It was an interesting week for the Houston Astros. They finally made the trade everyone was expecting by adding Scott Kazmir to their rotation. They also went 4-2, with a sweep of the struggling Boston Red Sox, and they took one game in Kansas City against the Royals.
Then, of course, there was the long awaited Hall of Fame Induction for Craig Biggio. It’s awesome to know that one of our very own has been immortalized among baseball’s best, and we couldn’t be happier for Mr. Astro and his family.
Now to the awards…
Pitcher of the Week: Scott Kazmir
Kazmir had Houston fans expecting a lot when he was on the bump for his first start in a Houston Astros uniform. He didn’t disappoint. The local guy stepped right in and showed everyone why Jeff Luhnow took him off Oakland’s hands.
During Friday night’s matchup against the league best Kansas City Royals, Kaz posted this line:
W, 7.0 IP, three hits, one walk, three strikeouts, .125 batting average against
It was a welcome sight for Astros fans. Welcome to Houston, Kaz! We can’t wait to see more!
Hitter of the Week: Jose Altuve
Jose Altuve wins this again. He’s the team’s best hitter, go figure…Gigante was instrumental to the team’s success during this week’s hot streak, including hitting a walk off home run against the Red Sox in the bottom of the ninth on July 23, giving the Houston Astros a sweep! It was tremendous.
Altuve’s total line:
.417/.481/.583, six runs, 10 hits, a double, three RBI, two walks, two stolen bases
Gigante came up big this week.
Weekly Goat: Luis Valbuena
This one hurts. Valbuena, who is basically an all-or-nothing hitter this year, went for nothing this week. Literally. A week after winning CTH’s Redemption Player, Val dropped a stinker on us.
In the four games he played in, he posted a donut in the hits column, going 0-for-14 with a walk and three strikeouts. The silver lining is that he struck out only three times, meaning that he’s hitting the ball, it’s just not finding the holes. Nevertheless, he’s dipped back down to below .200 on the season (.198).
The Houston Astros need some production from third base.
Redemption Player: Chad Qualls
Chad Qualls has been a lightning rod for Astros’ fans anger and frustration all season. I’m not saying he didn’t deserve some of it, but it’s pretty sad when a fan base closes their eyes and plugs their ears when a once reliable reliever comes in to pitch.
This week, though, Quallsy was lights out. He pitched two innings in relief, giving up zero runs, striking out three batters, and posting a .000 batting average against.
Take a deep breath, everyone. Qualls looks to be back on track.
That’s it for this week. Here’s the link to the second half awards: July 13-19.
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