While the Houston Astros escaped the Texas Rangers on Sunday to complete the sweep, a late comeback, 6-2, in the eighth inning put Houston ahead behind a dominant performance by Lance McCullers Jr. The right-hander has shown nothing but resurgence in recent starts with a 1.64 ERA in his last 33 innings.
This doesn’t get enough coverage, but Yuli Gurriel is actually in contention for the MVP. Although only a month-and-a-half in, the first baseman has more walks than strikeouts and is slashing .322/.402/.552. The big “what if?” should come into play when discussing Gurriel’s career, since he left Cuba at such an older age.
As Lance McCullers Jr. has been dominant as of late, the right-hander is about to pass Roger Clemens for elite status at Minute Maid Park.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
While Roger Clemens only pithed three seasons in the Juice Box with the Astros, the right-hander currently holds the lowest ERA in the ballpark. Clemens stands at the top with an ERA of 2.55, as one of the best pitchers in the past 30 years.
McCullers might not touch the award case that Clemens has built for himself, but the right-hander has a career 2.57 ERA in Minute Maid Park.
For a pitcher that has dealt with injuries all over the place, McCullers is only a few innings away from reaching this feat. In the end, he still has five more years with the Astros with his extension, so he will need to keep this streak alive for the upcoming home starts and seasons ahead.
After McCullers departure, the game got close with Andre Scrubb surrendering a two-run home run that put McCullers out of contention of a possible win. One think to know about a pitcher’s record moving forward is that sure it does look cool to see starting pitchers win, but they can’t control run support or their bullpen. Quality starts are something worth analyzing, which is three or less runs over six or more innings of work.
The Astros are off on Monday, as the travel to Oakland to open a three-game set with the A’s. As Mike Fiers won’t be an available arm, the rat sneaks past his former employer once again. While rain and storms have devoured central and south eastern Texas recently, Framber Valdez’s schedule rehab start was postponed on Sunday, while Jake Odorizzi is expected to make his in the coming days as well.