It's time once again for the TCB Pitcher of the Week awards. Each week, through the magic of small sample sizes, we will pick out a few performances that are worthy of recognition.
The team has done much better in the month of May than in April, and the bullpen has a lot to to with that. This week is heavy on those guys who have been holding down the end of games (win or lose).
Please feel free to agree or disagree in the comments.
The worrier in me still has not come around to this new Giles we have seen recently. The facts, though, show that the team has a much improved pitcher who is overcoming his early season struggles. His velocity is up near 100 mph, and he is getting the swings and misses everyone hoped for when he came to Houston. With his closer type stuff working again, Hinch has put him back in higher pressure situations.
This week Giles pitched 2.1 innings over three games. He only gave up one hit and one walk, while striking out four. He gave up zero runs, and opponents batted a robust .125 against him. In fact the last time a team scored on him was May 5th. I am still a worrier, but I think things are finally coming together for Giles, and Astros fans will be very happy in the long run with his acquisition.
The other Astros closer-of-the-future also had a great week. At the beginning of the season Feliz had two terrible outings. He gave up nine earned runs in his first two appearances. SInce then he has given up one run in seven innings. This past week he only threw one time (which is a shame). He held the Rangers for three innings without a hit in what ended up being a 2-1 loss. He also struck out six of the nine batters he faced with that nasty fastball and slider combo.
One of the best things about Feliz is his ability to give you multiple innings while still maintaining back-end, shutdown type stuff. I don't know what the long-term plan is for him, but for right now he is a very valuable piece to the bullpen, and in my opinion he should start getting more chances.
And Our Winner...
This guy has been lights-out this season. Harris gave up a run in his first game he appeared in...and hasn't given one up since. (That's 17 outings for those like me that would be to lazy to go look it up.) This week he did more of the same. He pitched two innings in two games in the White Sox series, and they were perfect innings. No hits, no walks, and four strikeouts. Harris doesn't have the pure heat fastball of the other two guys on the list this week, but the results are the same.
This team is lucky. They have at least four guys who can close games. They just need to get into more positions where they NEED to close games.