ChipalattAwards for June

After a red-hot May that pushed the Astros into the lead in the AL West, they began June stumbling and bumbling a bit as they went 4-5 in the first 9 games.

But they cranked things up after that and came flying down the stretch with their 7-2 New York – New York run at the end of the month. After going 16-9, they had stretched a 5-1/2 game lead to 11-1/2 games (with help from division mates stuck in reverse).

There were quite a few heroes for the team in June, and we will be honoring them here.

Here is a quick chart of the Astros’ pitchers in June.

Justin Verlander 6 4 1 0 39.2 2.04 0.832 3 7.9 .177 .224 .497 N/A
Framber Valdez 5 3 1 0 32 2.81 1.094 3 8.4 .207 .287 .606 N/A
Luis Garcia 5 3 2 0 27.2 4.23 1.048 6 9.4 .221 .261 .684 N/A
Jose Urquidy 5 2 1 0 29.1 3.68 1.057 6 6.4 .202 .261 .664 N/A
Cristian Javier 4 2 1 0 21.2 3.32 1.015 1 12 .167 .267 .536 N/A
Ryan Pressly 11 0 1 8 10 5.40 1.100 1 9.9 .200 .282 .596 0/0
Hector Neris 11 0 1 0 10 7.20 1.200 1 9 .189 .318 .670 0/0
Rafael Montero 10 0 0 2 10 4.50 1.500 0 7.2 .243 .349 .646 3/0
Phil Maton 10 0 0 0 9 5.00 1.556 3 16 .235 .357 .857 6/3
Ryne Stanek 10 0 0 0 9 0.00 1.222 0 15 .212 .290 .532 5/3
Bryan Abreu 8 2 0 0 7 0.00 0.857 0 15.4 .192 .222 .415 5/2
Seth Martinez 7 0 1 0 8.2 2.08 0.808 1 8.3 .148 .258 .517 3/0
June Pitching Stats

Note – I added the IR (Inherited runners) / IS (Inherited runners who scored) stat for the relievers.

Starting Pitcher of the Month. Justin Verlander – The starters were very good in June, especially in the “New York” stretch of the month. But Verlander was outstanding as he led the starters in wins, ERA, WHIP, BA against, OBP against, and OPS against. If you could drop his odd start against the White Sox (9 hits, 4 ER, 3.2 IP), his numbers would be even more insane.

Runner-up. Framber Valdez – Framber has been solid all year and would be the #1 among many staff members. He had another very good month in June, and teams had to hate facing Framber and JV in a row.

Last Month. Winner – (Tie) Verlander/Valdez / Runner-up – Odorizzi

Relief Pitcher of the Month. Bryan Abreu. There has been much discussion about why the Astros have not used Abreu a bit more than they have and in higher leverage situations. He was outstanding in June, not allowing a run and having excellent slash against numbers as one of the few relievers who kept his walks down for the month.

Runner-up.  Ryne Stanek – Stanek had a 0.00 ERA for the second month in a row. He ends up a tad behind Abreu due to giving up the inherited run from Ryan Pressly when the Yankees made their big comeback on them a week ago.

Last Month. Winner – Rafael Montero / Runner-up – Ryne Stanek

Special Recognition Award. This has to be Cristian Javier, who continues to pitch great and, of course, gets special recognition with his seven-inning contribution to the Astros’ no-hitter against the Yankees.   

Now on the offensive side, there were some good numbers and some very offensive numbers.

Martin Maldonado 64 4 3 2 5 4 20 .167 .219 .536 .211
Yuli Gurriel 87 10 8 3 8 8 11 .241 .313 .749 .247
Jose Altuve 95 16 7 5 10 14 21 .242 .357 .831 .261
Jeremy Pena 51 8 3 1 4 2 15 .255 .321 .694 .343
Alex Bregman 88 15 5 3 11 15 11 .273 .391 .822 .284
Michael Brantley 78 12 5 2 10 9 10 .333 .402 .877 .364
Chas McCormick 32 2 0 1 2 5 13 .156 .290 .540 .222
Kyle Tucker 89 15 5 7 22 15 12 .281 .385 .958 .257
Yordan Alvarez 79 19 4 9 28 13 13 .418 .510 1.346 .414
Jose Siri 33 4 0 1 2 1 11 .091 .118 .299 .095
Aledmys Diaz 44 4 1 1 4 3 9 .227 .277 .595 .265
Jason Castro 30 3 0 1 2 1 15 .133 .161 .395 .214
Mauricio Dubon 35 2 4 1 7 5 1 .257 .342 .742 .235
JJ Matijevic 15 2 0 2 2 0 7 .133 .133 .667 .000
Jake Meyers 21 1 1 0 1 0 9 .238 .238 .524 .417
June offensive stats

Positional Player of the Month. Yordan Alvarez – Except for that collision with Jeremy Pena, this was a month for the ages for Yordan as he is likely also the AL player of the month. Being on base more than half the time takes us back to the Barry Bonds big head era. If Alvarez does not start in the All Star game, something is wrong.

