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.
James Click: Still examining McCullers. No word either way yet.— Ari Alexander (@KPRC2Ari) October 14, 2021
“Jake Meyers just uncorked two throws (from CF) and is looking pretty good.”
Click: “Low level of concern” re McCullers forearm
Click: If this was regular season you shut him down for 2 weeks and go from there, but postseason is a different animal— Ari Alexander (@KPRC2Ari) October 14, 2021
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.