CTH’s Houston Astros Pitcher of the Month for July

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While July was a good month for the Houston Astros’ offense, pitching was a different story. It was an up-and-down month for the starting rotation and the bullpen was not as dominant as it had been earlier in the season. Nevertheless, the Astros still wound up with a 12 W – 12 L record for the month, which is not bad considering they had a six game skid just before the All-Star break.

With that, the usual suspects are in consideration for July’s pitcher of the month: Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. As mentioned earlier, it was an inconsistent month for the starting rotation, including for these guys.

Dallas looked dominant in some performances, though he got rocked by the Royals early on and gave up five earned runs during his start on July 26. However, in the game prior to that, Keuchel shut down the team from Arlington in seven shutout innings, giving up only two hits and striking out a career high 13 batters. Dallas Keuchel’s July looked like this:

Four starts, 2-2, 26.2 IP, 28 hits, 11 earned runs, three walks, 30 strikeouts, 3.71 ERA, .275 batting average against.

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There are two remarkable stats that jump out: the high number of strikeouts and the low number of walks. Only three base on balls over 26.2 innings is pretty darn good.

As for Lance McCullers Jr., he was solid for three starts, but gave up four earned runs to Tampa Bay over six innings on July 12. One issue for LMJ, though not completely his fault, was that he had two no decisions. His July line looks like this:

Four starts, 1-1, 23.0 IP, 22 hits, eight earned runs, nine walks, 20 strikeouts, 3.13 ERA, .253 batting average against.

You may notice that LMJ pitched three fewer innings than Keuchel and he gave up six more walks while striking out 10 fewer batters. His ERA and BAA are better than DK’s, though.

With such close numbers between these two, it makes it hard to decide which guy deserves the Pitcher of the Month more. What gives the edge to Keuchel was his brilliant performance over the Rangers. Houston and Arlington now appear to be real rivals after the teams’ dust-up between Hank Conger and Rougned Odor, and the skirmish between the managers. Keuchel’s mentality- fierce and hyper-competitive- was just what Houston needed. He showed he was boss and that no batter from North Texas was going to get one over on his team while he was on the mound.

So, there you have it: Dallas “Cy” Keuchel is CTH’s Houston Astros Pitcher of the Month for July.

Next: Astros Hitter of the Month for July

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