Runner-up. Kyle Tucker – His .281 batting average (tempered by an unlucky .257 BAbip) was not at the top of the team, but every other stat for him was outstanding. He continued to drive in runs at a great rate and did a fine job walking more than he struck out this month.  

Last Month. Winner – Jose Altuve/ Runner-up – Jeremy Pena

Biggest Surprise (Positive). Seth Martinez made that one bad pitch to Aaron Judge (and who hasn’t), but he has been very effective in almost all his appearances.

Runner-up. Mauricio Dubon – With the injuries rattling up and down the lineup, the Astros are blessed with two guys (Dubon and Aledmys Diaz) who can plug and play at many different positions effectively on the defensive end. Dubon had a solid offensive month off the bench. He has just a little power, but he knows what he is doing.

Last Month. Winner – Rafael Montero / Runner-up – Jake Odorizzi

Biggest Disappointment. Tie – Chas McCormick/Jose Siri – It’s pretty amazing the Astros did as well as they did in the month with so many dark holes at the bottom of the lineup. Obviously, Chas outperformed Siri a little, but we expected him to outperform Siri. They just were very ineffective, combining for just 6 runs and 4 RBIs on the month.

Last Month. Yuli Gurriel

Crazy Stats…..There are a number of them:

  • J.J. Matijevic gets the one-trick pony award as he only had 2 hits on the month, but they were both big solo home runs.
  • Hector Neris had the weird downbeat stat award because he held opponents to a very good .189 BA but posted a very bad 7.20 ERA on the month. Too many walks.
  • In this free-swinging baseball world, when is the last time you saw a stat line like Mauricio Dubon, where he walked 5 times and only struck out once?
  • Phil Maton had a pretty below-average month except for one stat. His 5.00 ERA, 1.556 WHIP and .857 OPS were bad. But that 16 strikeouts / 9 innings stat was pretty sweet.
  • This does lead us to the Astros’ Immaculate Inning record as they became the first team to have two pitchers strike out three with 9 pitches in the same game behind Maton and Luis Garcia.

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


118 comments on “ChipalattAwards for June

  1. About Meyers .278 BA and .270 OBP – referenced in earlier comments – its because he has no walks and no hit by pitches, which would add to his OBP, but he has a sac fly which would lower his OBP as I recall


    • Jake has played in 10 games for us and has 8 RBI. He hits in front of a guy batting .148, and averages striking out at least every third at bat. I think the choice of having Jake swing at any decent pitch he sees rather than trying to coax a walk is working out pretty well for us so far.


      • I don’t think he is doing that by instruction….

        Meyers has never been much of a walk guy. If he hits .270+ all year it will at least net him a .310ish OBP and that is passable out of the spot we are asking him to occupy.

        Some guys show up to the majors and can maintain that career .274 avg he has in the minors. Some guys do like Pena and they just have the it factor that Altuve told us he had, and they are better than any stat line you can see in the minors. Most guys, hit a little worse, walk a little less, etc once they get to the show. We will see, because he will get ample opportunity.


    • Interesting. I suspect you’re right, but what’s odd is they had him at .273 / .273 going into last night’s game. Clearly someone dropped the ball. It was probably the official scorer who gave Arenado a single on what was clearly an error the other day. I decided to google it and apparently MLB does not count sac bunts against PA but does count sac flies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tonight’s match-up could be interesting to watch. Christian Javier has been on a pretty amazing strike-out tear, but this time out he will be facing a team of patient, disciplined professional hitters that has proven very difficult to strike out. In fact, there are only three teams in the major leagues who have struck out less than the Royals. [Yes, one of those three teams is our Houston Astros!]. By way of contrast, the Angels [whom Javier faced last time out], lead the league in strikeouts – by a pretty wide margin.


  3. KC puts the ball in play a lot – low strikeout rate but also low walk rate. But they don’t (normally) get a lot out of their offense – 3.91 runs/game – 27th in the majors. Their offense looked a lot better than that the last two days. Let’s face it – human nature would have the Astros letting up after so many high profile games. Even the Angel series was important being in the division and all.
    The plus side is the Astros’ offense is on an upward arch with Bregman on fire, Yuli warming up, Meyers adding some spark to the end of the lineup, Pena happily adjusting to hitting with hitters around him and the usual suspects – Altuve, Alvarez and Tucker. Diaz is warming up now that he is getting a few more consistent at bats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Part of the reason for KC’s poor record this year[other than the loss of Salvador Perez to the IL] has been that Whit Merrifield – the ‘point guard’ of their offensive attack, has had an absolutely horrible year. His BA and OBP are forty-+ points lower than his career average, and his OPS is down over 100 points.

