1) Lance McCullers was in complete control on Friday
The Astros sophomore starting pitcher Lance McCullers had arguably his finest start of 2016 on Friday against the Angels. He allowed one run on four hits and four walks over eight-plus innings. McCullers struck out 10 of the 30 batters he faced. Of those 10 strikeouts, three were from Mike Trout. Here are some stats to ogle over with McCullers:
#Astros Lance McCullers is the first right-handed pitcher ever to strike Mike Trout out swinging in three straight plate appearances.— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) July 23, 2016
McCullers has been dominant. He's thrown his fastest pitch of the year 97.3 MPH & his avg curve spin rate is highest of any game this year— Daren Willman (@darenw) July 23, 2016
2) The comeback has started
I will take any excuse to use content from former Houston Chronicle writer, University of Texas alumni, and all around excellent human being Richard Justice. Justice had a great tweet this morning explaining the Astros' surge in the AL West:
Since @Astros were 11 out June 17th, they're 20-8 with best overall ERA (3.03) and best rotation ERA (3.04) in majors. Now 2.5 out of 1st.— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) July 23, 2016
Look out Rangers, objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear.
3) Whitley makes his pro debut
Texas Sports Writers Association's baseball player of the year Forrest Whitley made his pro debut on Saturday for the Gulf Coast League Astros.
Whitley started the game against the GCL Marlins, allowing one run on one hit while walking one and striking out two. The Astros won 6-3.