Astros’ starting pitcher Lance McCullers out of Game 3 after a freak injury

Lance McCullers
Michael Bennington
Saturday October 22, 2022

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The victory celebrations can also bring bad news for the victor and good news for the vanquished. Lance McCullers, the Astros’ selected starting pitcher for ALCS Game 3 turns out to be an example after getting injured while celebrating a win. He is now out of the Game 3 lineup.

The Yankees had no idea that Houston would suffer such a fate. Lance McCullers got hit by a champagne bottle while celebrating Houston’s win against the Mariners last Saturday. It caused a small tear and he is suffering from pain in the elbow. This meant that Lance McCullers couldn’t start Game 3 of the AL Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. Instead, he had to start Game 4.

“I got hit in the elbow with a spare champagne bottle,” McCullers told reporters on Friday.

Instead of starting Lance McCullers, Houston will have a bullpen day led by Cristian Javier, who was great for the Astros this season but moved to the bullpen for the playoffs. In 30 games (25 starts), Javier went 11-9 with a 2.54 ERA and 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Javier did not say how many pitches he thought he could throw on Saturday. In Game 1 of the ALDS on Oct. 11, he threw 21.

Houston relies a lot on Lance McCullers, as he has a 4-2 record and an ERA of 2.27 in eight starts.

McCullers said that he threw 35 bullpen throws on Friday to get ready for Sunday. He said that his elbow was swollen and had a small cut, but that “no one was to blame.” He said he was standing near the edge of the team’s party when “the bottle just happened to hit the back inside part of my elbow as people were walking by.”

The Astros pitcher told:

“Like I said, it wasn’t like we were getting wild. I mean, I was standing there, he was walking by, it just happened to hit me in the right spot. Obviously, I’ve had Tommy John [surgery] and stuff. Everything’s fine…… Cristian is going to pitch great, and I’ll be ready for (Game) 4.”

In the meantime, Javier stated that he was not anxious about being in such a prominent position.

Is it a good omen for the Yankees, who look for their first ALCS win this year?

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