Houston Astros vs Yankees: Why the bullpen will be the team’s demise

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Ken Giles
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Ken Giles /

The Houston Astros have dropped their second straight game in their seven-game ALCS series against the New York Yankees with no signs of a recovery without a strong bullpen.

Things for the Houston Astros bullpen has been absolutely horrendous.  We have tremendous faith in our two aces in Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel but outside of that, things get dicey.  Now mind you, Lance McCullers Jr. and Collin McHugh have done some amazing work in relief.  But Brad Peacock and Charlie Morton‘s performances have been mixed at best.

A lot of the aforementioned names have limited experience in the playoffs, notwithstanding that the last time Morton pitched in high-pressure situation was when he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLDS back in 2013.

So the limited experience along with the guys being a bit gun-shy on giving their best stuff coupled with picking their spots to throw what has been a recipe for disaster.

Try this on for size — since arriving to Yankee Stadium, the bullpen has allowed 10 hits, seven earned runs, walked seven, struck out eight and allowed two homers.  This includes Peacock, McHugh, Will Harris, Francisco Liriano, Chris Devenski, Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson.

One can make the case that the Yankees’ playpen is not a friendly park for hitters but it’s beyond that, all of these guys are being relied upon to ensure the game doesn’t go to hell after a pitching performance — whether stellar or bad.

It’s critical — let me rephrase — it’s ESSENTIAL that the bullpen be on point this stage in the playoffs because the Los Angeles Dodgers — the presumptive winner of the NLCS — have a ton of dominant pitching in their bullpen.

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Don’t get me wrong, I really like these guys but they’ve got to be able to cut the mustard if they want to play with the big boys which would be in this case, the Yankees and the Dodgers.  I expect Jeff Luhnow to do some tweaking with the bullpen in the off season as this particular weakness of ours was one that was exposed this postseason.

With the tone of this post, you’d think the Houston Astros had fell to the Yankees as they moved on to the World Series.  But with all that has transpired, our opponent has the momentum now and we’ve got to FIGHT like hell to get it back.

It can be done because Houston teams have had their backs against the wall before and succeeded — like your 1994-95 Houston Rockets — to seize the prize that’s in front of them.  I’m not ruling out this team one bit but there’s one more thing to ponder?

Even if the Houston Astros win Game 6, who’s going to pitch Game 7?  My confidence is shaky over Morton, would get the likely nod to do so.  But maybe this spanking will fire up our bullpen staff to lift the rest of the team up to take competition to the next level, which is of course the World Series.

Next: Astros vs. Yankees: Why it's a generational battle

Those bats have to wake up as well so we’re going to see how the script plays out it’s not looking for our guys because of this bullpen.

But let’s hope for the best — go Astros.