Last night, the Astros wasted a good start from one of their replacement pitchers, J.P. France, getting shut out by the Brewers 6-0. Today they rely on another replacement pitcher, Brandon Bielak, to take the rubber match of this three-game series.
Facing Bielak is a former Astros product, Adrian Houser. Houser was the “fourth man” in the infamous Carlos Gomez trade in 2015. Who knows? If not for that trade, Houser might be pitching today for the Astros.
He’s had a decent career. He’s 23-29 with 79 starts, a 3.94 ERA, and 2.8 bWAR. Last year, in just over 100 innings, Houser had a 4.73 ERA in 21 starts. So far this year, Houser has a 3.07 ERA in three starts.
Just for kicks, let’s revisit that disastrous trade.
The Astros got Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. In their time with Houston, they combined for 0.2 bWAR.
The Astros gave up Houser, Josh Hader, Brett Phillips, and Domingo Santana. Obviously, losing Hader is the part that stings the most, but together these players have a combined 21.4 career bWAR. Last I heard, Santana is playing in Japan.
Here are the lineups and media access information. Altuve is not in the lineup, although reports say he is not injured, merely feeling ill.