HOUSTON – José Urquidy says he was completely unconcerned about the lack of pitching against real opponents for two weeks, as he has prepared himself physically and mentally for when the day would come to climb the hill again.
That day will finally be Monday, when I will start Game 3 of the American League Championship Series; the first when competition for a ticket to the Fall Classic resumes at the home of the Boston Red Sox, as announced by Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker on Saturday.
The most recent time the Mexican right-hander started a game was in the last game of the regular season, Oct. 3 against the Oakland Athletics. He pitched six innings, allowing four hits and three runs.
“I’ve had 15 days without throwing, but I’ve tried to watch videos of the other teams,” Urquidy said before Game 2. “I’m throwing bullpen and batting practice live. I’m paying close attention to hitters. I’m well prepared, waiting for my next departure. “
Urquidy has experience in big moments like the current Championship Series.
Has four postseason starts; the first in 2019 when he rose to fame with four appearances between the New York Yankees in the Championship Series and the Washington Nationals in the World Series. It was never out of tune. Rather, he finished those playoffs with a 0.90 ERA as a rookie.
Last year, he had three other appearances, including three starts, but things were more complicated and his ERA was 4.02.
“He has the experience and the talent,” Baker said. “I know he can help us and he knows we need him. We trust him completely.”
Urquidy, 26, acknowledged that it is a great opportunity to open against a team he already faced once this season. In May he threw six innings with three-hit ball, nine strikeouts and just one run allowed.
“That helps a lot, sure,” he said. “I just watched the game again a couple days ago, watched their hitters and will have a plan for them. I’ve seen videos too.”
“I already know the postseason and what it feels like.” “I am very motivated by the opportunity to compete. I am happy to be here again.”