Rememeber when the Phillies traded Ken Giles to Houston? The headliner of the deal coming back was Vince Velasquez, no matter what you might have thought about Mark Appel. Velasquez was the one that would grow into a semi-dominant arm in the Phillies rotation, signaling the beginning of the Matt Klentak era.
Well, this start was Velasquez’s return to Houston for the first time since that trade. He must have a been a little nervous because....it didn’t go well.
The first inning wasn’t one to remember for Vince, as he failed to record an out in the inning and was responsible for every run that scored. This is how it went:
- Kyle Tucker - home run
- Jose Altuve - home run
- Yordan Alvarez - walked
- Alex Bregman - walked
- George Springer - hit by pitch
- Michael Brantley - two-run double
- Carlos Correa - three-run home run
That’s a start!
It’s a shame too, as the Phillies bullpen actually was quite effective. Over their nine innings of work, they only allowed six more baserunners via two hits and four walks. That’s a quality outing from a unit that has struggled quite a bit.
It’s also a shame that Velasquez was so bad since the offense actually gave it a go. In the second inning, they got two back when Roman Quinn hit an RBI single and Jean Segura followed with an RBI double. The fifth inning saw Bryce Harper launch a three-run home run off of Jose Urquidy that knocked him out of the game, but like their Philadelphia counterparts, the Astros bullpen locked down the rest of the game.
It’s only one game, but it underscored the need for the Phillies to address their pitching staff if they expect to make a sustained run at the division and World Series.
The two teams square off again tomorrow night.