H-Town. The Bayou. The H. Clutch City. Crush City. Whatever you call it, Houston is a special place where the pride of Texas meets the laidback attitude of the coast. Houston is a place where big personalities can thrive without the scrutiny of aggressive tabloids.
Houston is perfect for Lance McCullers Jr., a player that isn’t afraid to show his emotions on his sleeve. Astros fans thrive on his every flex after a strikeout and go nuts when he screaming coming off the mound.
At times, he’s has gotten under the skin of opposing fans and players. But McCullers thrives at Minute Maid Park and part of that is letting his emotions flow. He can do that in Houston. McCullers said about his game and pitching at home:
For me, I'm very confident in myself. Very confident in the game plan we all put together and have a lot of faith in my defense, and especially Brian McCann back there.
Just makes it a lot easier on me to see him, and just focus on doing what I have to do to help the team win.
The Astros couldn’t have scripted it any more perfect to send out McCullers in Game 3.
McCullers in his career is 13-4 with a 2.59 ERA in 29 career starts during the regular season at Minute Maid Park. He is 4-0 with a 3.04 ERA in nine starts in 2017.
McCullers has shown he is up to the task in the playoffs as a starter. In his two career starts, McCullers has allowed three earned runs over 12 1⁄3 innings. And do whatever it takes to get the job done, finishing Game 7 with a four-inning save that included a run of 20-plus breaking balls in a row to end the game.
As I was throwing curveballs and I was reading the swings, for me it was just, I'm not really going to make an adjustment until they do. It would have been the same thing if I threw a lot of fastballs or a lot of change-ups. The old saying of, don't fix it if it ain't broke or something like that. I just kind of got into the groove and felt like it was working, which is kind of the pitch after pitch was the same thing.
Now it’s time for Lance McCullers to shine on the Minute Maid Park stage.