Astros rookie righty Urquidy gets start in Game 4 of Series
WASHINGTON (AP) — For a guy who started the season in Double-A and has pitched just 11 times in the majors, José Urquidy is getting a nice reward.
“The manager told me I’m going to have the ball tomorrow,” he said after the Astros beat Washington 4-1 in Game 3 of the World Series.
Urquidy will start Saturday night as Houston tries to pull even.
“He can go as long as he’s good. I don’t have necessarily a predetermined plan on how many innings, how many pitches,” manager AJ Hinch said.
“It’s Game 4 of the World Series. All things are being considered,” he said.
Aces Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke started the first three games and none of them put on a dominant performance.
Now it’ll be a 24-year-old righty who made his big league debut in early July. He went 2-1 with a 3.95 ERA in nine games for Houston and has pitched twice in the postseason — he’s allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings, striking out eight.
Hinch said a couple things factored into his decision.
“The lineup, it’s not just a one-size-fits-all strategy when you’re facing different teams,” he said.
“You take the first four hitters, when you think about starting a game, and if you’re going to go bullpen, you better have somebody that’s pretty good at a little bit of everything. Those are four distinctly different guys,” he said.
Urquidy fully appreciates the chance.
“Very few Mexicans have had this opportunity and for me to be in this position I’m obviously very happy about that,” he said.
“I’m living the dream,” he said.
Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki hurt his right hip flexor trying to block a pitch in the dirt and exited after six innings. His status for Game 4 was uncertain.
“We don’t know the severity of it yet,” manager Dave Martinez said after the loss. “We’ll know more tomorrow.”
“His strength was good but we’ll see. I don’t know if he’s going to get an MRI,” he said. “But we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Suzuki struck out twice before Yan Gomes replaced him. Suzuki hit a tiebreaking home run in Game 2 that sent the Nationals to a rout.
Patrick Corbin is set to pitch next for the Nationals and Gomes is his regular catcher.
Alex Bregman could win the NL MVP award. But right now, he’s looking lost in the World Series.
Bregman was hitless in five at-bats and stranded six runners Friday night, hardly what Houston has seen from the All-Star third baseman this season.
Bregman is only 1 for 13 through three games against Washington. His lone hit was a two-run homer in Game 2 — he also made a throwing error in that loss.
After hitting 41 home runs with 112 RBIs and batting .296, Bregman says he sees signs of bouncing back.
“It felt good, not great, but good. I put good swings on the ball and I think every time I go up to hit I have confidence that I’m going to get the job done and hit the ball hard somewhere,” he said.
Teammate Michael Brantley is confident, too.
“I’m not worried about Alex. You saw what he did. He’s a great player. He had some good at-bats, he lined out, he hit the ball hard,” he said.
“He’ll find his breaks. I can’t wait to see him come out tomorrow, I’m ready,” he said.
After pitching in relief in the Series opener, Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin was poised to start Game 4.
“These are games I want to pitch in,” he said Friday afternoon. “This is what you prepare for all offseason, to pitch in these games and just to have the opportunity to go out there, give it my best.”
Signed as a free agent during the offseason, Corbin went 14-7 with a 3.25 ERA in 33 starts for Washington.
He’s 1-2 with a 6.91 ERA in six appearances this postseason.
AP Sports Writer David Ginsburg contributed to this report.