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.

Name Gm W L Svs IP ERA WHIP HR Ks/9 IP BAA OBPA OPSA IR/ IS
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.

Name ABs Runs Dbls HRs RBIs BBs Ks BA OBP OPS BABIP
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?

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118 comments on “ChipalattAwards for June

    • I can’t even imagine the level of prep it is going to take to get him ready to actually catch a game in the major leagues. But I understand he’s smart and has a good work ethic – so I will look forward to seeing how quickly he gets up to speed.

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  1. Can’t disagree with any of these picks. On a small side note, can anyone enlighten me as to why we brought Enoli Paredes up and sent Brandon Bielak down? Bielak was pitching well, can go multiple innings and doesn’t walk every other batter. Why would we need another 1 inning high leverage guy when we’re not utilizing Abreu and Martinez? Mystifying.

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  2. We had a great team effort to take the high flying Yankees and Mets down a notch. But our Western Division foes aren’t going to roll over and play dead for us. No let down, guys! Keep the momentum going!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Javier has averaged just 5.8 hits per 9 over 225 career innings. Not many guys do that, especially when starting.

    Jake looks pretty good at the plate after being gone for so long. I’d like to see him start owning more pop ups in his vicinity.

    I don’t want to give up in Chas yet. Sometimes he looks like a hitter.

    I like Frenchie Dubon. Seems like a really positive guy. I like him more in the dugout.

    In a perfect world, Korey Lee turns into a Wally Pipp story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1OP, that makes me think. If Bregman and Yuli are really getting back to being a version of their former selves, will Click pass on strengthening the offense?

      With the pitching as good and deep as it is now, we might be the best Astro team in five years. I still want that bat, but I’m not sure where we put it.

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      • That is a great question. We have yet to see this lineup in 2022:
        Altuve
        Brantley
        Bregman
        Alvarez
        Tucker
        Gurriel
        Meyers
        Pena
        Maldonado
        Not even once. So, when are we going to see it? Before we go out and spend money and prospects, wouldn’t you want to actually see what we have first.
        By the way, not only have we not seen our best lineup this season, our opponents haven’t faced it either.

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      • Not to mention a bench consisting of Dubon, Diaz, McCormick and Lee. All healthy. It would be so nice to have our guys all healthy and available.

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  4. As to the monthly awards, I would like to say the pitching has been out of this world. But if I do, then they will blow up the next few games.

    So, I LOVE our “well below average pitching for this past month.” That should do it and keep us winning.

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  5. Thoughts
    – I missed seeing our guys win last night – but not enough to figure out how to get Apple+ TV
    – It feels like when Castro is ready they will reactivate him and send Lee back down to where he will get daily reps. Unless Lee plays in a couple games and goes bat guano crazy with the bat and the arm
    – You don’t expect 8 runs in a game where Brantley and Alvarez are out and Altuve neither scores or drives in a run
    – Having Bregman and Gurriel warm up is a big boost to this lineup. If they can get a Meyers who continues to hit in the upper .200’s – that would be a real help
    – The Astros have given up 21 hits in the last 6 games – 3.5 hits a game – wow
    – Javier’s latest stretch means the Astros have about as strong of a top three in the rotation as there is around

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  6. Some comments on Astros pitching:
    * I think the Bielak/Paredes swap out had more to do with the Astros never wanting to get into the same situation they had with late inning relievers having to pitch more than they want them to. That happened with Pressly in NY. It had less to with Bielak’s performance.
    * Odorizzi will be back soon. He not only gives the Astros their sixth starter, but he also gives them a long reliever on occasion, when they need one, if they need one.
    * The move from Low A to AAA for Forrest Whitley puts him right where they can look at him closeup against much stronger competition. It puts him where Hunter Brown has been this year and they are both there in case the Astros want some arms to take some innings later in the season.
    * I’m just not sure how LMJ fits into all of this. I’m sure the hope is that they can continue to ease him back into the picture and that his stuff is highly effective and forces them to make room for him in September/October.

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  7. This is an add-on:
    There is a distinct possibility that the Astros go into spring training with Verlander, Valdez, Garcia, Urquidy, Javier, LMJ, Odorizzi, Hunter Brown and Forrest Whitley all vying for positions as starting pitchers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice to have nine starters, but if they are all effective, it’s not practical. Some of that talent could be used for an outfielder and/or first baseman for 2023 and beyond. And while I hate the thought of losing Verlander, he might cost 40 million next year if getting paid is important to him.

