The Astros are on a four game winning streak and it’s time to hand out some hardware to the player who did the most to help make that happen. But first, let’s give a little credit to those who came close to winning this week’s award but didn’t quite make it.
The entire starting rotation gets an honorable mention this week. Dallas Keuchel started the week with a quality start in Seattle but wound up on the losing side of a 3-2 ball game. Keuchel finished the week with an outstanding performance, beating the White Sox on Sunday. Quality starts from Bud Norris, Jordan Lyles, Erik Bedard, and Lucas Harrell were sandwiched in between. So, hats off to the starting five. They did a tremendous job this week, giving the Astros a chance to win all six games.
Jose Veras is this weeks runner-up. The Astros closer has saved three straight games. Veras had no margin for error in the first two games of the Chicago series and he was able to protect a 1-run lead on both Friday and Saturday. Veras gave up a couple of runs on Sunday, but fortunately the Astros staked him to a 3-run lead in that one. Alejandro De Aza‘s 2-run homer ended a string of seven consecutive scoreless appearances for Jose.
This week’s Star Performer Award goes to Jason Castro. Jason put the Astros over the hump on both Saturday and Sunday with the longball. Castro now has ten homers for the season. His eight homeruns as a catcher (he has hit 2 while playing DH) are the most by an Astros backstop since Mitch Meluskey hit 14 back in 2000 — and we aren’t even to the All-Star break yet. If he keeps playing like he has been, Castro should be at Citi Field on July 16th representing the Astros at the Mid-Summer Classic.
In addition to the two homers, Castro was 6 for 19 overall with a double and two walks.