September 17, 2021

Rosenthal: Pitching concerns for the Astros; how the Nationals got Soto; Bloom and the Red Sox; more notes (The Athletic)

WASHINGTON — Difficult as it is to believe, the Astros are short on pitching.

It’s not just that they staged a bullpen day in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series and will start rookie right-hander José Urquidy on Saturday night in Game 4 of the World Series.

If the Series goes seven games, the Astros will be left with righty Zack Greinke as their starter, a possibility that no longer inspires confidence.

Greinke wasn’t terrible on Friday night in Game 3, which the Astros won, 4-1. But he lasted only 4 2/3 innings, his average in four postseason starts. And he allowed 10 baserunners, repeatedly escaping trouble to give up only one run.

True, Greinke made some big pitches, and as manager A.J. Hinch said, “he never really concedes.” But he required 95 pitches to get 14 outs, and is simply not performing as effectively as he did in the regular season:

Gerrit Cole would be available out of the bullpen on two days rest for…

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