Collin McHugh puts the Major League longest active winning streak on the line when he takes the mound tonight for the first place Houston Astros to face the Seattle Mariners.
The 27-year-old right hander, who made his first-career Opening Day roster this season, has won each of his last 10 decisions dating back to August 12, 2014. It is the longest active winning streak in the Majors.
In his last game on Monday, April 27, at San Diego, McHugh did not factor into the decision in Houston’s 9-4 win over the new and improved Padres at Petco Park. McHugh pitched 6.0 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts.
During McHugh’s streak he has posted a remarkable 2.12 ERA (19ER/77.1IP) in 12 starts. The streak is the longest streak by an Astros pitcher since RHP Wade Miller won a franchise record 12 straight decisions from July 7 – September 21, 2002.
Saturday’s start will be McHugh’s second appearance this season against the Mariners. In his first start against Seattle, on the road on April 21, he earned the win after pitching seven complete innings, giving up three runs on seven hits.
It seems so implausible now that McHugh could have been picked off the waiver wire 16 months ago, but that is precisely what Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow did in December 2013, grabbing the 2008 18th-round pick of the New York Mets off the wire, a move that went unnoticed by most pundits.
McHugh was named the Astros 2014 Rookie of the Year by the Houston Chapter of the BWAAA. McHugh led all Major League rookies in ERA (2.73) and opponents average (.208, min 150 IP), while ranking second in strikeouts per nine innings (9.14), third in strikeouts (157), tied for fourth in wins (11), fifth in innings (154.2), and sixth in starts (25).
Regardless of what happens on the mound tonight concerning the streak, picking up McHugh off the waiver wire may go down in Astros history as Jeff Luhnow’s best offseason move in his career.