In order to win Game 4, the Astros will need to get 27 outs. What does that task look like without a true 4th starter? We got a hint of AJ’s plan in Game 6 of the ALCS, when AJ went to a bullpen game. Here’s who pitched, and the number of outs they recorded Urquidy (8), Peacock (5), Harris (4), James (3), Smith (3), Osuna (3), Pressly (1). After retiring 1 of 3 batters and having little command, it’s unlikely Peacock opens. Enter Urquidy, who faced 12 batters, and struck out five of them. He was great in Game 6. He’ll need to be even better in Game 4.
OF the eight Astro relievers, five pitched in Game 3, with Fireman Will Harris getting 5 outs on 25 pitches. I’m sure he’s good for an inning in Game 4, but probably not another multi-inning outing. Peacock needed 21 pitches to get one out. James only threw 8 pitches, and may be good for two innings. Three bullpen pitchers didn’t throw: Devo, Rondon, and Pressly.
My guess is that Hinch is aiming for between 9-15 outs from Urquidy. He still needs to plan for Game 5 and no rest in between. James probably gets the call in a tight, early inning jam. Smith, Harris, and Osuna probably get innings 7-9 with a lead. My guess is Presly gets a chance at redemption if theres a bridge needed from James to the back end. And in the tightest of spots, watch Devo come on to get one lefty.
Can your heart take more of these games? We’re in the Series, and Game 4 win ensures that the baseball season ends in Houston.
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