The bats went quiet after the third inning for the Houston Astros, but a Kyle Tucker solo-homer is all the team needed to take the series from the Oakland A’s. With only four hits on the day, the Astros grab game two of the series, 4-3.
Blake Taylor took the seventh inning, as the left-hander hit a funk that he didn’t cause. Jose Altuve made two fielding errors in the inning, leading to two unearned baserunners for Taylor, who has been unlucky in these situations. While mostly entering in high-leverage situations recently, Taylor might be the left-hander of the future for this bullpen.
He also posted 1.1 scoreless innings last Sunday against the Cleveland in a close victory, held down by the left-hander.
While performing well on Wednesday, Blake Taylor has been quietly chipping away at his ERA.
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The Astros acquired Taylor and Kennedy Corona (minors) from the New York Mets for Jake Marisnick before the 2020 season, and since then, Taylor was pushed to the show. The 25-year-old made his debut with Houston, while posting a 2.18 ERA over 20.2 innings in his first season. This trade was a steal, since Corona has been slugging in Low-A and Marisnick is now a Chicago Cub.
After a rocky start to the ’21 season (6.75 ERA through 7 appearances), Taylor fell to an ankle injury that kept him out from April 16 to June 3. Since his return, the left-hander has dropped his ERA to 2.79 and his WHIP from 1.88 to 1.34. Strikeouts have been more common for Taylor, as he has passed his 2020 total (17) in less innings thus far.
The threat of being demoted can always come into play for a pitcher with options, and while Brooks Raley is on an expiring deal, it makes sense that Taylor will be his successor. Since he joined the franchise, the left-hander has been on the major-league roster excluding one rehab assignment.
On Wednesday, the left-hander was set for a one-inning appearance, where he only had a walk tacked onto his line. As stated before, two errors occurred in the inning, while the defense ended up closing it out.
The Astros close out the series on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. with Lance McCullers Jr. off the rubber against Frankie Montas.