Astros’ McCullers’ status still uncertain for ALCS

Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. delivers against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 2, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) (Ron Schwane, AP 2021)

One day before the Houston Astros begin their American League Championship Series with the Boston Red Sox, the status of star pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. is still uncertain.

McCullers had exited after pitching four innings of the Astros’ series-clinching Game 4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday after 73 pitches with forearm tightness.

On Thursday, Astros GM James Click said McCullers has undergone an MRI and that the team’s still awaiting the results before making any decisions.

“Obviously, anytime you have a pitcher coming out with a forearm anything, you want to take your precautions and just make sure you know exactly what’s going on,” Click said. “He did go for an MRI, just precautionary, just to make sure everything’s okay in there, so we’re waiting for those images to be reviewed.”

Even though those MRI results have not come back yet and even though Click said there was a “low level of concern” initially when McCullers left Tuesday’s game, Click also gave the implication that the injury has some seriousness to it.

“If this were the regular season, you just shut him down for two weeks and you wouldn’t think anything of it,” Click said. “But obviously, this is the postseason. It’s a different animal.”

McCullers has a 0.84 ERA in two postseason starts this year after a regular season in which he went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA and 185 strikeouts in 162.1 innings. The Astros begin their ALCS against Boston with Games 1 and 2, Friday and Saturday, at Minute Maid Park.

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!