Game 4 of the 2015 ALDS versus the Houston Astros is one of the examples of not giving up by Yordano Ventura.
Houston Astros fans join with Kansas City fans in mourning the loss of their 25-year-old pitcher, Yordano Ventura. The details of his passing are sad and disturbing, but all we can do is remember his short life. In his short four-year major league career, Ventura made his presence known on the mound. You couldn’t teach someone how to throw like he did, it’s a loss to the game.
While fans, friends, family, and teammates remember the good times in Ventura’s life, he has been part of some memorable games versus the Astros. Most notably, the 2015 ALDS series versus the Astros. In his career, Ventura started four regular season games versus the Stros, with a 2-1 record and a 3.18 ERA. In 22 2/3 innings, Ventura struck out 21 Houston batters.
That is a small sample size, but the Royals were not in the division, so the two teams didn’t meet that often. Last year, Ventura started a career-high 32 games, but he almost allowed the Astros to advance in the 2015 playoffs. Fresh off losing in the 2014 World Series to the Giants, the Royals went with Ventura to start Game 1 of the ALDS.
He was not the ace of that Royals staff. He was a crucial part of the rotation. Johnny Cueto would start Game 2, so the Royals were hoping to go to Houston ahead two games. Instead, the Astros tied the series 1 to 1 as they returned to Houston. Ventura only lasted two innings in that game, given a quick hook after only allowing three earned runs. The Stros would then win Game 3 in Houston, looking to win Game 4.
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I remember Game 4 very well, I took off and checked my son out of school to watch Lance McCullers pitch. The Houston Astros scored three runs off Ventura in Game 4 while striking out eight batters. While Ventura kept the Royals in the game with his five innings, he did not get the victory. We all remember the eighth and ninth innings as the Royals won the game 9-6.
Ventura, despite the poor start in Game 1, was part of the Royals winning the World Series. While he might have rubbed some people the wrong way, you can’t argue his passion for the game. There was a time this offseason that the Astros reportedly targeted him.
One day, after the Houston Astros win the World Series, there will be a trivia question about who started that game. The answer will be McCullers and Ventura, who was taken away too early. Now Ventura and Oscar Taveras are playing on the Field of Dreams.
He will always be ‘Ace’ Ventura, prayers to his family and friends.
***Game information and Stats from Baseball-Reference***