The Houston Astros ran into a wall this past week. They went 2-4, winning only one game in each series against the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox. It’s part of the ebb and flow of a season, so take a deep breath.
On a good note, the hitters that had been struggling at the beginning of the season are starting to produce, and the bullpen is still formidable despite a couple of hiccups. On a bad note, the starting rotation got battered a bit and the team’s most reliable hitters started slumping. As for the atrocious base running, I’ll get to that in a bit.
Anyhow, let’s get on to the awards, shall we?
Pitcher of the Week
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Dallas Keuchel had a pretty good week (he had a good month, too). This is his fourth award in eight weeks (and a couple of close calls). It’s not that we just love what the The Beard does; it’s that he rarely leaves us with any other options to choose from. The guy has just been dominant and we can’t ignore what he’s done for the Astros on the bump.
In his first start (against the Orioles) he was merely okay, but he was down right masterful in the complete game shutout over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, May 30.
How good was he? Here’s his line over the two starts this past week:
1-1, 1 CG/shutout, 17.0 innings pitched, 2.12 ERA, 10 hits, 4 earned runs, 14 strike outs, .172 batting average against.
I’d say he’s alright, wouldn’t you?
Hitter of the Week
This may come as a surprise, but Chris Carter had a very good week at the plate. Yes, we’ve all been frustrated by his notoriously slow starts, but it looks like Trogdor is finally righting the ship. He had to beat out Evan Gattis (CTH’s Hitter of the Month for May), who has also gotten his act together at the plate.
Here’s CC’s line:
.333/.400/.571 in 21 at bats, 7 hits, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB
That’s not to mention that he’s been pretty solid, or at least better than nearly everyone anticipated, manning the first sack.
As I wrote this, I was seething at the very thought. Jonathan Villar earns this award because he makes more boneheaded mistakes running the bases than any player in recent memory. He’s just so dadgum frustrating to watch.
Sure, he batted .429 with 6 hits and 3 extra base hits, but what does it matter if you are creating unforced outs on the base paths and killing momentum/scoring chances? According to the fine folks over at TOOTBLAN Tracker (they keep track of base running gaffes), Villar committed three blunders over the weekend, one during Saturday’s win against the Sox, and two on Sunday between third base and home plate in Sunday’s loss. All three TOOTBLANs were made trying to take extra bases, though one was Villar going home on the advice of his third base coach after hitting a clear triple.
If that wasn’t enough, he also has a hard time playing solid, consistent defense. He committed 3 errors this week, two at third base and one at shortstop. And it isn’t as if he is unaware of his mental lapses – Villar’s goal was to make zero errors this season (not that we expect perfection, but come on, man!).
Even funnier, just a couple of weeks ago I was singing his praises for a good week of baseball and he earned the Batter of the Week award.
Rant over. Pull it together, JV. The Astros need you to focus.
No candidates for this past week. We could throw Keuchel in here for his dominating bounce back performance.
If you have another player in mind, let us know.
Ok. That’s all for now. Here are the links for previous weeks: