Framberin used to have a different meaning.
It used to mean lots of full counts, lots of walks, lots of bases-loaded jams, probably an increased heart attack rate in Houston during Framber Valdez games. But somehow there’d be a big play, a baserunning error, a miraculous double play, and Framber would slither out of trouble.
Framberin has a whole new meaning now. As in ace quality pitching, precise, baffling, of the highest order of brilliance and excellence.
In only his second game back from an extended stint on the IL, Valdez baffled a potent Red Sox lineup for seven complete innings. He allowed one run on five hits (three infield), two walks, and 10 strikeouts. There were 18 swinging strikes. Baffling.
He threw 102 pitches, 67 for strikes. Precise.
Framber Valdez, Wicked Curveballs (8th and 9th Ks). pic.twitter.com/hJTeiCg87o— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 3, 2021
His only mistake was a first-inning reversion to the earlier definition of Framberin. After getting two quick outs he allowed a J.D. Martinez single, no disgrace there. Then a walk to Xander Bogaerts, an infield hit to Rafael Devers to load the bases, and an RBI walk to Hunter Renfroe. After the run, he got out of further trouble by getting Bobby Dalbec to ground out to strand the bases loaded.
Well, it was required that Framber allow one run. It is now the seventh game in a row where an Astros starter allowed precisely one run.
The Astros answered the Sox in similar fashion in the first, loading the bases with one out after a Jose Altuve lead-off walk, a Carlos Correa double, and a Yordan Alvarez hit by pitch. Yuli Gurriel sac flied Altuve home for one run, but after Kyle Tucker loaded the bases again with a single, Robel Garcia struck out to strand the bases loaded.
The Astros got Nick Pivetta’d. (Who lost his first game in his last 8 decisions)
The Astros got the only other run of the game in the fourth when Kyle Tucker (yeah him again) led off with a double, took third on a wild pitch, and smartly scored on a Myles Straw swinging bunt.
The two aces of the Astros bullpen combined to preserve the win, Ryne Stanek in the eighth, and Ryan Pressly in the ninth for the save, but only after allowing two Boston hits.
Hey, somebody’s gotta Framber now that Framber doesn’t Framber anymore.
1:10 CDT game time tomorrow as the Astros go for the four-game sweep.
Box score and videos HERE.