Sunday, February 12, 2012

Random random Astro - Mike LaCoss

It's time for another installment of random random Astro, where at random time throughout the season random players from random eras will be discussed. Today's player is swingman Mike "Bunny" LaCoss.

Mike pitched for the Astros from 1982 to 1984 after being claimed off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds. He made 118 appearances for Houston over those three years, including 43 starts. He compiled an 18-18 record with 4 saves and a 3.83 ERA. These days that ERA would look pretty good, but in the lower scoring early 80's it was only good for a 87 ERA+. His first season with Houston, 1982, was his best. That year he went 6-6 with a 2.90 ERA while appearing in 41 games including 8 starts.

Mike seemed to alternate stretches of effectiveness with stretches where he let everyone score, but a couple of good games stand out, both starts. On September 14, 1982 LaCoss started in Atlanta against a Braves team that was battling for the division lead. Mike gave up just two 2nd inning singles as he pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out three and walking two, to earn the victory as the Astros won 4-0.

On July 5, 1984 Mike pitched another gem against the Expos. Facing a lineup that featured Tim Raines and Gary Carter, LaCoss went eight innings allowing one unearned run and three hits while striking out six and walking  three. The Astros would win 2-1, giving Mike a 4-0 record to that point in the season.

LaCoss would sign with Kansas City as a free agent in 1985. After one season with the Royals, Mike would spend six seasons in San Fransisco to finish out his playing career. He is signed on this season to be the pitching coach of the independent San Rafael Pacifics.

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