The Astros are holding their breath after star pitcher Justin Verlander had to exit Sunday’s game against the Orioles with an injury.
Having lost Justin Verlander to injury for the last two seasons, it’s easy to see why Astros fans would like to drape him in bubble wrap to keep him healthy for the postseason.
They’ll be prepping that wrap this weekend with Verlander coming off the mound early on Sunday.
Verlander pitched three scoreless innings before he was pulled with what the team called “right calf discomfort.”
Justin Verlander injury update: Astros pitcher has calf discomfort
No one in Houston wants to see Verlander unable to pitch but there were a couple of positives to focus on.
First, Verlander’s issue was not related to his arm, which would be a real worry. A calf injury isn’t great, but it’s the lesser of two evils.
Second, his velocity was just fine throughout his 60 pitches. So his performance wasn’t directly impacted by the problem. Verlander went three innings with six strikeouts while giving up three hits.
We’ll have to wait to learn the full extent of the injury and whether it was a purely precautionary exit or if it’ll require some time off.
Seth Martinez replaced Verlander as the bullpen took over for the rest of the game 0-0. Houston picked up a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning.
The Astros remain in a comfortable spot atop the AL West but they lost the first two games of the series to Baltimore so the injury complicates their hopes of picking up a win before moving on to face the Rangers.
Verlander has looked at the top of his game this season despite his two-year absence from the game. He is 16-3 with an ERA of 1.87. He’ll remain a key part of Houston’s aspirations for this October so long as he can stay healthy.