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Fun factoids about new Astros ace Mike Fiers

Astros SP Mike Fiers is now good. Really good. Like, really good.

Last week, leistomania409 wrote about the transformation of Astros 5th-starter-turned-ace Mike Fiers. Since the calendar flipped to June (or rather, May 30th), Fiers has posted some rather impressive statistics:

  • 6 starts
  • 2.43 ERA
  • 8.76 K/9
  • 2.92 BB/9

His only “poor” (quotes intentional) start had an odd line of four earned runs in six innings, with only four hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts. Three of the runs were allowed in by the inheriting reliever.

After his start on May 25th, Mike Fiers went home to bed, and fell asleep. He fell asleep as a homer-prone flyball pitcher who probably was only still in the Astros’ rotation because of a rash of injures to...pretty much everybody else.

But then something happened.

Mike Fiers woke up.

He woke up blessed with a top-flight two-seamer, which he hadn’t been thrown before. And the baseball fairy had stolen his slider. Like completely. Like he never has thrown it since. While there, the fairy whispered in his ear: “Throw the curveball and change-up more often.”

He remembered nothing of this, of course, because that’s how fairy tales work.

And since, he has dominated. Like, really dominated.

Here are some fun Mike Fiers factoids!

  1. From April 2011 through May 25, 2017, Mike Fiers batted balls resulted in ground balls only 39% of the time.
  2. After May 25th, he posted a 57% ground ball rate.
  3. During the last month, only twelve Major League starting pitchers have posted a better ground ball rate than Mike Fiers.
  4. From 2011 to 2016, only thirty-three Major League starting pitchers (out of two-hundred and eighty) posted a worse ground ball rate than Mike Fiers.
  5. During Fiers’ first nine starts in 2017, he allowed eighteen home runs to opposing batters.
  6. During Fiers’ last six starts, he allowed zero home runs to opposing batters.
  7. During the past month, Fiers has posted the 10th-best WAR among qualified ML starting pitchers (a sample of 88 pitchers)
  8. During June, Fiers’ 2.59 FIP was the 6th-best in the major leagues.

Fiers won’t continue allowing zero home runs per start, but there is no other indicator that points towards an imminent collapse. Fiers is a completely different pitcher now. He might as well shave his beard, wear different tattoos, and throw with his other hand - that’s how different he is from Mike Fiers of yore.

Fiers’ xFIP over the last 30 days indicates a pitcher who can be relied on to pitch with an ERA comfortably in the low- to mid-threes.

Really.

No, really.

I’m not kidding.