Astros’ pitcher Collin McHugh’s troubles continue as the Kansas City Royals reach base ten times and score eight runs in his three innings of work.
McHugh just can’t seem to right the ship as he loses his third straight game, not counting a no-decision game in between, which the Astros also lost. His ERA has blossomed from a respectable 1.96 to a hefty 6.97 over that stretch of games.
In McHugh’s last four appearances, he has allowed 24 hits and 24 earned runs in 18 innings for a 12.00 ERA. Of those 24 hits, 17 have gone for extra bases including eight home runs. Opposing teams are sporting a slash line of .312/.386/.766 against McHugh, with an OPS of 1.153.
This is the second time in the last four games that McHugh hasn’t been able to complete four innings in his starts. A. J. Hinch is all too aware, that short outings like these can start to take a toll on the bullpen.
"“All of them have had a rough start, and when that happens, if you can just control the damage a little bit,” Hinch said. “I sent [McHugh] out there his last inning to try to steal an inning or two while his pitch count was still relatively low to help for tomorrow and the next day, and next day. Those games hurt today because nobody likes getting their teeth kicked in. It hurts further because it cuts into your ‘pen and you start using everybody. It’s concerning because we got to try to figure it out to get him right and get him back to being effective.” via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com."
Chris Devenski came in and pitched two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out one. But the Royal’s bats came alive again, scoring four more runs off of Framber Valdez in his three-inning appearance. Valdez now has an ERA of 4.91 in his eight appearances this year.
In fact, the only Astro to not give up a hit last night was Tyler White. Yes, you heard me right, Tyler White. He came in to close out the game in the ninth inning. In his 20 pitch performance, White walked one and struck out one. But I don’t think Roberto Osuna is too worried about losing his closer role just yet.
Collin McHugh had better figure out what ails him, and soon. Pitchers are beginning to become available on the trade market, not to mention a pitcher named Dallas Keuchel still out there as a free agent. Plus, a couple of Astros’ prospects, Corbin Martin and Brady Rodgers, are having fine seasons in AAA ball and are itching to prove themselves in the Majors.