The Astros won, 3-2, and if the Yankees were able to score two runs, it was because Valdez made two costly errors in one play that put runners on second and third base with no outs in the fourth inning.
Otherwise, he was magnificent last night: in seven innings, the left-hander conceded just four hits (and the two unearned runs) and no walks, with nine strikeouts to his name.
Yankees hitters are still having nightmares about Valdez’s curveball.
“Framber Valdez’s 16 Whiffs on Curveballs from ALCS Game 2,” Rob Friedman, also known as the “Pitching Ninja”, tweeted, with a video of the 16 times the Yanks swung and missed on Valdez’s hook.
Framber Valdez's 16 Whiffs on Curveballs from ALCS Game 2. 🤢 pic.twitter.com/zTtDt2kux4
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 21, 2022
Valdez’s Curveball Is A Thing Of Beauty
It’s something worth watching over and over again.
The pitch has both horizontal and vertical break, and since it is also fast and that break is sharp and sudden, it is very hard to hit.
Add his elite command of the pitch to that mix and you get 16 whiffs.
It was an amazing display by the southpaw.
At the end of the night, Valdez earned 25 total swings and misses if we add up all his pitches.
That’s the Yankees’ highest whiff total against a pitcher since 2019.
Valdez was perhaps the biggest reason why Houston won last night’s game and are now traveling to New York with a 2-0 lead in the Championship Series.
The situation does not get any better for the Yankees, as right-hander Lance McCullers, another curveball artist, will toe the rubber on Saturday in Game 3.