      Part of the reason KC has given us such fits in the first two games of this series is that Merrifield is hitting .400 with a double and a triple. His OBP over the past seven games is .433. Add Benintendi and Whitt, Jr. in the mix, and you’ve got quite an offensive trio.

      The other part of the reason KC has challenged us so well is that Perez’ replacement, rookie MJ Melendez, is suddenly hitting home runs like his name should be Alvarez or Judge.


  4. I just have to say that I was amazed at the throw from Yordan to home plate. If Brantley was in left, he doesn’t even try to catch the runner. So going forward, Yordan may be a “defensive replacement” in the late innings.


    • It was an impressive throw. What was even more impressive, to me, was what Machete did with it. How many catchers take that throw where he received it and get a tag down in time? He made Alvarez’ throw -which was good – look way more impressive than it was. Machete is not exactly an offensive machine, as we know, but thank Heaven he is perhaps the best Houston has ever seen at defending his position.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A few thoughts…..
    – It is amazing how quick Maldonado is for someone who is so damn slow. His toss outs, his tags, the insane foul pop he caught behind him, his hustle down to catch a runner rounding first base, his hustle to catch pop ups when the shift has the 3rd baseman over by 2nd base and on and on. How many runs does he save?
    – They said Alvarez’s throw was 92.5 mph and went 279 feet on the fly. I loved how he got behind the throw – so many guys make these catches floating back to the ball and don’t do that.
    – Pena sure can whack the heck out of the ball – his homer was the longest by a wide margin last night.
    – Meyers can cover a heck of a lot of ground. Siri could probably cover more, but he hit like me.
    – In the last 16 games, Bregman has 13 runs scored / 14 RBIs with a slash of .357 BA/ .464 OBP/ 1.089 OPS – that has made a big difference to the club


    • I think the Astros have a lot more offense in the tank. The league avg BABIP is .289 and the Astros team average BABIP is .268. To get to the mean of the entire league more hits are coming for the Astros.
      Some of the Astros players who have below league average BABIP are Altuve, Bregman, Gurriel, Tucker, Diaz and Maldonado, whose BABIP is more than 100 points below league average.
      Because the Astros are among the lowest in K rate in baseball, they put the ball in play a lot, so BABIP is a huge stat for them.
      Expect an increase in the number of hits the Astros have in the second half of the season. Things always return to the mean, especially for teams who have historically good hitting players.


  6. That was a very entertaining game last night. I’m exhausted. Hanging out with the family, especially the younger ones, is tough. They are a bad influence on Uncleknuckle. I’m staying home tonight and watching on the tube. Thursday is doubleheader day!


  7. I try and not to get to in the weeds on BABIPs and expectations.

    I know Tucker’s batted ball ratios are down. His exit velocity is down from his career averages, so is his line drive rates and hard hit percentages. It’s not all bad luck, he simply hasn’t been the same hitter. Same with Yuli, though I think when looking at Yuli, he is down about 2MPH on exit velocity and a few points on hard hit percentage, probably not enough to substantiate a near 100 point loss in BABIP – he probably hasn’t been as lucky as last year with seeing eye grounders and hit a few at people as well as not squaring up on as many.

    These numbers are down all across baseball though. There are a lot of athletes that work their tales off during the offseason and show up for ST ready to go. There are some that work a little, and put a lot of work in ST. The shortened ST has probably had a detrimental effect on the hitting league wide, but like Tucker, and Yuli, and Bregman, there are lot of hitters on a lot of teams starting to lean towards their career medians after slow starts.


    • The positive news on Tucker is that he’s hitting quite a bit better on July 6, 2022 than he was a year ago. And he’s spent most of the season stuck in front of Yuli. I think we’ll be happy with his numbers.


    • If you look at his heat map, in 2021 he was hitting fastballs in a much larger, vertical range. The down and in quadrant has always been his bread and butter, but he was able to really handle the belt-high and above stuff last year. This year, his heat map looks more like his career on the middle-to-upper part of the zone fastballs. I believe he is getting beat because he can’t quite get the barrel to those pitches. He’s aggressive and puts a lot of pitches into play. When the timing is on this will work in his favor. When it’s off we get what we’ve got now. Excepting 2020 because it doesn’t count, he’s been better in the second half of every season. 2019 is one that particularly stands out for having a poor first half. Hopefully that means he turns it around in the second half.


  8. Bobby Whitt, Jr., who took a foul ball off his hand in the late innings last night, is out of the Royals’ line-up tonight.


