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Game 4 Thread. July 27, 2020. 6:10 CDT. Mariners @ Astros

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Josh James takes the mound to snatch the series from the Mariners

MLB: Houston Astros-Workouts Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Just when you thought things might be starting to go right for the Astros in this cursed year of our Lord, 2020, the news breaks that Justin Verlander has a “forearm strain.” Well, at least they didn’t call it forearm “discomfort,” because in Astro lingo, discomfort means anything from cancer to the black plague.

Verlander is on the IL, and there is no timetable for his return, leading the pessimists among us to conclude he will be out for the season. Time will tell.

The Astros’ #2, Zack Greinke, was flat out bad yesterday, allowing three runs in 3.1 innings. But at least he wasn’t Shohei Ohtani, who left the game in California without getting a single out. Ohtani’s performance, as he returns from Tommy John surgery, might make you appreciate the job Lance McCullers did last Saturday in his first game back from surgery.

With Verlander out, big performances from Greinke and McCullers become even that much more crucial, but even then someone else is going to have to step up to fill JV’s Cy Young shoes.

Maybe it will be Josh (Flames) James. He’s got the stuff. He got the heat. Does he have the command? If so, watch out. That’s what we’ll be doing tonight. Show us something Flames. We need you now more than ever.

His mound opponent will be Kendall Graveman.

Really?

Graveman?

Bury the sucker.

Guess who the bottom four Astros hitters are by OPS?

They are:

Alex Bregman—.593

Jose Altuve—.629

George Springer—.649

Carlos Correa—.817

So your four best hitters historically are currently your four worst hitters and you’re still scoring 22 runs in three games. OK then.

Here’s your Houston Astros lineup for tonight. Kyle Tucker gets a start in RF and C Dustin Garneau makes his Astros debut.