Despite the early struggles of the Houston Astros’ Ken Giles, he has become one of the Astros best arms out of the bullpen.
I hate reminiscing on how close we were to the ALCS last October. The Houston Astros were six outs away from knocking off the eventual World Series champions, and it still hurts me today. The late game collapse is something I will never forget. After Carlos Correa had hit home run #2 of the game, I thought it was all but locked up.
It hurt, it still hurts, when you look back, it’s easy to find things to place the blame on, but the simple fact was that we didn’t have a high velocity, shut down guy at the back of the pen. Luhnow wasted little time fixing that this offseason, dealing for Ken Giles in a deal that sent prized prospect Vincent Velasquez to Philadelphia.
Out of the shoot, it was awful, Giles surrendered more home runs in April than he had the entire 2015 season and ended the month with an ERA of 9.00. No one was expecting that from the closer who, coming into the season, had the best ERA of any pitcher in baseball HISTORY.
As Giles went, the bullpen went. April was a travesty for just about every player on the roster not named Tyler White or Colby Rasmus. However, we seem to have seen the dominant Ken Giles we were expected for a while now.
Even while his ERA is right around the four mark, his K/9 is 12.61 on the season, matching his career high in 2014 with the Phillies.
The difference? In 2014 Giles had a .267 BABIP, it is sitting at .347 this season, and seemingly falling by the day.
April seems like forever ago, and I no longer cry in terror when Giles toes the rubber, and for good reason. Giles had a 2.31 ERA in June and had yet to allow an earned run in July while striking out 15 in 7 2/3. His last earned run given up was June 18th, a span of 10 1/3 innings.
Here is a breakdown of Giles’ evident improvements over time:
Ten innings pitched
9.00 earned run average
11.1 innings pitched
3.97 earned run average
11.2 innings pitched
2.31 earned run average
7.2 innings pitched
0.00 earned run average
It was just a matter of time until Giles became the player we traded for. For a dominant closer whose career high ERA is a flimsy 1.80, it was evident 9.00 wouldn’t stand. As the number of games remaining decreases, look for Giles’ earned run average to do the same. I can’t wait to see him closing games in October.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***