The Keuchel/McHugh “What If” Consideration

Dallas Keuchel (L) and Colin McHugh

Dallas Keuchel (L) and Colin McHugh


The Keuchel/McHugh 2016 “What If” Consideration

Astros fans and others are now focusing on Houston’s inability to beat Texas as the reason they most probably now will miss the 2016 American League Playoffs. – That’s one way to took at it.

A better way to look at it, we think, is to consider the impact of the “Jekyll and Hyde” performances of their double-ace combo of 2015 Cy Young lefty Dallas Keuchel, who went from 20-8 and .714 in all of last year – to 9-12 and .429 this year, to-date; and from right-hander Colin McHugh, who has fallen from 19-7 and .731 in 2015, to 11-10 and .524 to-date in 2016.

It is a dangling duo performance failure from one hopeful season to disappointment in the next that cannot be ignored by the Astros in 2017. To place our pennant hopes again upon the arms of these two starters and the rest of our known starting pitcher cast, as is, would be tantamount to accepting the lottery as our plan for serious MLB success. – It is a yield to the idea that the Astros can win big – depending on which versions of our two known aces show up to perform – Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.

How did Keuchel and McHugh go from so good, to so bad, and to “on and off”, alternately, as both adequate and awful?

Keuchel bounced from Jekyll to Hyde by winning the Cy Young in 2015 before plummeting to earth as a clueless loser on pitching mistake corrections in 2016. – McHugh prefers the game-to-game 0scillation pattern on Jekyll and Hyde. – And both pitchers are capable in 2016 of having one “Mr. Hyde” inning per game that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory practically any time they take the mound. They often recover following the bad frame, but by then, the damage is usually too great to overcome.  As most of you know, the two aces won 39 games collectively last year by the end of the regular season. This year, with 12 total games left to play, they together possess only 20 wins collectively.

What if …. ????

With 21 decisions each in 2016, Keuchel and McHugh together are down to a combined 20-22 record through 9/19/2016. Had they each won their current 21 games at their final winning percentage ratios for 2015 (.714 for Keuchel and .731 for McHugh), they each would have added 6 games to their individual totals for 2016. Those 12 collective “extra” wins would have bumped the 2016 Astros – now 79-71, .527 through 9/19/16 – way up to 91-59, .607 0n the 2016 season, to-date, and to a full 2.5 games lead over the Texas Rangers at their current actual record of 89-62, .589, and that’s even if those 12 extra wins theoretically had to come at the expense of teams other than the Rangers.

How do you like “them” apples?

And before you answer that great question of the ages, please remember, there are no pay-off tellers for victories achieved in the “what if” and “what might have been” windows of the mind.


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas


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