STONE COLD 'STROS
What's standing between Astros and a three-peat, no one saw coming
If the Astros are able to finish the deal and win the division for the third straight year, one of the biggest questions about the postseason is which pitchers deserve to be starters.
While Dusty Baker loves his veteran players, the numbers don't lie. JP France has earned his spot in the playoff rotation behind Framber Valdez and Justin Verlander.
The sample size is just too large with Cristian Javier and Hunter Brown at this point. They haven't consistently pitched well in several months. And while one of these guys will likely be one of the team's starters in the postseason, they can't pitch in front of France based on performance.
Plus, with the Astros lead in the division down to 1 game, Dusty needs to put his best offense in the lineup when Brown and Javier are pitching, so the team has a chance to win the game. Both pitchers are lucky to get through 4 innings while only giving up 4 runs at this point.
Let's look at the numbers. Javier has an ERA of 6.21 over his last 7 games, and Brown has given up a WHOPPING 24 earned runs in his last 30 innings. Yes, you read that correctly.
We have all accepted that Martin Maldonado is going to catch Framber and Verlander, but Yainer Diaz and the Astros “Death Lineup” must be employed when Javier and Brown start.
Otherwise, the team is not being given its best chance to win. And we don't want to hear from Dusty about how Maldy can get Hunter Brown straightened out by calling the pitches. How did that work out in his last start? He gave up 6 runs in 4.2 innings and lost to the Padres.
And after two losses to the A's with Framber and JV on the mound, the team's margin for error is almost nonexistent at this point. Winning the division for the third consecutive season now appears to be in jeopardy.
The team has to approach these games knowing they're going to have to score more than 5 runs to win with Javier and Brown on the mound.
Be sure to watch the video above as we break it all down.
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