Framber Valdez – Game Score 75 | Strike % 64.3 | Pitches Per Out 4.2
In years past, Valdez battled control, with a career 4.0-walks per nine innings pitched. That wasn’t a worry on Opening Day as Valdez threw strikes on almost two-thirds of his pitches, while walking only one over 6.2 innings.
"“I made adjustments during Spring Training and the biggest thing was attacking the zone, getting ahead in the count and attacking the batters,” he said. “It was a mental change, and that’s what I did.”"
An efficient Valdez induced 11 ground balls (nine outs) in the 22 batters he faced, while striking out six Los Angeles Angels, inducing weak contact and granting only two singles.
It’s hard to imagine a better start to the season than this for Valdez as he out-dueled the much ballyhooed Shohei Ohtani and gave the Astros what they needed on Opening Day. If Valdez can maintain this level of control throughout the season, he’s going to be tough to beat.