Astros Report Card: Grading the starting pitchers of 2019

bmurray
HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 03: (L-R) Wade Miley #20 of the Houston Astros, Joe Smith #38, Gerrit Cole #45 and Justin Verlander #35 chat during batting practice before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on August 03, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 03: (L-R) Wade Miley #20 of the Houston Astros, Joe Smith #38, Gerrit Cole #45 and Justin Verlander #35 chat during batting practice before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on August 03, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Astros - Wade Miley
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 07: Wade Miley #20 of the Houston Astros reacts after being taken out of the game by manager AJ Hinch #14 during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field on October 07, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Wade Miley:  B-

I really struggled to try to come up with a grade for Wade Miley. If I could give out separate report cards for different portions of the season, it would have been much easier. He would have earned a top grade for most of the season, unfortunately, the bottom just seemed to fall out toward the end, making us all forget his earlier successes.

Wade Miley started out the season doing his best impression of an ace. He didn’t give up more than three earned runs in his first eight games. In fact, dating back through the 2018 season, he had a streak of 24 games of surrendering three runs or less. He still only went over that three-run limit twice in his first 28 games of the season and in those games, he still kept it down to four runs.

Through August of this year, Miley had an ERA of 3.06 and kept the opponents batting average down to .232. His W-L record was 13-4 over that span and the Astros went 20-8 in those 28 games he started.

Then, all of a sudden, everything went south. On September 5th, Miley gave up five runs on five hits and a walk, before ever recording an out. AJ Hinch saw enough and pulled him from the game. Surely, it was just an anomaly. Nope, in his next appearance, he surrendered seven runs and was yanked after getting just one batter out in the first inning.

Miley’s numbers for September were a far cry from what he put up in the first five months of the year. He went 1-2 with a 16.68 ERA allowing the opposing teams to hit .467.

Despite the dismal September performance, that left a sour taste in our mouths, you can’t deny how well he pitched from April through August. He gave us well above average what you would expect from the #3 position in the rotation and I feel he played an integral part in the Astros 107 win season. Alright, let me go back and change that grade one more time.

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