Astros’ Rookie Savior?

You wouldn’t expect a team on the brink of World Series elimination to rely on a rookie pitcher.

But this season has been a war of attrition for the Astros’ rotation, and they’ll remain in survival mode for Game 6, calling on Luis Garcia for Tuesday night.

It’s not just that there’s no Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, or Lance McCullers Jr. — expected starter Jose Urquidy pitched out of the bullpen in Game 5, so the 24-year-old is starting on three days’ rest.

  • Garcia has 18 strikeouts and a 1.69 WHIP in 13 innings this postseason, but has allowed 11 walks.
  • He pitched 3.2 innings in his Game 3 start, allowing just one run on three hits — but walked four.
  • He was a mainstay in the rotation during the regular season, striking out 176 with a 1.18 WHIP and solid 2.9 BB/9 in 155.1 innings.

Garcia has enjoyed a meteoric rise since signing with Houston as an international free agent out of Venezuela for $20,000 in 2017. Making his debut in 2020, he is currently on a one-year, $575,000 contract and under team control through 2026.

If Garcia wants to eventually cash in with the Astros, he needs to stop putting people on base — then again, if Houston’s bats pull off an encore of Game 5’s outburst, he may only need to give them a few good innings.