The Houston Astros are in the middle of their roughest stretch of the season.
Despite losing the first two games versus the Rangers, the Astros have won three straight versus first place teams. They looked like they were ready to fold up after allowing ten-plus runs in two games versus the Rangers. Last night, very little people gave Houston a chance facing former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.
I guess that’s why you still play the game of baseball. Anything can happen. With Dallas Keuchel being scratched due to continued dead arm symptoms, the Astros needed a starter. As Cody wrote yesterday, Keuchel will be shut down for a few weeks. There is a high chance that Keuchel could not make another start again this year.
With this news, the Astros needed someone to start last night. Enter Brad Peacock. While I have to admit, I wasn’t the biggest believer in Peacock, but he showed something last night. Like many Astros fans this year, I have wondered why they have kept Peacock on the 40-man roster this year. But in one game, he has justified the teams’ faith in him.
No, Peacock did not pitch his best game of his career last night. But, like Collin McHugh, he limited the damage early in the game. By getting the early lead, the Astros were able to add to and maintain the lead. Despite the decent performance, the Stros have a hole or two in the rotation. Will Peacock remain in the rotation?
One thing we do know is that David Paulino will get the start versus the Indians on Thursday. This is the same Paulino who the Stros received in return for Jose Veras from the Tigers. Jeff Luhnow was able to pry him away after having Tommy John surgery, but his velocity has returned with a 98 mph fastball.
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With the Fresno season coming to a close, why not use an arm that is already on the 40-man roster. This year between three minor league levels, Paulino had a 5-4 record with a 2.00 ERA with 106 strikeouts in 90 innings pitched. In the offseason, Jim Callis said on Talking Stros that he saw Paulino being the next Francis Martes.
However, Martes finished the season with the Hooks while Paulino will be making his MLB debut Thursday. Who would have thought that Paulino would have leapfrogged Martes? That’s baseball.
If the Astros somehow finish this tough stretch with a winning record, this would bode well for them fighting for the wild card. Let’s take it one game at a time, let’s win today with Doug Fister on the mound. Go Stros!
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***