The Astros have three starting pitchers right now. You know their names. When one of those three pitchers doesn’t start the game the Astros have very little chance of winning.
Today Framber Valdez was given a reprieve from AAA to get his second chance as a starting pitcher this year. It was a disaster. In 2⁄3 of an inning he allowed three walks, one to lead off the inning, an infield single, and three doubles. When he left the game, he had allowed four runs, and fortunately for him, his relief, Chris Devenski, was able to induce out three leaving the bases loaded.
Maybe with a little more luck on this grounder by Joey Gallo the inning might have gone differently.
Still, it was a rocket hit at 99 MPH.
In the meantime the Astros generated almost no offense, getting only seven hits, six singles and a double, putting only four runners in scoring position. Rangers starter Lance Lynn struck out 11 Astros, one less than his career high, and according to Jake Kaplan:
Lance Lynn is the first pitcher to have an 11-strikeout game against the Astros since Luis Severino on May 30, 2018.— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) July 12, 2019
But no doubt the worst part of this game was the sight of Alex Bregman walking off the field after getting smashed by a grounder in the face. Afterwards he was touching the sockets of his jaw, as though he was testing to see if it was broken somehow. And he appeared very woozy after getting up.
The Astros report at this time that Bregman suffered from a chin laceration requiring four stitches. Here’s the play.
Alex Bregman injured in the third inning and has to leave the game because of a chin laceration according to the #Astros pic.twitter.com/XQfFspNM7i— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) July 12, 2019
Hopefully that is the whole extent to Bregman’s injury and he can return to action tomorrow.
Here is Manager A. J. Hinch’s reaction to the pitching of Valdez and the injury to Bregman.
AJ Hinch says Bregman had four stitches in his chin, plus his thoughts on Valdez and Lance Lynn. pic.twitter.com/D1ZX4pfW9j— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 12, 2019
One bright spot. Rookie Cy Sneed, in his second appearance as a major leaguer, ate five innings and allowed only one run on six hits, striking out seven. Good job Cy. The staff needs you.
Tomorrow the Astros send Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole (9-5, 3.09 ERA) to the mound against Jesse Chavez (3-4, 3.30 ERA)
Game time 7:05 CDT
Box score and videos HERE.