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Andre Scrubb and an against-the-odds feat

The 25-year-old righty is impressing and dominating in his first year in the Bigs despite having notable control struggles.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Scrubb is one of the reasons that make us still believe in the Astros bullpen, even after losing closer Roberto Osuna for the long term. Scrubb is off to an excellent start of his career as a reliever in the Major Leagues and has been a reliable option for manager Dusty Baker.

Through Saturday, the 25-year-old righty fired 11 23 scoreless innings of only six hits allowed. In that span, he’s successfully faced good offensive teams such as the Dodgers, the Athletics (twice), and the Rockies. Zero runs.

But there’s something that makes us say: “WHAT?! How could this be possible?”.

Scrubb has figured it out to dominate despite giving up a bunch of bases on balls. So far, he’s walked 12 and struck out the same number. He’s always had control problems, but this time is eye-popping as he’s walking 9.26 per nine and 24.5% of the total batters he’s faced (MLB average is 14.1%).

Andre is going against history. According to Baseball-Reference, there are only nine pitchers in Astros history to go at least 10 innings and carry an 8.00-or-worse BB/9 ratio in a season. Among all of them, Scrubb is the only one with an ERA of 0.00. The second-best ERA is Ron Mathis’ 5.25 from 1987.

It’s so rare to see what the right-hander has done nowadays. It’s very uncommon to see a pitcher getting zeroes while his WHIP is at 1.543 and his FIP is at 4.18.

And don’t tell me he’s only performed in easy environments. Also according to our good BB-REF friends, Scrubb has dazzled through 23 high-leverage plate appearances. Hitters have gone 1-for-16 in those situations, with six strikeouts and —guess what?— six bases on balls. Besides, he’s inherited 10 runners and only two of those scored.

Some stats to be more impressed for what Andre has done so far on the mound:

  • He’s only throwing 39.6 percent of his pitches in the zone.
  • He begins down in the count 53.1% of the times.
  • His hard hit% is 8.0!!! MLB average is 34.7% in 2020.
  • Has given up at least one walk in eight of his 10 appearances.
  • With RISP, opponents are hitting for a .143 average off him.