In this, the last game of the season, a season in which the Astros have already clinched the second seed in the American League playoffs, the only thing that mattered was giving some players a few reps before their upcoming five day break, and finding out if a few of them were “play off ready.”
Chief among the latter was Charlie Morton, who has recently been on the DL, and in his last abbreviated start left early due to soreness and diminished velocity.
The returns are mostly good on Charlie, but not without some lingering questions. He pitched three innings with no runs and got four strikeouts. He only allowed one hit, but was a little wild, getting only 19 strikes out of 34 pitches. He got 6 whiffs, a decent percentage.
His four seam velocity was slightly lower than average, 95.5 MPH, whereas most of the year he has pitched in the high 96 range. And of course, his success was for only three innings, against a very weak team.
If it is possible to lose a playoff spot due to a bad last game of the season, Brad Peacock may have done it. Already on the bubble, his ERA since August 29th has been a respectable 3.68, but his WHIP is 1.50, and his FIP 4.66. Before today that is, when he allowed four runs on five hits while getting just one out.
On the plus side of the playoff roster contention list is Josh James who, for the next two innings, gave up no runs, one hit, no walks, and got two strikeouts. Have the Indians seen him pitch yet?
Needless to say, from the score, that there’s not much to talk about offensively for the Stros today. In fact, they only got one hit.
No doubt, they are saving them for the ALDS, this Friday against Cleveland. Stay tuned here at TCB for AL playoff team profiles and other articles, our pick for the other ALDS tomorrow, and the game thread for the AL Wild Card Game on Wednesday.
Box score and videos here.