Monday, April 28, 2014

The Week That Was: April 21-27

Well, well. The Astros find themselves 9-17 after a week in which they actually went 4-3. Let's revisit...The Week That Was!

April 21: 7-2 win at Seattle
April 22: 5-2 win at Seattle
April 23: 3-5 loss at Seattle
April 24: 1-10 loss vs. Oakland
April 25: 5-12 loss vs. Oakland,
April 26: 7-6 win vs. Oakland
April 27: 5-1 win vs. Oakland

The Astros didn't lose a series this week, taking the series at Seattle and tying the series with Oakland. You have to go back to the week of September 9, 2013 to find a week where the Astros won four games (yes, that's an arbitrary endpoint, but this is a week-by-week post, so I'll allow it). In fact, the Astros won four games in a week only four times last year.

Anyhow, the Astros were outscored by opponents 33-38 thanks to the two Oakland beatdowns at the beginning of the series. But progress is being made, because with taking two out of three from Seattle the Astros are 11-11 against the Mariners (8-4 at Safeco Field) since the beginning of 2013, and now the Astros are 6-17 against Oakland. Unbelievably, the Astros were 1-10 against Oakland at Minute Maid Park before winning those final two games. So the Astros are at least .500 against two AL teams: The White Sox (4-3) and the Mariners.

Cumulatively, through the first four weeks of the season, the team is hitting .210/.282/.364 with a combined -0.9 WAR - the only team to have a negative WAR on offense in the Majors. Obviously, this is 30th out of 30 MLB teams. Pitching-wise, the Astros have a 4.82 ERA (27th) and a 1.44 WHIP (25th) with a 1.0 WAR.

The Astros did get their first two-game winning streak since the first two games of the season against New York, so that was fun. But they managed to get themselves out of sweeping Seattle when Josh Fields gave up Kyle Seager's 2nd homer of the day. Still, since the move to the American League, the Astros are 11-11 against Seattle.

To the April 24th loss to Oakland. The Astros got one run on ten hits. One run. On Ten hits. That happened once last year, in a 3-1 loss to Milwaukee. And it happened once in 2012, in a 3-1 loss to Arizona.

The highlight of the week was going to be Collin McHugh's Astros debut, when he turnt up in a 6.2IP, 3H/0ER, 12K:0BB performance. It's the first debut since Randy Johnson against Pittsburgh that an Astro has struck out twelve and walked zero batters. But then McHugh followed that with a dominant performance against Oakland on Sunday. Oakland was held to two hits by McHugh, their lowest hit total since June 27, 2012.

McHugh's 80 Game Score on Sunday was the highest Astros' Game Score since...April 22, when McHugh posted an 80 Game Score. Since 2011, a Houston SP has managed an 80+ Game Score seven times: Twice by McHugh, once by Oberholtzer and Bedard in 2013, once by Norris and Lyles in 2012, and once by Norris in 2011. 2010 is the last season to have an Astros pitcher throw two 80+ Game Scores in the same season: Wandy Rodriguez and Roy Oswalt both did it.

Let's get to the week in performances:

Hitting (min. 10 PAs)


Hitter of the Week: cHRis carter.

Pitching (min. 2 IP)

McHugh15.1IP5H/1ER, 19K:3BB
Keuchel12.1IP12H/5ER, 14K:3BB
Cosart6.2IP4H/2ER, 4K:3BB
Peacock5IP5H/3ER, 3K:6BB
Williams4IP5H/3ER, 2K:1BB
Oberholtzer3.2IP8H/6ER, 4K:2BB
Bass3IP5H/3ER, 1K:2BB
Clemens2.2IP4H/3ER, 2K:1BB
Valdes2.2IP1H/2ER, 3K:1BB
Qualls2.1IP2H/0ER, 4K:0BB
Fields2.1IP7H/8ER, 5K:0BB

Pitcher of the Week: Do you seriously have to ask?

Best of the Week

Here are the best reads of the week on Astros County:

*On Bo and Beanings
*On Retribution and the Astros
*George Springer sucks, amirite?
*Astros throw at Lowrie, again
*We should maybe pay attention to Gonzalo Sanudo
*The one where Ken Hoffman spouts nonsense