The Houston Astros were sent to the All-Star break with their tail between their legs after losing to the Boston Red Sox, 11-0, Sunday afternoon. The Astros are a young team that looks like it’s in need of a rest. The flaws of that young team were glaring for the Astros once again, today. They never had a shot in this game because of the same issues that have been plaguing them all year long.
The Astros’ pitching gave up 16 hits and 11 runs to the Red Sox. Most of the runs came against the bullpen, like they have all season long. Starting Pitcher Brad Peacock only lasted 27 pitches before being yanked. The bullpen, heading into a 4-day break, was asked to limit the damage, but clearly was not up for the challenge.
Just like most of the games this season, the Astros’ bullpen was called upon to get outs after their starter was yanked. This has been an issue all season long for the worst bullpen in the American league. It is a compound of multiple issues. It is not just the player’s fault when it comes to the putridness that is the Astros bullpen.
Manager Bo Porter has been criticized for over-using his bullpen all season. He didn’t help himself in that area today after he took Peacock out after just 1/3 of an inning. Peacock gave up a home run, a walk, a hit, a strikeout and a hit-batter before being pulled by Porter. Yet again, Porter relied on his unimpressive bullpen.
The Astros’ bullpen has been middle of the pack in innings pitched with 281.2. However, when each reliever is called in to pitch one or two outs an inning multiple games a week, you are going to hear crows about wasting your bullpen. It is a little bit of a head-scratcher to think that the manager of a young, losing-team would pull his starter after 27 pitches of a seemingly meaningless game before the All-Star break to rely on a bad bullpen.
From the players’ standpoint, the bullpen for the Astros has given up 157 earned runs, which is the most in baseball. They also have the highest ERA in baseball coming in at 5.02. They are the only team in the majors with an ERA over 5. If they seriously want to compete the rest of the season, they need to start making some moves that get them some pitchers in the bullpen, other than Chad Qualls, that can get some outs without giving up multiple runs an outing.