Brandon Bielak held the red-hot Rockies to next to nothing as yet another Houston Astros starter learns how to navigate tough situations.
It was just a couple days ago that I was praising Framber Valdez for his handling of what ended up being a rout for the Houston Astros against the Seattle Mariners. Then it was Cristian Javier with just the one hit surrendered.
For Valdez, he had a rough first inning, barely escaping with just a run surrendered, and his offense did the rest. For Javier, a lack of control forced him to navigate some tight situations. Brandon Bielak faced similar and adjusted all the same.
Valdez came back from the first inning with a massive cushion and he used it to coast to a win. What once looked pretty rough and tumble ended up as smooth sailings. And while it’s a hell of a lot easier to pitch with that much of a cushion, Valdez deserved credit for making adjustments to the situation.
Brandon Bielak following promising pitching trend
Brandon Bielak did even more of that situational magic than Valdez. For Valdez is was relatively easy. At that point, just throw strikes. For Bielak against the Colorado Rockies, it was a constant dance in and out of danger.
Javier meanwhile, looked even more similar in that he only gave up the one hit while still walking a good deal and hitting another.
What made the three situations similar is that it’s not the numbers at the end of the day that matter, it’s making adjustments to the situation you’re in.
Bielak’s numbers were a mixed bag. Just the one hit in six innings pitched, which is incredible, but four walks to match his four strikeouts. There is nothing extraordinary there. What’s extraordinary is that he kept a Rockies’ offense, one of the best, to just one hit—a solo home run.
With how many runners Bielak was navigating through, with the lack of control he exhibited, this required a masterclass of adjustments to come out with a win. His offense did not back him up as much as they did Valdez, yet at the end of the day, they both came away with wins.
That puts Bielak now at 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched. His LOB% is a whopping 89.6%, he’s given up just two home runs, and aside from the walks, Bielak is looking like a really, really good pitcher. Not unlike Cristian Javier. Two rookies, two starters who look worthy of the job.
The Astros would have liked more control. They’d have liked fewer baserunners. But no one can argue with the tremendous results we saw, with Bielak making vital adjustments to ensure that the Astros win streak stayed alive.