Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending May 25th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Keuchel went 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA, one complete game, one walk and 14 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched over a pair of A.L. West starts to claim his first career weekly honor and the first for a Houston hurler since Roy Oswalt won the National League Player of the Week on September 8, 2008. Dallas led the league in innings pitched, was tied for first in wins and complete games and was third in the A.L. in strikeouts. Opposing hitters batted just .153 against the left-hander.
On Monday in Anaheim, Keuchel allowed two runs on five hits, walked one and tied a season-high with eight strikeouts over 8.2 innings to defeat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 5-2, at Angel Stadium. Having thrown his first career shutout in his previous start on May 13th against Texas, the Tulsa, Oklahoma native came within one out of another blanking, but two-out singles from Mike Trout and Albert Pujols led Houston to summon the bullpen which recorded the final out of the win. Dallas threw 128 pitches (82 strikes) in the effort. On Sunday, the University of Arkansas product returned to the bump with another dominant performance, this time limiting the Seattle Mariners to one unearned run on four hits with six strikeouts for his second complete game of the season, leading Houston to a 4-1 triumph at Safeco Field. The seventh round pick (by Houston) in the 2009 Draft became the first Astros pitcher to go at least 8.2 innings in three straight starts since right-hander Darryl Kile from June 22-July 3, 1993. The last hurler overall to accomplish the feat was Philadelphia's Cliff Lee, when the lefty tossed three straight shutouts between June 16-28, 2011. In his last four starts in May, the three- year veteran has gone a perfect 4-0 with a 1.05 ERA, one walk and 28 strikeouts in 34.1 innings pitched.
On the season, Keuchel is 6-2 with a 2.55 ERA, two complete games, one shutout, 12 walks and 61 strikeouts in 70.2 innings over 10 starts. Among A.L. leaders heading into play today, Dallas is tied for fourth in wins, is fifth in ERA and fewest walks per nine innings pitched (1.538), is tied for fifth in strikeouts-to-walks (5.083) and is tied for seventh in innings pitched. Keuchel leads the Majors with a 3.88 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio.
Other noteworthy performances in the A.L. last week included Keuchel's teammate George Springer (.316, 4 HR, 9 RBI); Adrian Beltre (.522, 2 HR, 6 RBI) of Texas; Nelson Cruz (.455, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 1.136 SLG) and Chris Davis (.421, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 1.158 SLG) of Baltimore; Edwin Encarnacion (.320, 5 HR, 9 RBI) of Toronto; and Jered Weaver (1-0, 1 ER, 2 H, 5 SO in complete game vs. Houston on 5/21) of the Angels.
In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Dallas Keuchel will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.