Astros right-handed pitcher Jose Urquidy had a phenomenal regular season in 2021, with an inconsistent postseason.
Since joining the Houston Astros in 2019, Jose Urquidy has been a strong depth addition to what is usually already a killer starting rotation. The righty has kept his ERA below 4.00 in his first two seasons with the club and continued this trend in 2021.
After going 1-1 in the shortened 2020 regular season, followed by a dominant playoff performance, Urquidy kept the heat going in 2021.
He finished the regular season with an 8-3 record, a 3.62 ERA and a .991 WHIP over a large sample size of 107 innings pitched. Overall, it seemed like Urquidy had better control of his pitches this season, which allowed him to have such a dominant regular season on the bump.
Urquidy had a weird postseason, but part of the blame should not be put on the right-hander. He was set to make his first start in Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox.
However, after the game was postponed a day, Astros ace Lance McCullers Jr. became available for a Game 4 start, after having already pitched a victory in the first game of the series. Manager Dusty Baker decided to go with his ace in Game 4, which McCullers would prove to be victorious in, but after suffering what would wind up being a season ending injury.
The argument can be made that if Urquidy starts this Game 4, that he would not be rusty after having to sit out for so long, and maybe then McCullers would not have gotten injured in the postseason.
In my opinion, however, this argument is a stretch and I think that most people would have given McCullers the ball in a series clinching Game 4. Urquidy would not get his first playoff start of the year until game three of the American League Championship Series, where he would only last 1.2 innings, giving up six runs on five hits after getting the first four batters of the night out.
This gave him a 27.00 ERA and left the Astros having to rely on the bullpen in the playoff loss. I would say this outing was due to pure rustiness, having not pitched in such a long time, but that does not explain why he was able to get the first four batters out before falling apart.
Urquidy’s next start would come in Game 2 of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves, and it mirrored his regular season. He went six innings, allowing only two earned runs, and a 3.0 ERA. This was good for a 7-2 Astros victory, and tied the series at one game a piece. Safe to say, Urquidy had a bounce back start, when his team really needed it.
With free agency not on the menu for the right-hander until 2026, Jose looks to have dominant seasons for years to come. He’s only 26-years-old and has now pitched in two World Series, so look for him to be hungry for that first ring. I expect another dominant year from him in 2022, with hopefully an even more dominant staff around him after this offseason.