HOUSTON — Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, a lead candidate for the American League Cy Young Award five months before the regular season, was at Minute Maid Park on Sunday. Discomfort in right calf after being called off three innings against the Orioles. He threw 60 in Houston’s 3-1 win over Baltimore.
24th season begins, Verlander strikes out three innings Hits. The game’s first two batters singled, but Verlander responded with a strikeout. He started the third inning with a hit and walk in the infield, but he came back with a strikeout and an inning-ending double.
Seth Martinez took over for Verlander in the fourth.
Verlander returns from Tommy John surgery that will keep him through 2021 Seasons have taken their toll, and this has been one of baseball’s biggest storylines of the year. He’s tied for the majors lead with 16 wins on Sunday while leading the majors in ERA (1.87) and opponents’ OPS (.510).
The Astros have been very cautious about Verlander’s workload this season, and Giving him more rest between his starts. Sunday was his fifth four-day break this year, and most of his starts (13) have been on a five-day break. He threw 91 pitches in his previous start, when he missed a bat in Tuesday’s game against the Twins.
3 in 11 days starting on Monday On the off day, the Astros temporarily returned to a five-man rotation — moving Christian Javier to the bullpen — to make sure their starters didn’t have more than a week between starts. Javier pitched three innings to relieve Lance McCullers Jr. in Friday’s loss to Baltimore.
Starting is the strength of the Astros this season, led by All-Star Veran De and François Valdez lead. They have top prospect Hunter Brown (No. 71 overall in MLB Pipeline) knocking on Triple-A, but losing Verlander would be a huge challenge for a team trying to maintain the top spot in the AL standings and the World Series. Major blow wishes.