Astros: Jake Odorizzi shelled, Luis Garcia immaculate
The Houston Astros might’ve rallied back down eight to nothing at the beginning of the game, but before the 11 run rally, newly-signed pitcher Jake Odorizzi gave up four home runs over an inning of work. The right-hander was replaced twice by Francis Martes, while one of the many different rules used in spring training. Although Odorizzi was shelled, rookie pitcher Luis Garcia tossed an immaculate inning.
The right-hander went four strong innings with five strikeouts and only four base runners. While not knowing he threw an immaculate inning, Garcia was happy to find out and was also weirded out by the fact he pitched to Luis Garcia of the Washington Nationals.
While Odorizzi struggled, the Astros saw an immaculate inning from Garcia.
Although not having the ideal first start for Odorizzi, the right-hander didn’t seem too fazed by getting “whacked” by Nationals’ hitters. It is smart moving forward that this outing won’t be something lingering in the mind of Odorizzi.
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Looking at his timetable, it makes sense that hitters were catching onto his pitching early, while this was his first start this spring against batters that are physically a month into baseball. This also hints to that he will still not be ready for the Opening Day series, and while aiming to return for the first home stand, Odorizzi will have something to work on down the stretch.
Other than Odorizzi’s struggles, the Astros’ bats did put up 11 unanswered runs, in the shadow of an immaculate inning from Garcia. The right-hander was surprised he had pulled it off, as many pitchers don’t realize what they had done. Garcia also pitched against his Nationals’ doppelgänger, while having him fly out to centerfield.
Garcia has the talent and spring statistics behind him to be the fifth starter for the 2021 season. While mainly being dominant from three to four innings, the right-hander could excel as a long-reliever once Odorizzi is ready.
The Astros are back on the field on Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals at 5:05 p.m. in West Palm Beach. While Jose Urquidy and Brandon Bielak are scheduled to pitch, the team also announced that they have accepted the return of Jose Alberto Rivera, who was taken in the Rule 5 Draft by the Los Angeles Angels. Another roster cut was also made, as the team moved on from Steven Souza Jr., who was not having a strong spring training.
In the midst of McCuller’s extension, the right-hander regressed in a ‘B’ game start, while having solid outings in regular spring games, the Astros’ starter was just getting more reps. Through four innings, the right-hander faced a few rolled over innings due to struggles on the mound with six runs, four walks and five strikeouts. Ryan Pressly took on the fifth inning, while he has looked good in these practice games, the right-hander hasn’t recently seen many regular spring training outings.