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  8. Verlander’s vesting option of $25 million is 32.2 innings from kicking in.
    If he is happy here, he can take that or go out to dinner w/ Crane and see if he can rework his deal. or he can go out and test the waters and then face moving and state income taxes and new teammates, new town, new pad.
    With the Astros, his home is in the same city as our spring facility and his 2nd home is in Houston.
    I know he is comfortable here, but, money talks to everyone.
    When you look into that Astros dugout, it’s pretty easy to see he fits like a glove there.
    First, let’s hoist that trophy again!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My two sons who enjoy baseball live in the Austin area and so rarely get to see them play, so I often keep them up on what is going on by text.
    The last couple of days it has been crazy – because it feels like “Chas homer” “Meyers homer” “Maldy homer (times two)” and on and on. They are like a hot knife through the butter that is the Angels’ pitching staff.

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  10. Wow – two complete games of domination. Whoever was complaining about the heart strain of this team had no problems today and yesterday. So much fun to see production from the whole lineup.

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  11. The Angels stink. Ohtani will leave. They are stuck with Rendon. If they really commit to a rebuild, they’ll have to pay a good chunk of Trout’s salary even as he still puts up big numbers. But he won’t keep it up through 2030. When does the GM get canned?

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    • We may complain about the Astros but you almost have to feel sorry for the Angels fans. 75MM between two players and they are getting nothing for it. Not necessarily Trout but Rendon. Have to admit that our management looks smarter everyday for not paying these absurd contracts.
      Nice to see Bregman finally start producing ad it looks like Meyers might be the real thing but it’s still early. Who is this Maldy guy? The guys look like their having a lot of fun.

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  12. One has to wonder what is going on in that Angel’s clubhouse. It’s one and a half hours until game time and there still is not a lineup posted!

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    • Well they have had a calf scramble on who is managing each day due to all the suspensions from the massive fight they were involved in (plus having an interim manager). Maybe the guy forgot.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. All afternoon it was golf and then baseball. Over and over I kept switching back because both of them were so close and tense.
    This was an extraordinary baseball game. Where we got to see so many out of the ordinary plays.
    Altuve singles to left and never even looks at the LFer and is out by 30 feet at 2B.
    Then Pena hits a solo HR when Altuve could have trotted around the bases and had the score tied.
    The line drive to Villar; he dives for it, gets it, and then flips it out of his glove.
    Maldonado’s sneek play to catch the runner not paying attention, and then the camera crew decides to show us almost nothing of the best play of the day. Maybe we’ll get to see it somewhere on the internet.
    And Pena hitting one to deep CF as the best player in baseball gets to see it beat his team again.
    20 strikeouts in nine innings and we almost didn’t get the win. What a wonderful comeback.
    Dusty said Odorizzi will start tomorrow and Velander will go Thursday as they try to hold back JV’s innings to keep him healthy.
    And he said Odorizzi’s return puts us back into a six-man rotation.

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  14. Now be honest. The Astros payroll (per Spotrac) is $176 Million (51 win). The Orioles payroll is $45 Million (36 wins). The Angels pay $190 Million for one more win than Baltimore (37 wins). Don’t you feel sorry for the Angels?

    I didn’t think so !

    Liked by 1 person

  15. In case you missed it, the Astros signed 7 RHP prospects and 2 SS prospects in June. All of them were young international free agents and all were assigned to the 2 Astros Dominican Summer League teams.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. So good to be back home in America this morning. We’ll have a full backyard of extended family, either sheltered under the porch watching Astro baseball or cooling in the pool. There are some beers in the garage frig I’m not yet familiar with. I’m personally most excited about our lineup of good old fashioned Texas American food, with a bit of our northeastern roots remembered. Thanks Mom. Have a peaceful day everyone. I’ll do a bit of reflection on my own good fortune to have been born into an ever growing, more diverse, American family.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It didn’t, so just punch on the inning #6 on the RH side of the screen to view perfect minor league pitching. No BABIP needed in this inning!

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  17. From Framber’s start the other day
    – 20 Ks of Angels most by Astros ever
    – Framber had 13 straight outs at one point that were strikeouts – there were hits and walks scattered in among the Ks

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  18. I have posted something similar before, but it just continues to baffle me. When Jose Cruz coached first, he pointed out who had the ball, and where the players were stationed before the pitch, etc. He continually gave info to the first base runner. The back pick by Maldonado was on the runner, but the first base coach was just standing there and watching. The other day it was Yuli that was out at first because the play was behind him and the first base coach gave him no info. These seem to happen a lot these days where the “stop watch holding” is the only job that belongs to the first base coach.

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  19. A couple thoughts on the coaching situation – I know the Astros have had a substitute first base coach for a few days – they mentioned it on the telecast – due to their coach being out with COVID protocol.
    I don’t know if the Angels first base coach was their real coach or not – I know they have been scrambling the coaching staff due to having so many suspensions from their fight with the M’s.

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  20. Today we get Odorizzi back for a start.
    The lineup

    Altuve 2B
    Pena SS
    Alvarez DH
    Bregman 3B
    Tucker RF
    Gurriel 1B
    Meyers CF
    Dubon LF
    and……………………………………………….Lee C

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1st start for Oddo not too impressive. 9 hits 5 runs and was lucky it wasn’t more. Offense looking like they took the Holiday off.

