It's time to fire up our TCB Pitcher of the Week awards for 2016. Each week, through the magic of small sample sizes, we will pick out a few performances that are worthy of recognition. The pitching so far this season has not been as good as 2015, but there is still some quality work being done on the hill.
Please feel free to agree or disagree in the comments. Without further ado, let's begin with the...
Harris has carried over his success from last season as a solid member of the Astros bullpen. He had appearances in three games this week, allowing three hits and zero walks. For the math challenged like myself, that comes out to a 1.00 WHIP. He only struck out two, but had an 80% ground ball rate. With all the issues the pen has had so far, Harris should be one of the top two options in late innings at this point, along with Luke Gregerson.
Fiers made it through seven innings in his only start of the week against Oakland on Friday night. It was one of the best outings from a starting pitcher this season. He gave up two runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out five. He left the game with a 4-2 lead, and I'm not going to talk about what happened next, except to say Fiers did not get his third win of the season. He was more economical with his pitches, only needing 104 to get through the seventh. It was a quality start, and not just in the kinda silly technical way. If his curve can be used as effectively as it was this week he has more solid starts ahead of him.
And the winner is...
Fister bookended the Astros week with two starts. In the first at Seattle he did not have his best stuff (or as some have noted, his stuff was not getting called correctly by the home plate umpire). He still battled through six innings, four hits and seven (!) walks (his career high) and only gave up three runs. That was with a fastball that topped out at 87 mph. His start on Sunday was much improved. His velocity was up into the 89 mph range, and he made it through 6 2/3 innings, giving up only one run on seven hits, none of which were for extra bases. Even better was the fact he only issued one walk. This is the pitcher we all were hoping Fister would be when he signed, and hopefully that velocity can stay up and he can continue to work the corners like he did this week.