With a 13 inning victory against the AL-East leading Baltimore Orioles, the Houston Astros look to clinch the series tonight.
The Astros have now played in 16 one-run games, and with last night’s victory, have gone 6-10 in those tight contests. The Astros record could be significantly different if they didn’t blow a late-inning lead in a few games, or maybe could have gotten a timely hit or two with runners on.
They needed a win last night, and a 13-inning victory made it even sweeter. The Houston bullpen put on a show, as they held Baltimore scoreless for 7.1 innings, with Michael Feliz striking out the side in the 13th inning to earn his second victory of the year. It appears as if the Astros pitchers, excluding Dallas Keuchel, are rounding into form, and if the offense can do the same, a winning streak could be in the forecast for the struggling ball club.
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The 26-year-old Wilson made his MLB debut in 2015 and began this year in the Baltimore bullpen. An injury to Yovani Gallardo pushed Wilson into the rotation and has compiled a 2-2 record with a 4.40 ERA as a starter. His last outing was by far his worse, giving up five runs in six innings against the Mariners, including a 3-run shot by Adam Lind in the sixth.
Wilson has average stuff at best. His fastball averages just under 90-mph, and he only has good command of one other pitch. His curveball is decent, but he has yet develop a major league-worthy change up. Wilson has yet to face any Astros hitters.
McHugh received little run support in his last start and received a tough luck loss against the White Sox and Chris Sale. It was one of McHugh’s best performances this year, and the Astros desperately need him to reel off more of those as the team continues to struggle. McHugh fanned eight Chicago batters, which was a season high for him, and by giving up only two runs in seven innings, lowered his ERA to almost under the 5.00 mark.
A key to McHugh’s strong performance was that this was the first game in five outings that he did not allow a home run. McHugh mixed his pitches well, and spotted his fastball and cutter very effectively. Over 50% of batted balls went to the opposite field, and over 40% of batted balls were considered “soft” contact. He simply wasn’t allowing White Sox hitters to get comfortable and put good swings on his pitches.
McHugh, in three career starts versus Baltimore, is 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA. Current Orioles hitters are batting a combined .234 against McHugh with Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and Pedro Alvarez all having home runs. George Springer is still leading off.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***