Astros fall short to the Royals despite a quality start by Keuchel

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HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 22: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park on June 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 22: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park on June 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Keuchel shows his determination in last night’s start, but the Astros fall.

This week, I was at church camp up near Palestine, Texas. The signal was bad, but one thing I did catch was that Dallas Keuchel will be featured In ESPN’s Body Issue soon. With the way that Keuchel has been pitching for the Astros this year, you would hope that he would keep his clothes on and work on his pitching. Keuchel entered last night’s game with a 4-8 record with a 4.15 ERA.

After his poor starts versus the Mariners on June 5th and Rangers on June 10th, Keuchel has now pitched two straight quality starts. Granted, they have both been against the Royals who are a far cry from playoff contenders. Keuchel pitched six shutout innings last night while allowing a lot of runners on base. However, Keuchel did what he does when he is on, he strands them on base.

Keuchel has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts now, lowering his ERA to 3.90 with a 4-8 record. One issue that Keuchel has faced this year is run support. While he is averaging 4.82 run support per game this year, there have been 7 starts where the offense scored one run or less. These stats are from Baseball-Reference. On the other hand, the offense has scored 10 runs or more four times when Keuchel starts. That explains the high’ish’ run support figure.

Keuchel had good command of his pitches yesterday, but he doesn’t have over-powering stuff. When his location is off, he is susceptible to the long-balls. Unfortunately, the Astros only had two hits. The thing that stands out is the number of times the Astros had bases loaded, but hit into double plays.

After the game, Keuchel was happy with how his pitches were spinning.

Keuchel has become the punching bag of sorts from Astros fans this year. On this team, he may be the weak link in the rotation, but we need him to pitch well.

Keuchel needs to pitch well as he is in his walk year. He knows this and wants to succeed, so we may still see him improve. Despite his struggles, he is still a pitcher that you need ready for the playoffs. This is the second straight positive start for Keuchel, and he only threw 98 pitches last night. His next start will come against the Blue Jays next Wednesday.

Next: Astros Breakdown: Team needs more of vintage Dallas Keuchel

As for Keuchel’s debut in ESPN’s Body Issue, you will have to wait until June 29th. If that is your thing. Today, Lance McCullers will try to follow Keuchel’s lead. Let’s hope the Astros offense wakes up. Talk about Keuchel being traded or demoted to the bullpen is silly talk.

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