The Houston Astros are now up 2-1 in the best of 5 series with the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS. The Astros top three starters have thrown and now it’s on to the question of who is the game 4 starter? Who makes the most sense for the Astros to pitch in game 4 versus who doesn’t? Would you want J.P. France or Jose Urquidy?
ALDS Game 4 Matchup
Jose Urquidy faced the Minnesota Twins once this season and was pretty successful. Urquidy faced 24 batters and gave up seven hits and one run while striking out six. Urquidy’s 5.1 innings were pitched back on April 7th and he went pitch for pitch up against Sonny Gray which is no small feat.
On the other hand, J.P. France had one start against the Twins and he faced 28 batters and gave up four runs. In that May 29th start, he went six innings and gave up one home run, not giving the Astros the best shot at winning. France is young and doesn’t have the experience yet so not much to go off.
Vote of Confidence in Urquidy
Although he ended up the season with a not so impressive 5.29 ERA, Baker gave Urquidy the nod in a crucial September 29th game against the Diamondbacks to determine their postseason fate. He did not disappoint. In that tough game on the road Urquidy went 6 shutout innings only giving up two hits.
Urquidy has the playoff experience as well that is very valuable in high pressure situations that France has yet to acquire. That isn’t to say France can’t do it, but Urquidy has lifetime playoff ERA of 3.72 which is only skewed that high because of one 2021 start where he went 1.2 and gave up five runs. Pretty much ever other start/appearance he has been solid and has earned this shot. Finally, France ended the season on a low point for his last month whereas Urquidy had that one big start which propelled him into the playoffs.
Urquidy was announced as the Game 4 starter and will get the nod and frankly, it’s the right decision. That is not to say France can’t do it, but it is more that Urquidy is on an upswing and has the chops and experience to give Houston their best shot to close this thing out.