Five Stunning Statistics From The Astros First Month
By Alec Brown
#3 Surprisingly good stat: Phil Maton posts a 0.31 WHIP
Phil Maton has been a bit of a mixed bag since arriving in Houston at the 2021 trade deadline. He was brutal upon arriving in Houston, posting a 4.97 ERA. Then he became unhittable in the Astros run to the World Series.
Hopes were high the cold-blooded Maton would build off of the postseason, but he was a forgotten man in Houston's lights out bullpen, posting a 3.84 ERA. He broke his hand in the penultimate series of the season, punching a locker after allowing a hit to his little brother, keeping himself off of the playoff roster.
So naturally he comes back as one of the best relievers in baseball. In 13 innings of work, Maton has allowed only three hits and walked only one, good for a 0.31 WHIP. Last year he walked over three batters per nine and gave up nearly eight hits per nine innings of work. This year he's been untouchable, not allowing his first earned run until the final day of the month.
His Statcast metrics don't project much of a drop-off either: 99th percentile in average exit velcoity, 98th percentile in hard hit rate, 97th percentile in xwOBA/xERA and walk rate, and 95th percentile in xBA, xSLG and strikeout rate.
We could have been convinced he would get off to a good start. But this has been much more. Maton has been elite.