Players You Forgot Were Astros: Armando Galarraga
Armando Galarraga, remembered for one infamous game, was briefly with the Astros.
In this installment of the Players You Forgot Were Astros series, we come to one player I legitimately forgot played in Houston. He didn’t have a particularly long career, but it was notable, and Armando Galarraga finished it with the Astros.
Galarraga is best known for throwing what should have been a perfect game with the Tigers in 2010. He was one out away from finishing off a historical gem when a blown call by first base umpire Jim Joyce cost him his chance at joining the record books.
It’s one of the reasons why we have instant replay in baseball today. If it had been in place at the time, Galarraga would have his perfect game. The replay system has its warts and its detractors, of course, but there’s no denying it would have helped on this particular day.
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Galarraga was initially signed as an amateur free agent by the Montreal Expos in 1998. He went to the Rangers organization in 2005 in the Alfonso Soriano trade and made a brief major league debut in 2007. He was traded to Detroit prior to the 2008 season.
It was then that he put up his best season in the big leagues, going 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA in 28 starts and two relief appearances. He stuck with the Tigers for two more seasons, though the results were decidedly less desirable.
He made eight ineffective starts with Arizona in 2011 and signed with Baltimore as a free agent prior to 2012, but was cut at the beginning of the season. The Astros signed him in late May and released him in late August.
In that span, he made five starts with the big club and went 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA, walking more batters than he struck out. These would prove to be the last major league appearances for the then-30-year-old right-hander.
He finished with an overall record of 26-34 with a 4.78 ERA, though he will always be remembered for his perfect game that should have been.