So here we sit, a day after a loss to the team with the best record in the American League. We are 40% through the season, 16 games over 500, and playing at a .621 clip…which would give us 100 wins on the season. We are surviving the loss of Eloy, Robert, and now Madrigal. How did we get here…and where are we going from here.
Our starting pitching has been great, save for some starts where guys don’t have it (e.g. Lynn last night). Lucas Giolito has been ok…not always at all-star or ace form, but better than his 5-5 record. Dallas Keuchel is starting to show a little age, but is still getting it done. He is also better than the 5 wins he’s posted. Dylan Cease has been refreshing to watch, he’s gotten his walk habit under control, and seems to be on the way to being a solid #3 starter, with flashes of being able to be a #2. Lance Lynn has been as advertised. His 7 wins lead the club, his ERA of 1.51 also leads the club, his WHIP is under 1 at 0.93, and he’s chewing up innings. Carlos Rodon has been the surprise of the season. He FINALLY looks like the guy we drafted #1, 3rd overall in 2014. He’s leading the team with 97 strikeouts, a 0.84 WHIP and a Batting Average Against .166. I think that our starting pitching will continue to lead the way for us.
Our hitting seems to come in bunches. We have only 1 player batting over .300, Yermin has come back down to earth as he is now hitting .285. Jose has been struggling as is at .258. Moncada seems to be getting back to the form he should have. Yoyo is hitting .280, leading the team with an OBP of .402, slugging .408, and leading the club with a .810 OPS, second in walks with 41, even though he’s leading the team in strikeouts with 75. He’s also leading he team in games played at 62. Andrew Vaughn needs more MLB at bats…he will be a solid hitter, he just needs to see more at bats. When we hit, we win…when we don’t hit, we have issues. We need to get our hitting more consistent. We seem to be taking more pitches, but we need to get better.
Liam Hendriks has been the closer we need. 17 saves, 44 K’s against 3 walks. Kopech has been good when healthy, the rest of the bullpen has been the model of inconsistency. Marshall comes in one game, lights out, great inning, etc…next game, he can’t get an out or throw a strike to save his life. Codi has been inconsistent, Crochet, Ruiz, Bummer, etc…the entire pen has been an inconsistent let down.
The rest of the season
We have a 4.5 game lead in a weak division. Our starting pitching should carry us, and hopefully as it warms up…so will our hitting. Plus we will get Eloy and Robert back in July/August, which should be a big boost to the team. If our bullpen can gets its act together, we will be posed for a long October playoff run.