The Houston Astros have completed their first full week of baseball. There were definitely some big ups and some big downs and they finished 3-3 for the week.
For this weekly series, players will receive a “Player of the Week” for both position players and pitchers, and at the end of the season, these will be used to make an argument for Astros MVP and Cy Young. There is also a “Weekly Goat” for the player with the worst week (LVP consideration), and a “Redemption Player”for the player who may have goofed something up, but made amends for it later.
Pitcher of the Week: Dallas Keuchel
Dallas Keuchel is hands down the pitcher of the week. He was given the Opening Day nod on April 6, and impressed just about everyone by pitching seven scoreless innings against the Cleveland Indians, holding the Tribe to three hits and getting four strikeouts. He got the opening day win.
During his second start, versus the Texas Rangers on April 12, Keuchel pitched well overall, going seven innings. In the seventh inning he ran into a little trouble and gave up two runs, but he left the game with a two-run lead. He got a no decision.
In addition to his pitching, the former Arkansas Razorback showed why he won the Gold Glove in 2014 by making some very athletic plays in both games he pitched. The first happened against the Indians when DK beat Jason Castro to a dribbler down the third base line and threw to first for the out. The second play was against the Rangers when Keuchel made leaping grab on an Elvis Andrus chopper to get out of the 7th inning jam against the Rangers.
Weekly stats for Keuchel: 1-0, 14.0 IP, 1.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 9 H, 6 BB, 7 strikeouts, 0.184 BA against.
Position Player: Jake Marisnick
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Jake Marisnick had a heckuva week. In the Opening Day game he hit a sac fly to score Jed Lowrie for an insurance run in the 8th inning. Against Texas, he went 3-3 during the series opener, and then hit his first home run of the season on April 12 against the Rangers to score Marwin Gonzalez and give Houston an early lead.
He’s also making center field look easy as he glides around, getting to every ball that is hit in his vicinity.
Marisnick’s batting line: .400 BA/.412 OBP/.667 SLG, 6 hits, a double, a home run, 5 RBI, 2 stolen bases, and a walk.
These two sluggers share the dubious nomination because they both had horrendous weeks at the plate. Carter went 1-19 this week for a .053 batting average with eight strikeouts. Gattis went 0-20 with 12 strikeouts. Both players earned one walk.
These guys are supposed to be feared home run hitters but the only people they’re scaring are Houston Astros fans.
Redemption Player: Hank Conger
Hank Conger had the biggest up and down week of all the Houston Astros players.
As the battery mate for Asher Wojciechowski on April 9, Conger went hitless in four at bats. But it was his defense that really stunk.
He airmailed a throw trying to get a base stealer at second which landed in centerfield (though the run didn’t score) in the first inning, and then in the second inning, he made a huge defensive blunder on a throw from George Springer by getting juked by Yan Gomes and missing the tag which allowed Gomes to score. It was a terrible debut for the new backstop.
However, Conger redeemed himself against the Rangers on April 12th, by hitting a 14th inning home run to put the Astros ahead and giving Houston the win.