The Astros are one win away from reaching the World Series for the third time in the last five years. The ALCS was brought back to Minute Maid Park and the 24-year-old rookie Luis García gets the ball to start Game 6 against the Red Sox tonight (7:08 pm CT). And even though García’s gas tank might be almost empty by now, there’s at least one reason to believe he can come through on Friday night.
And that reason is that he was just pitching great at home for the Astros this year during the regular season.
How great? Let me tell you the following stats. Out of the 59 major-league pitchers that threw at least 75 innings at home this year, Luis García’s 2.39 ERA was the seventh-best in the Major Leagues and third-best in the American League. In the young circuit, he was only behind phenom Shohei Ohtani (1.95) and Paul Quantrill’s son Cal (2.35).
In fact, his only outing against the Red Sox came on June 1 at Minute Maid Park. Back then, he won his fourth game of the campaign thanks to firing seven strong innings of five hits, one earned run, one walk, and six strikeouts.
However, García needs to be himself again. A controlled pitcher that mixes his weapons and is good at avoiding baserunners. Tonight, he could take vengeance on Boston’s tough offensive core, which gave Luis a hard time last Saturday — that time an injury got him out of the game after one inning, but he allowed a grand slam to JD Martínez.
García will try to become the fourth 25-year-old or younger starting pitcher to win the clinching game to advance to the World Series since 2000. That small group is formed by Cole Hamels (2008 vs Dodgers), Matt Garza (2008 vs Red Sox), and Michael Wacha (2013 vs Dodgers). Good luck tonight, kiddo!
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For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure
Game 6: Nathan Eovaldi (RHP, 11-9, 3.75 ERA, 195 K’s in regular season) vs Luis García (RHP, 11-8, 3.30 ERA, 167 K’s in regular season)
When: Friday, October 22nd @ 7:08 pm CT
Listen: Red Sox - WEEI 93.7, ESPN Radio, WCCM 1490 AM/103.7 FM, WAMG 94.9/890 AM / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, ESPN Radio, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010
Watch: FS1, FS1-INT