Pitching plan for the Rest of the ALCS

Astros fans are freaking out and with some reason

  • their Ace Lance McCullers Jr. is out and not on the ALCS roster

  • their Rookie of the year starter and arguably their second most valuable starter Luis Garcia is injured didn't get out of the second inning with an injury

  • their pitching staff was bombed for 9 runs in Game 2

  • their game 3 starter has not pitched since 10/3

  • their possible game 4 starter had to be inserted into game 2 and pitched 82 pitches

Chaos right? The Astros have no chance right? This team should just give up right? That is an exaggeration of but hits the tone of the collective media and twitter messages.


One of the reasons for this website is to give Astros fans an oasis from the media hate filled gaslighting.


Here is the truth Astros fans- your team is still very good and its offense can lead them to victories.


To be clear as I tweeted today I am not saying the Astros will win this series. I still think they CAN. Obviously, if Garcia is out (I don't think he is), that makes it even harder. I am saying #Astros fans should not let people (media) gaslight them into believing they cannot win.



Read the matchup article here for a more comprehensive comparisons of these rosters and to understand what the Red sox might have to throw as starters in Games 3 and 4. In short, it's not great either.


What can the Astros do to survive the Boston lineup and hold them to enough runs to still win the ALCS?


Let's be clear again. I am NOT saying this is what they have to do and that the relief pitchers must be used this way. I am saying this is a viable plan to use their remaining pitchers and STILL be in a position to win.


Astros ALCS Plan without Garcia

Gm3- Start Urquidy with Relievers Maton, Raley, Graveman, Pressly

Gm4- Opener Greinke with Bulk Javier and with Relievers Taylor, Maton, Stanek, Yimi

Gm5- Start Valdez with Relievers Raley, Stanek, Graveman, Pressly

Off Day

Gm6- Opener Odorizzi with Bulk Greinke and with Relievers Taylor, Maton, Yimi

Gm7- Start Urquidy with Relievers Javier, Valdez, Stanek, Graveman, Pressly


One detail to note- I have Valdez pitching as a LHRP in game 7 on two days rest. Yes, if it is close and they want a lefty I can see them do that. It is the post season.


Also remember the American League started first with one day off while the National League had two days off. If the ALCS goes seven games it will end on 10/23. The NLCS will end on 10/24. The AL Champion has TWO days off before the start of the World Series on 10/26. The Astros can be extremely aggressive in their use of pitching in games six and seven of the ALCS if needed.


This plan has no Garcia either. One may ask why the Astros would not put Garcia on the IL and bring in Bielak or Solomon. If the Astros put Garcia on the IL, he would not be available for the World Series. Under the assumption they COULD win the ALCS with this plan, the Astros would definitely want the option to have Garcia in the World Series.


What would a plan look like IF Garcia was available for Game 6?


Astros ALCS Plan with Garcia

Gm3- Start Urquidy with Relievers Maton, Raley, Graveman, Pressly

Gm4- Opener Greinke with Bulk Javier and with Relievers Taylor, Maton, Stanek, Yimi

Gm5- Start Valdez with Relievers Stanek, Raley, Graveman, Pressly

Off Day

Gm6- Start Garcia with Relievers Odorizzi, Taylor, Maton, Yimi

Gm7- Start Urquidy with Relievers Javier, Valdez, Stanek, Raley, Graveman, Pressly (work platoons aggressively)


There are multitudes of options depending if the team wins or loses. Valdez MIGHT be asked to start game 4 but I am not sure that is wise. The goal in Boston is to win at least one game and winning two is preferred (I am cashing my chips in for Games 3 and 5).


This is how the pennant can still be won Astros fans. Do not be afraid.

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