The Astros took down a formidable opponent in the Boston Red Sox, but it wasn’t without its struggles.
First, the Astros bullpen wavered in certain situations, as there is some inexperience when it comes to the postseason. Secondly, starting pitching faltered with settling down early into games. This has led me to the conclusion that Collin McHugh makes the ALCS roster. Don’t worry. I’m going to tell you why.
McHugh has experience on the road
Collin McHugh was a key piece to the Astros postseason efforts in 2015. He was able to steal a win on the road against the would-be World Series champions, Kansas City Royals. Better yet, he was able to do it despite a rain delay. He allowed two home runs, which were the only runs of the night. He returned in Game 5, on the road, but beaten in his four-inning effort. Although he did not follow-up his excellent game one performance, McHugh has experience on the road in big moments.
No True Roles in the Postseason
If the ALDS taught us anything, it’s that no pitcher has a definitive role in these playoffs. Justin Verlander made his first ever relief appearance Monday. Chris Sale came out to do whatever he could to help overcome the Astros. The trend of one-role pitchers is changing. Why not with McHugh? He could easily come out and give you several innings of relief if the situation presents itself.
Postseason asks a lot of players
Some would say we should enjoy at this moment. Others will tell you that it doesn’t make sense to change your roster from series to series. However, there were a few flaws that became exposed to opposing teams. The goal is winning the World Series, change is necessary. The crowds will only get louder, the innings longer and the battle fiercer.
Finally, if McHugh was to replace a reliever on the roster, would it be so bad? If you allowed McHugh to pitch the first away game in the series, he would have experience doing so. This would make Brad Peacock a bullpen threat, bolstering to a bullpen that could use more threats for teams to worry about in the late innings.
***Stats and Data Courtesy of MLB.com***