The Houston Astros don’t win many games. When they have the chance to win games, their bullpen has blown it. The one or two times a week the Astros do decide to play well, their bullpen decides not too. It’s not a great recipe for success.
There is no secret the Astros need help in their bullpen. Injuries have carved up what was supposed to be a solid bullpen. Matt Albers has a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings this season, but he will be missing the next 3-4 weeks while he recovers from tendinitis. Anthony Bass, who is tied for the team lead with two saves, also just went down with a strained intercostal muscle and he was just placed on the 15-day DL. Jose Cisnero was cut to just 4.2 innings as he will undergo Tommy John surgery next week. Jesse Crain has yet to throw a pitch this season.
Other younger pitchers haven’t performed as well as expected. Josh Fields has a 12.00 ERA in 12 innings, and was only recently called back up due to a lack of bullpen arms. Lefties Kevin Chapman and Raul Valdes each had a 12.27 ERA in 3.2 innings earlier this season and they are no longer on the 25-man roster. Paul Clemens and Josh Zeid have been less than spectacular so far this season.The good news is that the Astros seemed to have found their lefties out of the bullpen. Darin Downs has yet to give up a run in 3.1 innings in the LOOGY role. Another lefty has had an outstanding start to his Astros career and that is none other than Tony Sipp. Exactly who you thought I was going to say, right?
Sipp has been PERFECT through 5.2 innings. Yep, PERFECT. He has allowed zero hits, zero runs, and zero walks, while striking out 10 batters. He has been relied on lately and has come through each and every time.
Sipp isn’t your prototypical closer, but at this point there is no reason not to try him out. He gets out. No other Astros reliever has had the success he has. May as well see what he can do in the ninth inning. It can’t hurt.
It seems like Astros fans on Twitter would agree with the move.
— ‘Stros Fan (@astroslogy) May 15, 2014
— Josh (JR) Reese (@dyslexicsports) May 15, 2014
Mariano Rivera wears Tony Sipp pajamas. #GoStros
— Beer and Baseball (@astrosguy) May 15, 2014
So Tony Sipp is the Cy Young favorite now, right?
— Anthony Boyer (@AnthonyBoyerTCB) May 15, 2014
Now that Tony Sipp is an Astro, I just feel like anything is possible – a world series? a dynasty? expelling Dallas into Canada?
— Archbishop Deshaies (@HouCounterplot) May 15, 2014