Houston Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. will likely miss the entire ALCS with a strained forearm, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Bob normally makes laughably inaccurate reports, but considering this one is injury-related, we can assume it’s true.
Talk about a break for the Boston Red Sox.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. watches a delivery to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
McCullers has thrown 10.2 innings over the course of his two starts this postseason with a minuscule ERA of 0.84. ERA isn’t everything, however you don’t give up one run in over a full game of innings and call that anything other than dominant.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. reacts after he got Chicago White Sox’s Adam Engel to ground out to end the top of the fifth inning in Game 1 of a baseball American League Division Series Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Right now, the Houston Astros will likely rely on left-hander Framber Valdez to throw in Game 1 of the ALCS. Other than Nathan Eovaldi, Boston doesn’t have much rotational dominance either, so it’s likely to be a slugfest. Comparing Astros’ bats to Boston’s? Houston wins that battle.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
It’ll be good for baseball fans who have no horse in this race because they can expect to see more offense action, but it always sucks when injuries become this much of a factor in the outcome. The report claims he can be back, should Houston advance to the Winter Classic — and after watching Houston make easy work of the Chicago White Sox in the Division Series, don’t be shocked if the Houston Astros flex their muscles one more time and skate by Boston.
Still a scary group that’s proven they can deal with any departure. Maybe even Lance McCullers Jr.