Okay. I’ve been giving Bo Porter some grief lately about his bullpen usage. But, if you read between the lines, I’m not placing all of the blame on him. At the same time, I want to give credit when credit is due. Porter’s bullpen strategy in yesterday’s game was flawless.
First of all, Jarred Cosart deserves some of the credit. Cosart came through with the Astros’ fifth consecutive quality start. And, this time around, Porter and the bullpen teamed up to make the Astros winners.
After a gutsy six inning performance in which he struggled with his breaking pitches, Cosart gave way to lefty Tony Sipp. The newest member of the Astros responded with his best performance as a pro, pitching two perfect innings against the Orioles and striking out five of the six batters he faced.
It was the old “warm a guy up and then replace him after the pinch-hitter is announced” strategy that Porter learned from Davey Johnson. This time around Bo stayed within the rules and didn’t get any umpires suspended. And it was a thing of beauty!
By pitching a scoreless ninth, Qualls earned his second save of the season. He may have also secured the Astros closer’s role — at least temporarily.