Some things came up last week. A data breach hijacked our coverage cycle at the beginning of the week and July 4th took away the end of the week. So, we delayed some features normally reserved for the first of the month. Earlier, you got some Fearless Predictions. Now, we name our Pitcher of the Month for June.
Peacock doesn't seem to get as much credit as he deserves. Part of that is he hasn't been really dominant in a single month. But, he has been pretty successful at run prevention over the last month.
In four starts, Peacock only went 1-0 but had a 2.91 ERA in 21 innings. He struck out 11 and walked 10 while allowing 19 hits and two home runs. His BABiP was also lower than normal and his LOB percentage higher than the norm. All that points to Peacock probably regressing some in the next few starts.
But, for now, he was good. Call this the "Cosart Principle," giving credit for run prevention even as we know it's unsustainable.
What has that wrist injury wraught? What is going on with Brilliant, Bearded Dallas Keuchel? June proved a rough month for the lefty. He missed the All-Star team, after appearing to be a lock a month before. He saw regression in his walk rate, his strikeout rate and his ERA.
On the podcast Sunday, I mentioned Jose Altuve's penchant for second-half collapses. Keuchel has the same potential. In his career, Keuchel has been significantly worse in July through September than he has been in the first half. His ERA is a run and a half higher. His K rate dropped and his walk rate rose. You could make an argument, then, that his June struggles just moved up the second-half swoon that was on the horizon.
Even so, Keuchel's 3.00 ERA in 27 innings this month are more than enough to get him an honorable mention here. It just wasn't good enough to give him the main award, which he's had a stranglehold on since April.
Two straight weeks with Cosart on the top of the leaderboard. Do we have a nickname for Cosart yet? Or, is his last name pithy enough not to require one?
Certainly, the way he's pitched this season proves he could be here a while. He's shown impressive progress from what he did last year and his June shows that he's capable of retaining this top spot. In 34 innings, Cosart was 4-1 with 22 strikeouts and just seven walks. He allowed just one home run and gave up 34 hits in those 34 innings.
More importantly, he had the highest ground ball rate on the staff at 58.3 percent. That means he's going to give up some hits, but they won't be damaging home runs or extra-base hits. As long as the shift works properly, Cosart could benefit from those grounders as much as anyone on the staff.
Considering Cosart just turned 24, his improvements this year have been very encouraging. It's also turned him into the second-best pitcher on this staff.