    • Not to be outdone, Dusty will see them a Bobby Whitt, Jr. rest day and raise them a Jose Altuve + Yuli Gurriel bench-sitting session


  9. Dusty says it was time for Jose to get a day off and Yuli’s legs have been sore from running a lot more than usual lately.


  10. Can anyone in our rotation – including JV – get through the Royals’ first five batters without giving up a run? They have scored pretty much at will in the first inning in each game this series. They are consistent, persistent, and though having a little less power than some of our guys do, they seem far better prepared – not to mention light years more disciplined – than any hitter on our team.


  11. I think a few things are going on here and it is just things lapsing to or away from the norm.
    – A few guys for the Royals are red hot including Whitfield and Melendez.
    – The Astros starters were pitching out of their gourds for a while and are coming back to earth
    – Our Astros overall are a more patient team than the Royals with 288 walks to 248 for KC on the season. We both strike out about the same – 601 for the Astros to 609 for the KC.
    – I think this is just a small sample effect coming to the surface here


  12. – Hunter Brown and Yainer Diaz are in the Futures Game.
    – The question came up on the Astros mlb site – did switching back from the 5 man rotation to the 6 man rotation adversely affect Javier’s sharpness
    – In his last 14 appearances – Hector Neris has given up 10 runs in 12.2 innings
    – I don’t mind Altuve getting a day off – but ….. why did his replacement Dubon have to lead off? Why did Yuli have to have the same day off? Why didn’t they bring Jose off the bench with the bases loaded and two out in the 6th? You could have worked your subs around to let him rest the rest of the game
    – I hope JV has been watching the Royals real close the last few games and has their number today


  13. Apparently Pena was in the lineup and was dropped an hour ahead due to safety and health protocol. Since Gurriel is missing two in a row – I assume he has an owie or an ouchie. And Tucker at his advanced age must have a day off no matter who else is missing.
    I guess Brantley is slowing making his way back.


  14. It wasn’t pretty -but it was a ‘W’. Errors in the field by Dubon and Meyers. JV wasn’t at his best – or at least wasn’t able to shut down the KC ‘hit-whatever-they-give-you-up-the middle-style-offense. Fortunately, Martin Maldonado has found his stroke – as most of the line-up seems to be conveniently losing theirs.

    Hope Brantley and Pena get well soon.


    • Take out 97-99 and they both are at least respectable. Those 3 series neither one of them (or the rest of the lineup) ever got anything going.

      I am sure it has a lot to do with 71 of Bagwell’s 126 playoff plate appearances being against Atlanta and that staff.

      The 2001 series against Atlanta is interesting. Atlanta issued 8 walks in 3 games. 5 of them were to Bagwell. That’s saying, we will throw strikes to everyone else, but that guy. The Astros really needed Alou, Berkman, and Biggio to make them pay for that choice, but alas, they didn’t.

      Before Altuve and Correa and Springer there is a littered history of poor hitting in Astros playoff lore from more than just those 2.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the only exception from the “older” days was Lance Berkman. He was very good in the playoffs.


  15. I’m sure you guys were looking for my Astros/Space Cowboys doubleheader report, but alas, it seems I took too long to post it and it disappeared. Suffice it to say we had a good, long day. I’ll try to add a few thoughts along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Interesting about DanP comment on players worn out by the time of the World Series. I went and gave a cursory review of the MVP. All pitchers were eliminated obviously. But the last full time player to win MVP with 162 games played was Pete Rose at 3B in 1975. It is a short series but it is amazing to see names like Steve Pearce that were traded or played less than 100 games that lit it up in the world Series.


  17. Pretty good series win against a KC team that made our starters look human over the four games played. I think we’ll grow weary of Dubon, even if he can play quite a few positions. He won’t hit much. Verlander sure was smiling after the Altuve moon shot and the liner from Yordan into the Crawfords. I’d rather have seen Diaz at short and Frenchy in left yesterday. Jake gets to balls, but sure does not seem to have much arm strength. Maybe that will improve. Maybe it won’t. I think if I could have one add to the roster, it would be Reynolds.

    Siri had a big night again. He hits AAA pitching. He’s sure got a weird stance these days, looks like he’ll wreck his left knee before long. Lyon and Valdez looked like ballplayers. Hit the ball hard, both guys very quick.


  18. Jake Meyers’ OBP [.311] is now officially higher than his BA [.302]. He also has driven in 10 runs in just 12 games. George Springer he may not be, but so far he is providing a whole lot more offense at the CF position than Chaz, Siri, or Dubon.

    With playing time, Dubon is being revealed for who he is. His BA is down to .203; his OBP to .263. At least he doesn’t strike out as much as Siri and McCormick did/do.

    Liked by 1 person

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