Another pitchers duel in an Astros game. No surprise. Three starters with sub-2 ERA’s. A team ERA at 2.43, more than a whole run less than the next best team in MLB. Even the bullpen has the best ERA in the AL. Somehow Lance McCullers, who made last year’s All Star game, and is pitching even better this year, is the FOURTH BEST STARTER.
And yet an offense that was record breaking last year almost like the pitching is record breaking this year is 18th in weighted on base average. So tonight, another pitchers duel against an Indians team that is no slouch in the pitching department either.
Tonight Lance McCullers (6-2, 3.20 ERA) threw seven scoreless innings, allowing one weak hit, 2 walks, and fanned eight hapless tomahawks. Lance had it all going tonight, curve, change up and fastball command, getting 62 strikes in 96 pitches. The curve has been a concern for Lance of late. News AL: Its BAAAACK.
The other Mac, the guy who has to stop all those crazy curve balls from the Mac on the mound, broke the game open with his fourth McCannonball, giving the Astros the only 2 runs they would need to win. His home run came off of Carlos Carrasco (5-3), who also pitched brilliantly for six innings before the McCann blast. McCann’s four home runs this season have all given the Astros a lead.
The Astros added an insurance run in the eighth thanks to a Josh Reddick double that plated Alex Bregman. Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Yuli Gurriel each had two hits.
The Indians managed a meaningless run on a Michael Brantley double off Chris Devenski, who advanced on a brilliant catch in center field by George Springer, and then scored uncontested on a ground out.
Ken Giles recorded his 8th save.
Watch McCullers strike out the Tribe here
See the McCannonball here. (third video down)
Box Score here.
Answer to the Thread Poll.
Alex Bregman has the highest xWOBA at .405. It is followed by Springer, Correa, (tied), Altuve, Reddick, Stassi, McCann, and JD Davis in his brief stint earlier this year. However, Bregman is 38th in MLB in xWOBA, and with a WOBA of .346 ( 3rd on team) he is under performing the expectations his batted ball profile would predict by -.059. That is the 68th most under performing WOBA in baseball. So if you thought Bregman is the best xWOBA on the Astros, knowing that his actual numbers are not at the top, you probably correctly perceived that he has been the victim of an unusual amount bad luck all year. He is, in fact, the 68th unluckiest player in MLB so far this year.
Astros off tomorrow.
Have a great week Astros and all you TCBers out there.