Brad Peacock took to the mound for the Houston Astros against the hot-hitting Baltimore Orioles, knowing quite well that he was being evaluated heavily. His 1-4 record with a 5.20 ERA wasn’t very impressive, and though he’d been improving a lot of late, with the reemergence of Brett Oberholtzer, Peacock had to make a statement.
Well, he did just that. Peacock had always had problems with control. No one could deny he had nasty stuff, but that doesn’t matter if you can’t throw it for strikes. Peacock, in his six starts prior to his latest, had walked 22 batters. That’s not exactly an appealing number. His strikeout numbers were always impressive, but the walks had to be cut down on.
Despite getting a no-decision due to poor run support, Peacock did everything and more to prove that he deserves to be in the starting rotation. The young right-handed pitcher went six strong innings, giving up one earned run on six hits and continuing where he left off with strikeouts, as he fanned eight O’s batters. But the most telling stat is the zero walks. Peacock worked himself into plenty three-ball counts, but each and every time he found himself in that situation, he peppered the strike zone and avoided the walk.
In fact, 65 of Peacock’s 93 pitches were for strikes. That’s a mighty big improvement over what we had been seeing.
The six-man rotation appears to still be armed and operational, so unless something drastic happens, Astros’ nation should be looking forward to Peacock’s next scheduled start to see if he can build on this one.