The Houston Astros walked-off the Chicago White Sox on Friday, 2-1, after a pitchers’ duel between Carlos Rodon and Luis Garcia silenced the bats. A ninth inning double from Yordan Alvarez brought Yuli Gurriel home from first base and put the Astros in position of not losing the series.
Garcia settled into himself after a rocky first inning. The right-hander battled his way through seven innings, surrendering one run on seven hits and one walk. Luck looked to have played a role early, but Garcia did also fan eight Southsiders.
Only three Astros reached base via a hit, Gurriel (one), Alvarez (three) and Abraham Toro (one), who has been hot in his two games since being called up. With Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker on the injured list, the lineup looks out of whack. We have seen manager Dusty Baker utilize the two-hole with his most consistent hitter before with Michael Brantley, Correa or Tucker, but as of late, Chas McCormick steps in.
With the lineup shifting, Carlos Correa needs to hit second.
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In all reality, you want your best hitters having the most at bats, while also distributing the weight one through nine. Alvarez had three hits on Friday night; only one of them had someone on base stepping into the box. This isn’t the best thing, when your RBI machine has no one in front of him.
Rodon was dealing, but Correa has been so much more diligent in 2021. The right-hander reached base once in three plate appearances, while McCormick sat down four times. McCormick is a strong, up-and-coming player, but he isn’t as consistent as an All-Star like Correa.
Correa should move to the two-hole or even three-hole until Bregman returns to the lineup. Tucker (illness) is anticipating to be activated in the coming days, as he waits to be cleared by a doctor. The lineup will vary over time, but if Bregman is out and Brantley is hitting third, Correa has every right to be the second player to stand in the box.
The Astros are back on the field on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. with Framber Valdez matching up with right-hander Lance Lynn, who has a bad history against Houston bats.