BOSTON – One of the most intriguing aspects of the American League Championship Series is going to be revealed this Tuesday night.
It has to do with pitching and is perhaps the last chance for the Houston Astros to stop the historic hitting, which at times seems practical, by the Boston Red Sox.
Zack Greinke will be the starting pitcher for the Astros, in what will be his first start of the postseason and since Sept. 19. He will face Nick Pivetta, whom Red Sox manager Alex Cora had announced since Sunday, unless he had to take over.
“Yeah, we believe in Greinke,” Baker said before Game 3, which the Astros lost 12-3 in Boston. “What hurt Greinke was the situation that he was sick and when he got sick it was the point in the season where we were trying to get (to the playoffs). Everybody had us in the playoffs, but there was a point where we could not get there. We had to compete with the Athletics – the way we hoped to secure long before we had to play. “
Baker was referring to the last month of the season, in which although they had the leadership of the West Division of the American League they had been difficult to get the title in a mathematical way and Greinke, former winner of the Cy Young Trophy, suffered discomfort in the neck.
“We had to adjust our pitching and Zack was part of that.” “This guy can pitch. So we feel positive that he will pitch very soon.”
The time came perhaps faster than they expected. Since the Astros saw how they already lost 6-0 in the second inning of Game 3, first at Fenway Park, of the current American League Championship Series.
The Astros have allowed 25 combined runs in the first three innings of the series; the most in a three-inning span in franchise playoff history.
Baker said Greinke is going as a real starter and not as the first reliever in a bullpen game, that is, as a so-called “opener.”
Greinke already pitched an inconsequential inning in these playoffs against the White Sox in the Division Series.
He got just one inning and was hit with two hits as a reliever in a 12-6 loss to the White Sox in the third of the division series.
“(Greinke) is going as long as he can,” Baker said after Monday’s game. “As long as I can be there on the hill is fine. Like I said, as long as I can go.”
Baker said he will also have Cristian Javier available and maybe Luis Garcia, the rookie starter who came out second in the series Saturday with knee ailments with just one full inning and five earned runs allowed.
“If tomorrow (Tuesday) we come back and win, the series will be tied,” Baker said. “I mean, we don’t like that. I’m not happy, but you have to let this go because you can’t bring it in tomorrow or allow it to last until tomorrow. And like I said, I don’t like what’s going on, but tomorrow the sun will rise from new”.