CTH’s Houston Astros Players of the Week (Sept. 14 – 20)


To say that the Houston Astros had a tough week would be an understatement. It was downright awful. Terrible. Disgusting. Disappointing. (There are any number of adjectives you could throw in here). They lost the lead in the AL West after getting spanked in Arlington in a four-game series and getting outscored by the Rangers, 33-13.

Oof- that felt like a gut punch.

Coming home never looked so appealing. Thankfully after returning to the friendly confines of Minute Maid Park, the Astros pulled it together and won the series against Oakland and are now only 1.5 games back of retaking the division lead. Let’s hope they laced their cleats up tight because the Angels are coming to town and they can waste no time in that critical series.

All’s not bad in the world, right? So, despite the Astros’ lackluster performance this past week, we still think there are some awards to hand out (it’s the touchy-feely 21st century – we all get awards!).

Pitcher of the Week: Collin McHugh

Collin McHugh wins this hands down. After a week that saw some very uncharacteristic pitching performances from our starters and bullpen, the Astros needed someone to come in and handle the opponent. Manhandling the A’s is exactly what McHugh did.

In the final game of the series on Sunday, Collin McHugh broke out the whooping stick and kept the A’s hitters off-balance pretty much the whole game. After giving up an RBI double to Marcus Semien in the second inning, McHugh shut the green and gold down. Here’s his line:

8 IP, four hits, one earned run, two walks, eight strikeouts

That’s what the doctor ordered. With a performance like that, maybe we should start calling him McWhew! because it was certainly a relief.

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Hitter of the Week: Colby Rasmus

Colby Rasmus (arguably the coolest/calmest batter aside from Chris Carter) played like his hair was on fire last week. The veteran outfielder is rising to the occasion of playing September baseball and setting a great example for the younger, inexperienced guys on the roster. He had four multi-hit games, including a two home run game yesterday. His line for the week:

.320/.452/.360, five runs, eight hits, double, two home runs, four RBI, six walks

Rasmus’ playoff experience is valuable at a time like this. He can help set the tone in the dugout and on the field during this critical stretch. The rest of the team should follow his lead and stay cool, calm, and collected, and continue to grind.

Weekly Goat: Dallas Keuchel

This hurts. Bad. After such a dominating season where Dallas Keuchel has been pitching like a God among mortals, giving him the weekly goat award seems like blasphemy. Luckily I wasn’t struck by lightning while typing this out.

In Arlington on September 16, Keuchel had one of the worst – if not THE worst – performances of his career:

4.2 IP, 11 hits, nine earned runs, five strikeouts, three home runs

Yeesh. What made this so bad was the insurmountable six run first inning. To his (or Hinch’s credit) he stayed through part of the fifth to at least prevent the bullpen from being completely taxed (though they’ve had a rough go of it lately, too).

We know the Bearded One is human. He just hasn’t seemed like it all season. This is an anomaly. We shall not see this again – count on it.

Redemption Player: Evan Gattis

Evan Gattis. What can we say? He’s the Astros’ bearded masher. He does some things well- like hitting home runs (even one-handed ones) and legging out triples. He can even grow a helluva beard. One thing people don’t generally praise him for is his baserunning.

In Saturday night’s game, he committed a big base running blunder in the bottom of the first by getting doubled up trying to go from first to second on a Luis Valbuena fly out to right field. Houston had Sonny Gray on the ropes but gave away an out with runners in scoring position. With the formidable Gray on the bump, you can’t afford to do things like that. But Gattis didn’t let that get to his head.

With his team down 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh, El Oso Blanco crushed a three-run homer to give the Astros an 8-6 lead.  Houston never looked back and won the game 10-6. Cue Bob Marley.

Ok. That’s it for this week. Let’s go Astros! Bring on the Angels!

Next: Club Astros Get the Monkey Off Their Back

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