The Astros bullpen made the Yordan Alvarez walk-off possible by holding the Mariners offense at bay for the final five innings.
While all the talk will be about Alvarez’s walk-off and Verlander’s poor start, credit needs to be given to the Astros bullpen for yielding only one run over five innings to give the offense a chance to rally back.
Other than a solo shot by Eugenio Suarez off of Cristian Jaiver, the Houston Astros bullpen was lock down after the Mariners jumped off to such a hot start. Look at the bullpen’s line compared to Verlander’s.
Justin Verlander: Four IP, 10 hits, six runs, one walk, three strikeouts.
Bullpen: Five IP, three hits, one run, no walks, five strikeouts.
The combination of Bryan Abreu, Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown and Rafael Montero did a great job holding the Mariners down giving the Astros offense a chance to get up off the mat and make every effort to win the game.
With a day off those relievers all should be good to go for game two but it also is somewhat of a moot point as their unused relievers consist of Hector Neris who has the lowest WHIP of any Astro reliever on the team at 1.01, Ryne Stanek who has the lowest ERA of any Astro reliever in the history of the franchise at 1.15, and of course their stellar closer in Ryan Pressly.
Suffice to say if Dusty needs to have a quick hook tomorrow for Framber Valdez he should use it as the bullpen seems to be picking up where it left off during the regular season. With so many weapons in a short series you might as well use them at the first sign of trouble.
If Valdez seems to be off in any way tomorrow don’t be surprised to see an even quicker hook as the Astros bullpen seems primed and ready to lock down their opponent.