Houston Astros: Brad Peacock should start Game 4 if there’s no rainout

Houston Astros pitcher Brad Peacock (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros pitcher Brad Peacock (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros pitcher Brad Peacock should be slated for a start if the weather holds up tonight in New York. Why should the team start him? Let’s look.

The Houston Astros were able to take a commanding 2-1 lead in the ALCS against the New York Yankees last night in a fashion that’s extremely admirable out of this team.

The long ball wasn’t necessarily rampant yesterday with Jose Altuve and Josh Reddick being the only two guys to be able to put homers up on the board but they were tactical with the base running, batting and figuring out innovative ways to score runs.

With a team as talented as the Yankees are, one must have a few aces up their sleeve in order to be successful.  Their pitching staff is as good as any of the elite teams in the MLB so getting the big pop of a given pitch isn’t necessarily a guarantee.

The Houston Astros had worked Luis Severino to nearly 40 pitches in the first inning, making a sure indication that he’d be knocked out the game early because of his count.  It was, in fact, an excellent strategy by the team because it forced them to go their bullpen early as Severino was finished after just 4.1 innings of work and 97 pitches.

But nonetheless, the Houston Astros prevailed and now they were able to steal a game up at Yankee Stadium, hopefully being able to capture the series on the road and come back to H-Town as winners.

There are still two wins that the team must be able to get and Game 4 will be critical for the Houston Astros to secure as if the Yankees don’t win, you can pretty much say they likely will not have a chance to climb back in this series.

With the Houston Astros through their Top 3 starters of their rotation, Game 4 would typically be designated as a bullpen game for this team.

However, with inclement weather possibly threatening the 7:08 p.m. CDT start of Game 4, there is a possibility that the game could be moved to Thursday and they might have to play a doubleheader — including Game 5 — to keep the schedule moving along as it should.

But if the weather holds up, there’s nobody more than I trust to get the ball on the bump than Brad Peacock.

He’s struggled through the latter stages of the season to remain healthy because of issues with his shoulder but the decision was made by AJ Hinch to add him to the ALCS roster so obviously, they’re confident in his readiness.

Peacock has yet to appear in the postseason so likely that was intentional, knowing that he would be used at some point in this series.

He has 12.1 innings of experience in the postseason under his belt, all from the 2017 championship run that included 16 strikeouts in that span along with seven earned runs and a 5.11 ERA.

But being that his arm/shoulder is fresh and ready to go, there’s no telling what the ceiling will be for Peacock.

History speaks for itself — Peacock’s best outing, when he was used as a starter earlier this season was against the Yankees.

This was back June 21 where he had 11 strikeouts and two earned runs while holding onto a 3.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 6.0 innings of work.

Batters have hit .227 against him this season through his 91.2 innings pitched — .179 for right-handers, .279 for lefties — and I’d take those numbers any day into a potential start for this guy.

His low 90s sinker, as well as his low 80s slider, will bode to be useful against this Yankees lineup and I’m looking forward to what he could possibly do.

If things do go sour early — to which I think they won’t — they have rookie pitcher Jose Urquidy,

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who has proved his worth through mid-point of the season, warranting him a playoff spot for his ability to wean strikeouts and minimize the amount runs given up.

Urquidy is incredibly calm and collected in such an important role and I’m comfortable with him going long if there are some mishaps with Peacock.

He has only appeared once this postseason, appearing in relief for a tired Justin Verlander on short rest against the Tampa Bay Rays back Oct. 8.  He pitched 1.2 innings of shut-out ball while tossing three strikeouts.

This scenario, of course, changes, if the game is postponed as Zack Greinke, will have been fully-rested and Hinch will just go straight to him for Game 4 tomorrow and Verlander for Game 5.  If there is a need for a Game 6, this scenario would come up again and I’m perfectly fine with putting Peacock on the bump at a potential game at Minute Maid Park.

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Regardless, this team has the weapons necessary to catapult themselves out of this series but it’s a matter of how potent the bats are.

We’ll have to see how this pans out — let’s hope for the best — go Houston Astros!