The Houston Astros’ May has gone well for the team overall. Sure, they weren’t as hot as they were in April, but a winning 16-13 record is nothing to turn your nose up at.
The starting pitching has been up-and-down, while the bullpen has kept the team in nearly every game. Certainly the team needs more consistency out of Collin McHugh, Scott Feldman, and Roberto Hernandez. However, the one guy the Astros can count on game in and game out is Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel’s excellent month overall during May is the reason he has earned our “Pitcher of the Month” award for the second month in a row.
That is not to say that Keuchel didn’t have his rough patches, as well. All things considered, though, he anchored the club, and both his team and the fans knew that Houston would have a chance at a victory when he was on the bump.
In his six starts in May, Keuchel posted a 4-1 record with a 2.62 ERA and .223 batting average against, while giving up 13 earned runs on 37 hits over 44.2 innings. While DK gave up 4 runs in three starts, he gave up 0 earned runs in two and 1 ER in one game. Three times he pitched 8.0+ innings, including yesterday’s masterful complete game shutout. His ability to go deep into games helps alleviate the burden on the bullpen to hold it all together night after night.
And while Keuchel hasn’t made himself a reputation as a big strikeout guy, his 38 Ks averaged to nearly a K per inning at 0.86. Over 9 innings, that averages to 7.7 Ks/9 IP, exceeding his career average of 6.3/9 IP (his 11 strikeouts against the ChiSox certainly helped). Another key to his big month was his low walk rate, with 10 walks.
This kind of pitching has put Dallas Keuchel squarely in the hunt- if not in the lead- for the Cy Young Award. The former Razorback is the second pitcher to 7 wins in the AL, and is second behind the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez (8) for total wins.
Hats off to you, Mr. Keuchel.
There were two Astros pitchers that deserved an honorable mention nod: Josh Fields and Will Harris. These two relievers have been the most reliable arms in a very good pen for the past month. Combined, they have only given up 2 earned runs on 7 hits over 23.2 innings with 34 strikeouts. Here are their individual stats lines:
Fields – 11.2 IP, 0.77 ERA, .086 BAA, 3 hits, 1 ER, 19 Ks
Harris – 12.0 IP, .075 ERA, .103 BAA, 4 hits, 1 ER, 15 Ks
Opposing batters don’t stand much of a chance against either of these guys. You can see why A.J. Hinch has so much confidence in them and leans on them so often.
Tell us, Astros fans: do you agree? disagree? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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