Astros Tie the Yankees 4-4; Edge Closer to Naming 4th Starter

USA TODAY Sports

Brad Peacock 2-hits the Yankees and gives up 1 run in 5 innings, furthering his case to becoming the Astros' 4th starter.

Brad Peacock increased the probability of him earning the 4th spot in the pitching rotation with the strong start he put in today. While his results were seemingly good (one run over two hits in 5 innings) he was lucky on some of the fastballs he left over the plate; most of the hard hit balls were caught with notable exception to a Kevin Youkilis double. Peacock seemed to be mixing in all of his pitches with a repertoire including a 91 mph fastball combined with a nice knuckle-curveball and various other off speed pitches. His control was acceptable, but he struggled commanding his pitches, throwing some pitches dangerously down the middle of the plate. He was lucky with some of those pitches, but that may not all be due to the Yankees' stripped down lineup. Peacock has some deception in his delivery and that may have attributed to his performance today.

Comparing Peacock's start with that of Alex White, Peacock had a slightly better performance. While both have control issues, Peacock was much more efficient in his start than White was with White having much longer innings compared to Peacock who worked comparably more quickly and efficiently. Based on the recent performances of White and Peacock, Peacock seems to be the one will get the 4th starter's job if it was strictly based on performance. White would then be placed in the bullpen in a long-relief/6th starter role which is something he would be more familiar with than Brad Peacock. The Rockies had a unique 4-man rotation with a 75-pitch limit that Alex White was a part of. While it wasn't successful, it may indicate that while White has experience pitching on a unique schedule, he pitched miserably while doing so and thus would make him a bad candidate for a long-relief role. And as clack said before, Peacock's pitches would probably play better in the bullpen due to increased velocity difference between his fastball and curveball than Alex White's pitches which mostly feature an artisanal selection of fastballs. But whatever ends up happening, neither choice for 4th starter would be surprising.

The game was filled with at least 4 defensive highlights, though only one of those was by a player who will actually make the opening-day roster. Not surprising, the first two came from Brandon Laird who made some absolutely beautiful backhanded plays on the 3rd base line followed by two handsome throws to first to get the out. Brandon Laird also made a dent in the game with an opposite-field line-drive double in the gap later on in the game.

The next play that stuck out was when Michael Burgess made a very strong throw from deep RF to 2nd base. Burgess batted twice and grounded out on the first pitch in his first plate appearance. In his second plate appearance he hit a single into CF, but when the ball was thrown to the catcher, Burgess made the smart move of scooting up to 2nd base. When he entered the game I kinda had to remember where he came from, but he seems like a good pickup from the minor league portion of the Rule-5 draft with a good arm for the outfield, and good baseball smarts as well.

One play was a very crucial one in keeping the game tied at 4 runs. After catching a fly-out in center field, Brandon Barnes threw an absolute bullet to Carlos Corporan who tagged a runner trying to dive into home to end the inning. Barnes also hit a HR off of a high CC Sabathia fastball earlier in the 4th inning.

There were also some defensive miscues with one coming from Ronny Cedeño who flubbed a ball that got hit to him. He just flubbed it...

Some other parts of the game that were interesting were the sights of a few prospects. Jose Martinez once again showed his usefulness with an opposite field double down the RF line. Jon Singleton, or as he shall be known by the name of Jon Quixote de los Astros, made two appearances in the batter's box after riding up from Kissimmee on his stallion. The first time up he walked on a close ball 4. The next time, however, he struck out on a pitch outside of the zone against a left-handed pitcher. In the 10th inning Andrew Robinson pitched to his catcher Ryan McCurdy. His fastball was clocked at 91 mph and featured a nice breaking ball, though it was thrown erratically at times. He recorded a scoreless inning which is not something I expect our bullpen to do often this year...

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