemons, Pettit, Oswalt now THAT was a starting rotation!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I had the game on through 5. Listening to the pundits, it’s too dicouraging watching the best two teams in baseball knowing we’ve got to somehow get through the month of October witnessing inferior clubs play the game while a better club has gone home early again.

    The Yankess started a .594 OPS at short. A .720 OPS at third. A .688 OPS in center. A .697 OPS at second. And then of course Joey Gallo finished the year hitting .199 in the third spot. But what must concern New York most is that Cole was gassed or hurt or had slippery hands down the stretch. His last four weeks were bad, a .311 BA against, .364 OBP, a .566 SLG and a .930 OPS. And his six out performance against New York’s nemesis was flat out unbecoming of a guy they owe 270 million to. Carlos, are you sure about going to the Bronx?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 22 and 86 BB/K against righties. 31 and 44 against lefties..

    I’m convinced Javier can help us in the first round against the righthanded hitting White Sox. His walk problem is a lefty batter issue. He’s afraid to pitch to them. Hopefully he learns how to fix this in the off season. But for now, use him against righties.


    • I am not Strom, but if I went to the mound for McCullers or Javier, my only questions would be “What pitch can you throw for a strike?” And whatever is answered, my reply would be “Let’s see it.” Part of the inability to throw strikes shows up on being forced into the hitting zone on 2-0 and 3-0. Both have good “stuff” but if you can’t throw strikes, you can’t do well in MLB. PERIOD.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Roster Resource shows the CWS with 1 lefty and 4 switch hitters in their starting lineup and a lefty backup catcher and another switch-hitter on their bench.


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