Getting encouraging results from the Astros bullpen is just what this team needs to push them into the higher echelon of the American League.
With the season underway, there have been many upsides to the start of the young Astros season. While they have faced some pretty good pitching, we’ve held our own with our own top two starters in Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers throwing great games. Our hitting has done just enough to get timely leads en route to a 2-0 record.
Which leads us to one of last years’ issues: the bullpen. The Houston Astros bullpen flared up at times, coughing up leads late in many games – probably costing us a playoff spot in 2016. Ken Giles looked particularly out of whack, getting rocked in his first months as an Astro, posting a 4.11 ERA in 2016 as he adjusted to AL hitting.
With Luke Gregerson and Will Harris taking their hands at the closer role, it was evident there was an issue with the bullpen. While Harris did make the All-Star game, his troubles came after the break, when he faltered and couldn’t hang on to leads.
Giles would gain his closer role back and started closing the door the way the Astros had hoped, finishing strong.
So what will become of the 2017 bullpen?
Certainly through the first two games, we’ve seen what our bullpen is capable of with Giles leading the way with 5 strikeouts through 2 appearances resulting in 2 saves. More encouraging results from the Houston Astros bullpen are sure to come as they’re two for two in closing out games thus far.
Gregerson has also pitched well, pitching 2 scoreless frames in the first two games of the young season. With more reason for hope, Gregerson pitched flawlessly at the World Baseball Classic, spearheading their pen with a 0.00 ERA over 4 games, resulting in 3 saves for the eventual winners.
With our bullpen pieces intact and with high aspirations for the team, it’s time to find out what the bullpen is made of. With games finishing off with Harris-Gregerson-Giles, the ceiling is the roof when the game is on the line!
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and WorldBaseballClassic.com**