Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?

Joe Fernandez
Framber Valdez #59 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 12, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Framber Valdez #59 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 12, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Framber Valdez, Houston Astros
Framber Valdez #59 of the Houston Astros is taken out of the game during the third inning against the Atlanta Braves in Game Five of the World Series at Truist Park on October 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros playoff roster: Framber Valdez

Biggest Positive: Soft contact.

Biggest Negative: Keeping composure.

Framber Valdez is one start away from holding the Major League record for most consecutive quality starts in a single season by himself at 25. It would be a truly incredible feat that surpasses names like Jacob DeGrom and Bob Gibson and would put him two more quality starts away from the all-time record at 27.

His ability to induce soft contact is a big reason he can pitch deep into games as he can get quick outs on the ground and double plays when he does allow a runner keeping a low pitch count that lets him get into the sixth inning or later.

This year was his first all-star appearance and he is sneaking his way into the Cy Young conversation with how well he’s been pitching.

The only thing to worry about with Framber is the mental side of things and handling the postseason pressure.

He showed what he can do in game five of the ALCS against Boston in Fenway pitching eight innings allowing one run on three hits and a walk. Outside of that start though, the numbers in his first postseason playing in front of packed stadiums was far different than 2020 when he had only 10,000 people watching.

His start by start numbers are as follows:

Game 2 ALDS: 4.1 IP, four earned runs, seven hits and one walk.

Game 1 ALCS: 2.2 IP, two earned runs, six hits and three walks.

Game 1 World Series: 2 IP, five earned runs, eight hits and one walk.

Game 5 World Series: 2.2 IP, five earned runs, four hits and two walks.

That’s a 12.34 ERA in four starts with a WHIP of 2.74.  Whatever he harnessed in game five of the ALCS he could not harness at any other time in the postseason and it wasn’t even close.

Framber seems to have turned a corner this year and has been dominant during this stretch of consecutive quality starts. The talent is there, it’s just a matter of consistency and doing it under the bright lights of October baseball.

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