The Houston Astros were able to stay alive in the 2021 World Series by getting a come-from-behind win in Game 5.
The series will now shift back to Houston for the final two contests.
After Game 5 came to an end, Astros manager Dusty Baker offered some insight into who will be getting the ball for Houston in Game 6.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 1, 2021
“Well, probably [Luis] Garcia,” Baker said regarding his Game 6 starter, “cause we were trying to save [Jose] Urquidy, but we went to Urquidy, ’cause, tried to get a couple innings out of him of no runs, which, he threw the ball great, so, now we’re going back home.”
All signs point to the rookie Garcia getting the ball in Game 6.
Luis Garcia will start Game 6 on three days of rest.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) November 1, 2021
From here on out, everything is an elimination game for the Astros.
Needless to say, Garcia is getting thrust into a pretty high-pressure spot.
Here’s what you need to know about his upcoming start.
Garcia Has Had A Rocky Postseason
Garcia hasn’t had a great showing in the 2021 playoff so far.
Overall, he has a 7.62 ERA and 4.94 FIP over four appearances.
To his credit, however, he has been better lately.
Over his last two outings, he has allowed just one run over 9.1 innings of work, striking out 13 during that span.
Luis Garcia, Nasty 89mph Cutter…and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/SsovcXStB8
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 23, 2021
That’s the version of Garcia the Astros are going to need to see in Game 6.
Atlanta’s offense has largely been held in check throughout this World Series, which is arguably the biggest reason Houston is still alive.
Only time will tell if Garcia can keep that trend going.
He’ll Be Pitching On Short Rest
Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
Garcia last pitched in Game 3, and he’ll be starting on just three days of rest in Game 6.
The #Astros are going back to Luis Garcia on short rest for game 6.
He’s got just one other start this season on 3 days rest:
5.0 IP 3 H 1 R 1 ER 0 BB 6 K
— Ted (@tlschwerz) November 1, 2021
The Astros clearly have a lot of faith in the righty, although they really don’t have a lot of other options at this juncture.
But still, Houston knows what Garcia is capable of.
In the regular season, the 24-year-old emerged as one of the top young pitchers in the league.
He posted a 3.30 ERA over 30 outings, 28 of which were starts.
He complemented his ERA with a FIP of 3.63, WHIP of 1.17, and ERA+ of 130.
The 6-foot-1 hurler allowed three earned runs or fewer in 26 of his 30 appearances.
Pretty impressive stuff for a guy his age.
What To Expect
For a number of reasons, Garcia will likely be on a short leash in Game 6.
For one, Houston might have a pitch count in mind for him since it’s a short-rest start.
Separately, it’s probably safe to assume that the Astros will get someone going in their bullpen at the first sign of trouble.
Although Houston proved in Game 5 that it’s perfectly capable of staging a comeback after falling behind early in a game, the team would certainly like to avoid getting into a similar spot in Game 6.
With every game being do-or-die at this point, don’t be surprised to see Garcia yanked very early on if things aren’t going smoothly.
All of that said, if Garcia is throwing the ball well, the Astros will obviously let him do his thing until it makes sense to remove him.
It’s a massive start for the youngster, and we’ll just have to wait and see how it unfolds.NEXT: Unsung Heroes Come Through To Keep Astros Alive