Cristian Javier leads Astros in rubber match vs. Mets

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Jun 15, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier (53) pitches against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at Minute Maid Park.
Jun 15, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier (53) pitches against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at Minute Maid Park.
Image: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

In desperate need of a strong pitching performance to halt the team's slide, the Houston Astros turned to ace left-hander Framber Valdez on Tuesday. He succeeded

Now the Astros will give the ball to Cristian Javier on Wednesday afternoon as they look to win the rubber game of a three-game series against the visiting New York Mets


Valdez took a shutout into the eighth inning on Tuesday as the Astros beat the Mets 4-2 to snap a five-game losing streak

Before the win, Houston had lost 10 of 13 since climbing a season-high 12 games over .500.


"It's been a while trying to get to that 40 (wins). We've been knocking on that door for five games," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "I hope that we never go through a streak like that the rest of the year. It seemed like we hadn't won in a month.

Javier (7-1, 2.90 ERA) enters his Wednesday start in good form, having gone 5-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his past eight starts.

The right-hander worked six scoreless innings against the Washington Nationals on Thursday, allowing five hits and no walks while not factoring into the decision of a 4-1 loss.

Javier will be making his first career appearance against the Mets. He is 3-2 with a 3.52 ERA over 19 career interleague appearances (12 starts)


Right-hander Tylor Megill (6-4, 4.83 ERA) has the starting assignment for the Mets. He was the pitcher of record in his start on Friday, allowing one run on four hits and tying season highs with seven strikeouts and six innings in a 6-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Megill had been winless over his previous four starts, going 0-2 with an 8.64 ERA

Megill has yet to oppose the Astros. In six career interleague outings (five starts), he is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA, including a 1-0 mark and a 2.38 ERA in two interleague starts this season


It was an intriguing pitching matchup on Tuesday with current Astros ace Valdez going up against New York's Justin Verlander, Houston's former ace. When Verlander departed Houston for the Mets as a free agent in the offseason, it opened the door for Valdez to take his place atop the rotation

The Houston bullpen fumbled what would have been the seventh win for Valdez last week after he allowed just one run over seven sparkling innings against the Nationals.


On Tuesday, in the penultimate game of the Astros' season-high-tying, nine-game homestand, he allowed two runs on four hits and one walk while recording nine strikeouts in the eighth inning. It was an effort befitting an ace, one the reeling Astros sorely needed, as New York was shut out on one hit entering the eighth

Verlander was good on Tuesday, just not as sharp as Valdez. He gave up four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and no walks over seven innings. The fourth run, in his final frame, stung.


"A bit frustrated," Verlander said. "Seems like a lot of the balls that were put in play found a hole. Some of the hard-hit ones early in the night, they found guys. The last (run) really, really hurt."

--Field Level Media