Houston Astros, MLB Postseason

Astros pitching in a serious bind heading into World Series Game 6

The Houston Astros’ pitching staff might be up against it in Game 6 vs. the Atlanta Braves.

No doubt about it, the Houston Astros had no choice but to beat the Atlanta Braves on the road in Game 5 of the 2021 World Series, but doing so came at a great price to their pitching staff.

Down 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, Houston won a bullpen game over the Braves, 9-5. Though both teams will have a day of rest with Monday being a travel day, the Astros may be limited with their pitching staff in Game 6 on Tuesday. Manager Dusty Baker said that by using Jose Urquidy in relief on Sunday night that it may force his hand to go with Luis Garcia on short rest for Game 6.

Atlanta is expected to have left-hander Max Fried get the start in Game 6 and right-hander Ian Anderson in a winner-take-all scenario in Game 7, if need be.

Houston Astros may have depleted pitching staff heading into Game 6

While Baker had to make the necessary adjustments to come out on top in a must-win game, Atlanta is in a far better position from a pitching standpoint entering Game 6. Fried last pitched in Game 2’s loss at Houston. Though he struggled out of the gate, he did settle down a bit to give the Braves a big five innings. Atlanta should also have its Nightshift bullpen ready to rock for Game 6.

Even if left-hander A.J. Minter got the loss, he will have a day’s rest to pitch maybe an inning out of the bullpen if need be. Keep in mind that Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith did not pitch in Game 5. If Atlanta gets to the seventh inning with a lead, that could mean season over for Houston. Of course, the team who goes on to win the World Series will do so with timely hitting.

The Astros may have home-field advantage, but the Braves’ pitching staff is in a better spot.

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