Astros: Josh James becoming nightmare in postseason
Houston Astros pitcher Josh James is becoming unplayable in the postseason.
On Wednesday, the Houston Astros were nine outs away from advancing to their fourth ALCS in the last four years until a Chad Pinder home run ruined the party. Josh James was the reliever who gave up the 360-foot slam to put the A’s back into the ball game, but this was not his first postseason mistake.
So how do you let someone with such a bad history in the postseason take this pivotal role? Dusty Baker made the move by pure experience and having a right handed power pitcher available. While dubbed “Flames James,” we have not seen the heat from the big righty in quite sometime.
To be honest, James should have been shut down after the sixth inning, and the Astros would probably have had an extra day off before the ALCS. For a former starter, he has not pushed the ball past 97 mph, after hitting 99-101 consecutively.
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This has not been the first mistake from James in the playoffs. In the 2018 ALCS against the Boston Red Sox, James entered the game with a 3-3 score. He gave up a run on a double off the bat of Xander Bogaerts, though the Astros came back. But then James gave up a two-run blast in the next inning to Jackie Bradley Jr. Houston would lose that series 4-1 to the team that would beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
Moving onto 2019, the Astros reached the World Series against the Washington Nationals, and James was at it again. He entered Game 2 down 8-2, but didn’t hold the Nats at all. James gave up two more runs and was credited with another once Hector Rondon entered the game. The Astros went on to lose the World Series.
Since James has become a postseason pitcher for the Astros, they have not won the World Series. This is nothing more than a coincidence, but the right hander’s biggest contribution was a win after 0.1 innings in Game 3 of the 2019 World Series. His career post season ERA is 8.03 over 12 games and 12.1 innings.
He is still under team control until the end of 2024, but is eligible for arbitration next season. His future in Houston is not what might have been expected. James has the arm, the stuff, the gas, but he can’t control it. This will always be the most frustrating thing about him — he has all the aspects of lights out pitcher, but can’t do anything with it.