This is why Astros ace Lance McCullers Jr. was pulled from ALDS Game 4

Jeff Ehling Image
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Astros overcome Meyers injury to clinch 5th straight ALCS berth
It was a big surprise: Pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. pulled in Game 4 of the ALDS versus the Chicago White Sox. But now, we're learning more about why. Here's how the squad made it through to advance to the AL Championship Series.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As the Houston Astros stay in the hunt for the franchise's second championship after winning the title in 2017 (we know, we know, get in your jeers), fans are waiting to see if star pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. will be healthy for that quest.

McCullers took the mound for Tuesday afternoon's Game 4 of the AL Division Series in Chicago, played a day later because of the weather, but he departed with right forearm tightness after four effective innings.

McCullers also pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings in Houston's 6-1 victory in Game 1 last Thursday. If he can't go in the AL Championship Series, it would be a big blow for the Astros.

"I don't think it has anything to do with my ligament," he said. "We'll have to just wait and see how I feel tomorrow (Wednesday) and if we're going to get any imaging done, things like that."

After the game, McCullers also elaborated on what he told manager Dusty Baker after that fourth inning.

"I just I told him, I said, 'Listen, I'm not 100%,' so I pitched the whole fourth inning like that. I could probably do it. I don't think it would be the best idea. And so they went to the 'pen and they did a masterful job," the right-handed hurler explained.

He added that he has about five days of rest coming his way and did not appear overly concerned about his next start.

McCullers underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in November 2018, sidelining him for the entire 2019 season.

In March 2020, he pitched for the first time since his surgery in a spring training game.

Nearly a year later, McCullers and the Astros agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract extension as reported by ESPN.

Houston drafted him 41st overall in 2012.

GAME RECAP: Houston Astros now 1 of 3 MLB teams with at least 5 consecutive league championship series berths

As for the Astros in the postseason, they won Game 4 of the ALDS 10-1 over the White Sox.

The ALCS will start Friday in Houston, where the Astros will host the Boston Red Sox for Games 1 and 2.

This will be the Astros' fifth consecutive appearance in the ALCS playoff round.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.