After losing the first two games this week against St. Louis the Astros finished strong by winning three of the next four. The bats came alive in Milwaukee as the Astros launched eleven homers in three games against the Brewers. The power surge was nice, but a couple of starting pitchers were even more impressive. Jordan Lyles stole the show on Sunday, coming out of nowhere to earn this week’s Star Performer Award.
Lyles finished his 2012 campaign in style. Not only did the 21-year old throw his first complete game shutout as a big leaguer, he also belted his first career homerun. Lyles wasn’t overpowering, he only registered three strikeouts, but his pinpoint control helped keep Brewers hitters off-balance all afternoon.
Only one Milwaukee base-runner managed to advance past first base, thanks in part to three double-plays turned by the Astros. Lyles allowed only four hits and one walk in the 103-pitch shutout, picking up his fifth win of the season. The third complete game of the year by an Astros pitcher officially knocked the Brewers out of the playoffs. Awesome!
Bud Norris is this week’s runner-up. Norris snapped a personal twelve-game losing streak with a dominating performance Wednesday night against the Cardinals. Norris was able to rise to the occasion, helping the Astros earn a 2-0 victory in their last home game as a National League club.
Bud re-established himself as a Cardinal killer, allowing only two hits and fanning seven in 7 & 1/3 scoreless innings against the leaders in the race for the final playoff spot.
Astros hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo gets an honorable mention this week. The way the Astros hit the ball in Milwaukee makes me believe he must be doing something right.