Ken Giles was a plus in the regular season for the Astros, but a liability in the playoffs.
If there was a lone blight upon the Astros’ otherwise glorious October, it was undoubtedly the meltdown of closer Ken Giles. How bad was Giles? Consider that from June through the end of the Astros regular season – a stretch of four full months – Giles gave up nine earned runs. In just 7.2 postseason innings, he gave up 10.
Yeah, Giles was (really x 10) bad.
Can the Astros, who will be playing under the burden of heightened expectations in 2018, trust Giles to anchor the back of their bullpen?
The Astros are not likely to view Giles’ postseason failures with the same knee-jerk vitriol as most fans. They’ll place far more value on Giles’ excellent 62.2 regular season innings, in which he improved upon 2016, his first full season as a closer than they will a microscopic sample size of 7.2 innings.
They didn’t let a small sample size stand in their way when they decided to bench him in the middle of the World Series. And the Astros will no longer be measured by how well they do in the regular season – that’s one of the few fall-outs of winning a championship.
So, what, exactly, happened in the postseason? There could obviously be dozens of answers to that question – but if you want to feel better about 2018 and the idea of Giles resuming his role as closer, here are two factors to focus on.