Astros Pitcher Sets MLB Record

In a 162-game season, sometimes the most valuable thing a player can provide is consistency, and Framber Valdez is setting a new standard in that domain. After recording another start of six or more innings and 3 or fewer runs against on Sunday, Valdez set a MLB record for consecutive quality starts with 25. The streak began on April 25th, when Valdez threw 6 innings against the Rangers with 1 unearned run. Since then, he’s been a workhorse, giving the Astros’ middle relievers a guaranteed day off and his offense a chance to win the game. The previous record was set by Jacob deGrom in 2018.
After struggling with consistency in his first few seasons, he’s finally maximizing his exceptional talent and serving as a reliable number 2 behind legendary but injury-prone ace Justin Verlander. He has thrown 185.2 innings now in 2022, far above his previous season-high, and managed an exceptional 2.57 earned run average along with 176 strikeouts and 2 complete games. In addition to his improved durability and consistency, Valdez has made a significant change to his repertoire: in addition to his regular 3-pitch mix of fastball, curveball, changeup, he’s added a cutter which he’s thrown 10% of the time. The extra pitch has allowed him to go deeper into games, giving him more options and giving hitters another thing to worry about.
Framber’s Astros are cruising to another division championship, and setting their sights on another World Series title. If the lefty can uphold this level of consistency in the playoffs, it could go a long way towards a deep run.

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