Posts Tagged ‘Bad Clubs Beat Bad Pitching of Good Clubs’

Bad Clubs Beat Bad Pitching of Good Clubs

August 9, 2017

Dallas Keuchel
A Photo from an Earlier Better Day
Yesterday’s Loss dropped Keuchel to 9-2 in 2017

Dallas Keuchel gave up 8 earned runs on 10 hits through the first 4 innings he started in Tuesday’s 8-5 Astros loss to the White Sox in Chicago yesterday, but my thoughts are not intended here as a criticism of the Houston ace. He seems to be doing everything his coaches, trainers, and doctors are telling him to do to get his best abilities topside again, but that’s often easier said than done with pitchers coming back from injury or surgery. A pitcher has to get his own timing on things back in gear before he can return to his own prescription of things he does to upset a hitters’ timing at the plate.

It remains to be seen if Keuchel will be back to anything resembling his early season sensational start, or his 2015 Cy Young year performance level, but the Astros are going to need the most of whatever he has in the tank to offer, plus a recovery by McCullers and some help from McHugh, Morton, Fiers, and/or Peacock to get through the starting needs of a winning playoff hand. And that says nothing about the leaning posture of needs that also now fall upon the club’s often tired and beleaguered bullpen to come in and stop the bleeding, more often than not.

We cannot count on the magic of what happened last Sunday night at MMP against the Jays saving us from our pitching holes most of the time. It just isn’t going to happen, even when our own magical thinking sets into similar circumstances and begins to prey upon our own neediness. When we went to the 9th in Chicago last night, trailing the Sox by 3, how many others of you instantly remembered, when the 9th started with a single by Altuve and a strike out by Reddick, that Sunday’s rally win had begun the same way?

The magic died quickly. That’s reality. Even if we were playing the worst club in the American League. We still lost.

And other, better clubs await us in the playoffs – or any World Series we might magically qualify to play.

It was loss that made me both regret and understand better why Jeff Luhnow wasn’t able to make a deal for pitching. You really cannot hope to win without good pitching, but for every Keuchel-level pitcher a club acquires, much money and talent must be given up in return – and at the risk that the guy you acquire may injure his back or ankle getting off the plane to join your club and never return to the form he showed in his most recent start for his previous team. And you still lose the players you traded away to get him. And one of those may turn out to be the next Derek Jeter – or better — the next Jose Altuve. And you cannot get him back. And you still have to pay the new dead-arm guy some kind of contractual salary you agreed to pay.

Good pitching beats good hitting. It’s more complicated and more fragile too. Good hitters are easier to find than good pitchers are to replace. And some good pitchers are irreplaceable.

Let’s hope the Astros survive the end of season test to come.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST STANDINGS

THRU GAMES OF TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2017

RANK AL WEST W L PCT. GB
1 ASTROS 71 41 .634  
2 MARINERS 58 56 .509 14.0
3 ANGELS 56 58 .491 16.0
4 RANGERS 53 59 .473 18.0
5 ATHLETICS 50 63 .443 21.5

 

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST GAME SCORES

THRU GAMES OF TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2017

WHITE SOX 8ASTROS 5.

MARINERS 7 – ATHLETICS 6.

ANGELS 3 – ORIOLES 2.

METS 5RANGERS 4.

  

AMERICAN LEAGUE BATTING AVERAGE LEADERS 

THRU GAMES OF TUESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2017

RANK PLAYER TEAM AB H 2B 3B HR BA
1 JOSE ALTUVE HOU 427 156 33 3 17 .365
2 CARLOS CORREA HOU 325 104 18 1 20 .320
3 JOSE RAMERIZ CLE 421 132 34 5 18 .314
NR * MARWIN GONZALEZ HOU 303 95 19 0 20 .314
4 ERIC HOSMER KC 431 135 22 1 18 .313
5 GEORGE SPRINGER HOU 368 114 22 0 27 .310
6 JEAN SEGURA SEA 349 108 20 1 6 .309
7 DIDI GREGORIUS NYY 345 106 16 0 17 .307
8 ANDRELTON SIMMONS LAA 418 128 27 2 11 .306
9 JOSH REDDICK HOU 343 105 25 3 11 .306
10 BEN GAMEL SEA 351 107 20 4 6 .305
20 YULI GURRIEL HOU 384 113 30 0 15 .294
33 ALEX BREGMAN HOU 366 100 28 4 13 .273
       

NR * = NEEDS MORE “AB”S TO QUALIFY FOR RANKING.

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle