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In June, Framber Valdez had a month for the ages

The crafty lefty keeps building his place into the Astros’ franchise history.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros had a pretty good month in June. Not for nothing, they won 19 out of 28 games (.679 winning percentage). But in particular, they had an ace at his best throughout the whole month. That’s Framber Valdez.

Not only did the lefty win four of his five starts —defeating the Red Sox twice, the Twins, and the White Sox—, but he also did it with style. Each of his outings were quality starts and he went at least seven innings in four of them.

Valdez threw 34 13 innings and allowed 27 hits (five extra-base hits) plus eight earned runs (only three home runs). He gave up just seven bases on balls and struck out 31 batters. The young left-hander posted a 2.10 ERA and a 0.990 WHIP with a .214/.265/.302 opponent slash line.

Valdez, often pounding the strike zone and getting a lot of grounders, was certainly a game-changer for the Astros. He came back from injury on May 28 and pitched just four episodes, but that was enough to set the table for his big June, where he pushed the team.

Valdez’s month was so good that he made history in some kind of mode. He became just the fourth Astros’ starting pitcher to go at least 30 innings, win four-plus games, and record a 1.000 WHIP or better in June, along with Mike Scott, Jim Deshaies, and Roy Oswalt. Valdez is the first member of the group since Oswalt did so back in 2005.

When it comes to any month, Framber is just the 12th Astros’ starter to end one with those statistics since the 2000 season, though Justin Verlander, Wandy Rodríguez, Andy Pettitte, Charlie Morton, Dallas Keuchel, Gerrit Cole, and Oswalt did it in multiple times.

The other ones to do it since 2000 are Roger Clemens, Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers Jr., and Wade Miller.

His great performance in June helped Valdez got to this point with a 4-1 record and a 2.11 ERA after 38 13 frames. Although it’s a cliché, the best is yet to come for him in the 2021 season with the Astros.