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  21. Interesting graphic about Altuve and his first 1500 games. It showed Richie Ashburn with the most in that period of time. Ashburn was reportedly the fastest to first in his era at less than 3 seconds. It is interesting to note he walked about twice as often as he struck out. Rumor has it he once his a fan with a foul ball and when she was being taken out of the stadium, he hit her again with another foul ball.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/a/ashburi01.shtml

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    • I was texting with my brother saying if they could just keep chipping away…
      Royals walking the first three in the 8th helped a ton.
      And then hanging a 3-1 slider to Yordan….

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Some thoughts:
    * The Astros are 9-1 since Jake Meyers came back.
    * In 2021 the Astros were near the top of MLB in fielding percentage and were rated third best fielding team in baseball by fangraphs. In 2022 the Astros are middle of the pack in fielding percentage, but are rated the #1 fielding team by fangraphs. Apparently defense is counted by the number of balls you get to for outs and less about what you do when you get to the ball.
    * Jake Odorizzi was sweating mineral oil yesterday. It was too painful to watch. But, he did hang in there and completed four innings, when it looked like he wouldn’t get out of the 2nd inning.
    * The bunt by the Astros in the 8th inning was a rally killer. There was no way Baker should have called for a bunt from Jake Meyers. The team had momentum tying the game up with three runs w/o making an out. Why do you want to give them an out with the #8 and #9 guys coming up.
    * My head was buzzing all evening after the Alvarez home run. I haven’t been that jacked up since 2017.

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    • My same thoughts as you with the Meyers bunt. Just plain stupid IMO. Love a walk off but should have push another run across or more in the 8th.

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    • – Well I can’t credit Meyers for the whole hot streak, but he sure has been behind quite a few positive plays since he came up.
      – This is one of the finest fielding Astro teams I can remember from the starters all the way through the bench – I don’t care what the stat guys say
      – I am not big on Odorizzi, but he proved me wrong right before his injury, so I’ll be willing to give him some time to prove himself again, especially if it gives some folks like Verlander a breather
      – Yes momentum killer – that bunt. My brother and I bantered back and forth on text
      Bro – You don’t make Meyers bunt after a triple
      Me (at the same time) – Don’t see the bunt there
      Bro – Are u kidding me? He’s a beast
      Me – If he was good bunter maybe – but jeez
      Bro – You pulled his teeth….Craig Reynolds you bunt, not Meyers
      – I was amazed they threw one within reach to Alvarez. A 3-1 cement mixing spinner of a slider turned into a missile the other way. You will rarely see two walk off home runs in consecutive games and certainly will even more rarely see two of such length – 429 feet for Pena and 444 feet for Alvarez

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  23. WELLNESS CHECK ON KOREY LEE ….

    Does anyone have any feedback on how poor Korey Lee is doing after being thrown headlong into the deep-end yesterday? He saw up close and personal yesterday how a professional ‘station-to-station’ offensive scheme works – and how ugly facing such an offense with a pitcher struggling with command and control can be. I doubt he saw anything like that level of offensive patience and control in the minor leagues. He certainly was not taught patient ‘take-what-they-give-you’ hitting style while working with any Astro affiliate. Even without the superstar power personnel they used to have, the Royals still do station-to-station/take-what-they-give you better than any team in professional baseball. It’s a good thing their pitching staff shot their own team in the foot multiple times and let us come back from 5-0.

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    • Mr. Bill, I did not watch without interruption, but it appeared to me Korey Lee was capable behind the plate. Of course he’s 0-4 with a walk at the plate, but it’s too early to hold that against him. I’m sorry that Diaz pinch hit for him late, but I guess I understood that particular decision.

      Even as we got down 5-0, I did not feel we were out of that game. KC might be good at moving around the bases station to station, but they are still 27th in runs scored. They were mostly quieted once Odorizzi left.

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      • Dave, that’s the shocking part to me. Not very often have we won games in which our opposition has scored four or more runs this year. Right now, our offense is firing, though, and if bad pitching or defense on the other side gives these guys half a chance, they are finding a way. I like it.

        Liked by 2 people

  24. The backyard pundits were in firm agreement that taking the bat out of Jakes hands finished the rally in the 8th. But we would not have had so much fun watching Yordan’s first walk off homer had we not gone to the bottom of the 9th!

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  25. Today, the Astros signed 20-year-old minor-league free agent catcher Victor Diaz. Not to be confused with (now 40-year-old) outfielder Victor Diaz, who played with AAA Round Rock in 2008. They are both from the Dominican Republic.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Pitching a little unstable tonight but thank goodness the bats are doing well. Yordan being all world again. KC playing better than their record indicates.

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