While the Houston Astros took their first loss in the Lone Star Series on Friday due to a walk off, two pitchers stood on the opposite sides of history. With Tyler Ivey making his major league debut against his hometown team of the Texas Rangers, Joe Smith still leads active players in appearances, as he reaches 800.
Other than these two pitchers reaching their respected feats, Jason Castro continued his campaign to start more behind the dish. The left-hander went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run, but throwing out runners looked be a struggling trait. With Robel Garcia being optioned, Castro stands as an emergency infielder with his ability to play first base.
While Tyler Ivey is starting his career, Joe Smith is joining a coveted group of arms.
A journey filled with doubters have followed the career of Tyler Ivey, but the right-hander finally got the chance to silence the hatters. While tossing 4.2 innings, Ivey left the mound with the biggest smile, as Dusty Baker broke a few jokes to the newcomer.
Although being four outs away from a quality start, Kent Emanuel came in and allowed a leftover runner from Ivey to score; leaving the right-hander at four earned runs on six hits with a walk and three punch outs.
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It is interesting to see what the future holds for Ivey, as the returns of Framber Valdez, Jose Urquidy, Jake Odorizzi and Blake Taylor don’t leave much wiggle room. While the Astros are going away from the traditional 13 pitchers and holding 14 arms, it is helpful for a team struggling with late game leverage. Ivey has been optioned after his first major league start, but this all could’ve been a test run to see where he stands against MLB-talent.
While Ivey opens his career as the 19,998th player of all-time, Joe Smith was the 16,644th in the history of the game. I don’t have any recollection of the last time the active appearance leader and the newest player in MLB both pitched, but it was a prominent day in Astros history. Smith has now pitched in 800 games and stands at the 51st pitcher to do so.
The Astros are back on the field on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. with Lance McCullers Jr. on the bump. Aledmys Diaz is day to day with hamstring tightness, and while Ivey has been optioned, Robel Garcia or Taylor Jones will most likely be recalled.