Although the Astros didn’t capitalize on all their opportunities at the plate, the club did enough to secure the first home win of the season.
Outside of a rough start by Justin Verlander earlier in the week, the Astros rotation through the first seven games has performed quite well. Collin McHugh continued that trend in game number eight, limiting the A’s to three hits and one run over six innings.
Behind McHugh’s quality start and enough production from the lineup, the Astros were able to win their first home game of the season. It also helped remove the bitter taste of defeat from a rough road trip.
Carlos Correa continues to impress
The neck problem Correa had to open the season was a concern. Well, in my mind it was one. The Astros and Correa were saying the right things about his eventual return, but similar rhetoric was expressed last season.
That said, the club’s star shortstop has shown some positive signs that the injuries are behind. For one, Correa has already flashed some impressive exit velocity, which was clearly an issue following his return from a back injury last year. Second, the swings that he has put together this year have looked strong. Take his home run against the A’s on Friday as an example.
McHugh’s pitch usage changes
It is no secret that the Astros need McHugh to be a consistent force in the rotation. His first two starts have not disappointed thus far. But one of the more curious aspects of McHugh to me is his pitch distribution.
Here is his distribution in his first start against the Rays:
- 19.8% – fastball
- 12.4% – cutter
- 40.7% – slider
- 24.7% – curveball
- 2.5% – changeup
And his second start of the season against the A’s:
- 35.1% – fastball
- 18.1% – cutter
- 37.2% – slider
- 7.4% – curveball
- 2.1% – changeup
The only pitch that didn’t see much change in usage was McHugh’s changeup. Fastball and cutter rates took noticeable jumps while his curveball suffered the largest decline. While the pitch percentages will level out as the season progresses, it is still interesting to see how a pitcher may change his approach from one start to the next.
Thanks to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, we finally found a stat that Bregman matched Biggio, the Astros’ first Hall of Famer, for their respective careers: Number of hits in a 3-0 count.
Yes, Biggio currently has 11,858 more plate appearances than Bregman for his career. We have no idea of knowing if the latter will ever reach that level. It also establishes how obscure this tidbit truly is, so let’s have fun with it.