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Pitcher of the Week: Games of June 5-June 11, 2015

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The starting pitching really wasn't that great this week. The bullpen was even worse. But that doesn't mean we don't have winners.

No runs allowed.
No runs allowed.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

So, yeah, everyone in the bullpen got roughed up at least one time. Roberto Hernandez pitched himself out of the rotation. We didn't win a single game. But awards must be given...

Honorable Mention

Dallas Keuchel

Dallas had himself another game in which he went 7, allowed a couple runs, struck out several batters, and walked a couple as well. He allowed a homer, which was definitely out of the ordinary (he's only allowed dingers in two other games this year), and just didn't pitch well enough to earn the honors this week.

On the season, Keuchel has been outstanding. His K rate has climbed 1.7% (along with his walk rate, but that's only .7%), and when he does allow contact, 15.5% of those are fly balls, and he's joined by only Tyson Ross (17.9%) as pitchers who are under 20%. His FIP is .30 under what it was last year, and his ERA is obviously amazing at 1.90. Maybe you'll win again next week, Dallas.

Lance McCullers, Jr.

The dude is a K machine (7 Ks in 7 innings, 10.45 K/9 on the year) and has been surprisingly good at limiting walks (none in his start this week, 1.74 K/9 on the year). It's only been 31 innings, so the sample size is small, but his FIP is 2.08 to go with his 2.32 ERA. He didn't have his best start this week, one in which he allowed the most runs he's given up all season (3) as well as his first major-league homer. So, no, he won't win the award this week. Instead...

Winner

Vincent Velasquez

Once again, a rookie makes his debut and claims the title. VV didn't have an extremely efficient game, as he walked four in five innings and threw 89 pitched, but he did strike out 5, pitch shutout ball, and put the Astros in position to win. (Then the bullpen imploded.) He routinely pitched in the upper 90s, and although his fastball was straight early, he still got people out when it counted. VV will hopefully continue to stay in the rotation long-term, and come playoffs...some TCB writers think he'll be put in a tandem with McCullers, which is just frightening to anyone unlucky enough to face them. Let's hope for some winning baseball.