The Houston Astros have a very nice problem – who is their ace starting pitcher? Jordan Lyles made his argument as the club’s premier starter last night.
Bud Norris is currently the face of the Astros pitching staff. Challengers to his throne have been cropping up in the last six weeks, primarily in the form of Lyles and Lucas Harrell. Harrell, who just turned 28, has very much come into his own, having just picked up his fifth win to improve to 5-7 after starting the season with one loss after another.
Lyles is 22-years old. He’s strung together starts with the command of a seasoned veteran, exasperating batters with his wicked curveball, satisfying critical questions about his major-league readiness. In his last seven starts, Lyles has a 3-0 record, a 1.59 ERA, a .223 opponent batting average, and 35 strikeouts versus 10 walks.
This is a man on fire, in possession of numbers that would please any Cy Young candidate.
On Tuesday night, the Astros clobbered the Milwaukee Brewers 10-1. Just as impressive as the number “10” is the number “one.” Hypothetically, a 10-5 victory would still have been a thrashing, but to limit opponents to just a single run will win most any game in the majors regardless of the power of the bats.
Lyles went seven innings, fanning five, walking none and allowed just the one run. The Brewers’ pitching staff has improved a lot recently just like the Astros’, but on this night, Jordan Lyles stood atop the mound and proclaimed, ‘here’s how it’s done.’