back to top

Astros starter Framber Valdez aims for major

angelsrising.info

Between mid-June and early August, Houston Astros right-hander Jose Urquidy strung together a span of nine consecutive quality starts that appeared to solidify his place in the postseason rotation.

Urquidy has come back to earth of late. He surrendered six earned runs for a second successive start on Saturday and took the loss in the Astros’ 8-5 setback to the visiting Oakland Athletics in the third game of a four-game set. After lowering his overall ERA to 3.62 through Aug. 3, Urquidy has posted a 4.85 ERA and 3-3 record over seven starts since.

“He’ll be all right,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “Guys go through these ups and downs in the season. I have full confidence in Urquidy. You don’t lose confidence in a guy because he’s had a couple of rough outings. That happens to everybody and I know it’s bothering him as much as anybody to not put hitters away.”

But Sunday is another day, and another quality pitcher for Houston as the Astros host the A’s again. Left-hander Framber Valdez (15-5, 2.55 ERA) has the starting assignment for Houston (95-51).

Valdez matched the major league single-season record with his 24th consecutive quality start in his previous outing on Monday, a 7-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers during which he allowed six hits and issued one walk while recording eight strikeouts in his first career shutout. Valdez has surrendered more than three earned runs in a start once this season, allowing six against the Los Angeles Angels on April 19.

Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom set the mark in 2018.

Valdez is 1-3 with a 3.15 ERA over eight career games (six starts) against the Athletics. He is 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA in two starts, both complete games, against Oakland this season.

Rookie left-hander Ken Waldichuk (0-1, 5.40) is the scheduled starter for the Athletics in the series finale on Sunday. It will mark the fourth career start for Waldichuk, who was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sept. 1.

Waldichuk did not factor into the decision of his previous start after allowing five runs on eight hits and one walk with six strikeouts over five innings in an 8-7 road loss to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

Oakland acquired Waldichuk from the New York Yankees on Aug. 1. He will make his first career appearance against the Astros.

Oakland (53-93) entered Saturday a season-worst 41 games under .500 and saddled with the second-worst winning percentage in the majors (.363) ahead of only the Washington Nationals (.352). With little collective incentive inspiring the Athletics, the challenge for Oakland to maintain attentiveness down the stretch of the season is stiff.

Oakland manager Mark Kotsay has pressed his players to maintain their intensity despite the lack of success, especially those non-veterans who must use the remaining games as a showcase.

“I actually think it should be easier for them to focus because they still have a lot to prove, and they have opportunity that’s sitting in front of them for next year,” Kotsay said. “I’ve talked to them a lot about sprinting through this finish line, that there’s no easy days in front of you, that you may want to take a day off in terms of your warmup routine or in terms of your workout routine.

“Those are still as important as going out and taking ground balls and batting practice to your success in finishing this season off.”


www.yardbarker.com

Latest articles

Angels’ Noah Syndergaard set to face A’s amid...

Noah Syndergaard is scheduled to be on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday...

Which MLB players have (or will) reached thresholds...

Carrasco has a $14M club option for next season on a contract extension he initially...

Analyzing how the Rangers have fared in the

On the offensive side, the Rangers have scored 65 runs, the sixth fewest in baseball....

Mariners, Jonathan Villar agree to minor league deal

The Mariners agreed to a minor league deal with veteran infielder Jonathan Villar, reports Ryan...
angelsrising.info

More like this

Assessing the Chicago White Sox’s offseason outlook

Aside from a new manager, the White Sox don’t seem destined for a major...

Offseason outlook for the Los Angeles Angels

Despite the continued excellence of Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, the Angels had another...

Previewing the 2022-23 free agent class: Designated hitter

Obviously, any hitter is capable of serving as a DH. Many of the players...

World Series Houston Astros vs. Philadelphia

The Phillies are red-hot, but the Astros are even hotter. Houston has yet to...

Mariners could be in position to deal from

Going into next year, the Mariners have considerable depth in their rotation. Luis Castillo...

Guardians have some tough middle infield decisions to make

Two months ago, I wrote about Andres Gimenez’s 2022 breakout and how it was a...