HOUSTON – The Houston Astros put the team’s ace against its #3 starter in a four-inning scrimmage Thursday. Justin Verlander faced the Astros “A” lineup, while Lance McCullers took on a mix of bench players and minor leaguers.
Justin Verlander line:
3 IP 0 H 0 R 0 ER 0 BB 5 K
The reigning Cy Young winner looked exactly like he’s supposed to. Verlander’s fastball had pop and his breaking stuff looked sharp against the Astros starting lineup, striking out George Springer and Alex Bregman, among others.
McCullers recovers from walks
Lance McCullers Jr. line:
4 IP 2 H 1 R 1 ER 3 BB 5 K
Lance McCullers led off the first inning by walking Myles Straw, which turned into the game’s only run when Kyle Tucker drove him in on a sharp single. From there, McCullers gave up just one more hit, and a couple of walks but no runs. McCullers showed off strikeout stuff and overpowered some of the minor league hitters. All in all, 67 pitches of 1-run ball is solid at this stage.
Bracamonte makes big play
Javier Bracamonte is the Astros’ trusted bullpen catcher. He is NOT a center fielder, until today. Bracamonte tracked down a deep hit from Alex Bregman and made a spectacular catch to end the game.
#Astros scrimmage ends with the outstanding play from @astros bullpen catcher Javier Bracamonte (@bracamonte85). He chases down the Alex Bregman (@ABREG_1) blast. Entire team goes nuts. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/GYAavPNt8w— Alex Radow (@alexradow) July 9, 2020