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Collin McHugh

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Collin Alexander McHugh

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[edit] Biographical Information

P Collin McHugh was selected in the 18th round of the 2008 amateur draft by the New York Mets. He made his professional debut that year and reached the major leagues with the Mets late in the 2012 season. He pitched 8 times, including 4 starts, with a record of 0-4, 7.59 in 21 1/3 innings. He returned to the minor leagues at the start of the 2013 season, then was called up on May 18th. He made three appearances, including one start, going 0-1, 10.29 and was designated for assignment and traded to the Colorado Rockies on June 18th, in return for OF Eric Young Jr. He made 4 starts for the Rockies with little success, ending up at 0-3, 9.95, for a combined line of 0-4, 10.04. He did better in AAA with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, where he was 2-2, 4.63 in 9 starts. After the season, he was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros on December 18th.

McHugh started the 2014 season back in AAA with the Oklahoma City RedHawks. He had no decisions and a 4.50 ERA in 14 innings when he was called up to Houston to replace the injured Scott Feldman on April 22nd. He had the best start of his career thus far against the Seattle Mariners, striking out the first three batters he faced and eventually racking up 12 Ks in 6 2/3 innings to earn his first career win after 8 losses, 5-2. He did not walk a batter and allowed no runs on 3 hits during his stint. He was just as sharp in his second outing on April 27th, pitching 8 2/3 innings in a 5-1 win over the Oakland Athletics. He completed what turned out to be a very solid rookie season by winning American League Rookie of the Month honors for September, when he went 4-0, 1.59 with a tremendous 25/1 K/W ratio. As a result of this strong finish, he ended the year with a winning record, 10-9, to go along with a 2.73 ERA in 25 starts. In 154 2/3 innings, he gave up 117 hits and struck out 157 while walking 41. It was a dominant performance from a completely unexpected source.

By winning his first three decisions of 2015, McHugh quietly put together a ten-game winning streak over two seasons, the longest by an Astros pitcher since Wade Miller had put together a string of 12 straight wins in 2002. After 8 starts, his record was 5-1, 3.38, putting to rest any ideas that his success of the previous year had been a fluke. In fact , he finished the year with a record of 19-7, 3.89 finishing second in the American League in wins only behind teammate Dallas Keuchel. He pitched 203 2/3 innings in 32 starts and struck out 171. He made two starts in the ALDS against the Kansas City Royals, winning Game 1 on October 8th, 5-2, but losing Game 5, 7-2, on October 14th as the Astros were eliminated from the postseason.

On August 19, 2016, he did something no other starting pitcher in the modern era had ever done: allow four home runs before recording a single out. Facing the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, he allowed a homer to Adam Jones on his first pitch of the game, then after giving up a single to Hyun Soo Kim, he allowed three consecutive homers to Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo. He managed to stay in the game in spite of the outburst, pitching 3 innings during which he gave up 7 runs on 9 hits, but he escaped with a no-decision as Houston eventually won the game, 15-8.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2015)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (2015)

[edit] Further Reading

  • Brian McTaggart: "McHugh working to build off 2015 success", mlb.com, February 2, 2016. [1]

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