Houston Astros right handed pitcher, Collin McHugh, (W, 3-0, 2.41 ERA) battled without his best stuff Tuesday night to extend his active winning streak to ten games with a 6-3 win on the road against the highly talented, and heavily favored Seattle Mariners.
McHugh pitched seven innings, throwing 105 pitches, 64 of them for strikes, to get through the night, giving up three runs on seven hits, two walks and two wild pitches, while striking out three. At the end of the night McHugh’s ERA jumped from a microscopic 1.54 to a still very respectable 2.41.
McHugh is “tale of two pitchers” if you will. He was called up by Houston a year ago today to start in Seattle. Prior to that start, McHugh had posted an 0-8 with an 8.94 ERA (47ER/47.1IP) in his Major League career. On that chilly night in Seattle, McHugh pitched 6.2 scoreless innings, striking out 12 without issuing a walk.
Since his return to the Majors in Seattle last season, McHugh has gone 14-9, with a 2.70 ERA in 28 starts.
McHugh’s string of ten consecutive wins is the longest streak by an Astros pitcher since Wade Miller ran off a franchise-record 12 consecutive wins in 2002. With the win, Houston improves to 8-6 and holds a game-and-a-half, ahead of the second place Oakland A’s in the American League West.
Meanwhile the Mariners, considered the early favorites to win the American League Western Division crown have dropped their first two games of the series to the Astros and fall to 5-9 on the year, three games back of Houston.
The next Astros’ pitcher in McHugh’s sights is Mike Hampton, who won 11 consecutive decisions in 1999. Miller and Mark Portugal sit atop the franchise’s all-time leaderboard, each with 12 consecutive wins. Miller posted his streak in 2002, while Portugal posted his in 1993.