The Houston Astros were able to hold on to a narrow Game 5 victory 3-2 on Thursday night in Philadelphia, and will now go home with two chances to close the World Series.
The Astros bullpen once again rose to the occasion last night, and despite some serious scares in the eighth and ninth innings, they ended up prevailing.
Once again, right-handed reliever Bryan Abreu was behind the Astros’ bullpen success.
Those who think Houston’s relief corps are just Ryan Pressly are just wrong: Abreu, for example, has been just as impressive as the closer.
“Bryan Abreu this postseason: 10.1 IP, 4 H (all singles), 4 BB, 18 Ks, 0 runs. Unfair,” Codify Baseball tweeted.
Bryan Abreu this postseason:
👉 10.1 IP, 4 H (all singles), 4 BB, 18 Ks, 0 runs
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) November 4, 2022
Abreu pitched 1.1 perfect innings last night in Philadelphia, striking out two in the process.
Control Has Been The Key To Abreu’s Success
He has a big fastball that he can push into triple-digits territory, and that is the foundation of his success.
However, when hitters don’t expect, he will freeze them with a slider or a curveball.
The key to his breakout this season has been his control.
Abreu had issues to consistently throw strikes for years, but this season, he kept his walks in check by handing out an acceptable 3.88 per nine innings.
Of course, when you strike out 13.13 hitters per nine frames and have a 1.94 ERA in 60.1 innings, it doesn’t really matter if your walk rate is a tad high.
Abreu is as overpowering as they come, and has been one of the keys to the Astros taking a 3-2 advantage as the World Series heads to Houston over the weekend.
It’s because of their ability to develop guys like him that the Astros have advanced to their fourth World Series in six years and are one win away from taking their first one since 2017.