Panic? Not yet. Concern? Well, yeah. The Houston Astros are down 2-1 in the American League Championship Series, which isn't a math problem as much as the way the Red Sox are hitting grand slam homers like they're playing drunk Wiffle Ball in a neighbor's backyard.
The Astros pitching is hurting. The season-long reliable starting rotation has been decimated and left asunder (awesome word).
Ace Lance McCullers is on the injury shelf, and starters Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, and Jose Urquidy have barely made cameo appearances. Valdez has been the workhorse, lasting 2 and two-thirds innings, while Garcia survived one inning and Urquidy managed to get only four Sox batters out. The Astros have fallen behind 8-0 and 9-0 in their two losses. They need to stop doing that.
Zack Greinke, who the Astros said wouldn't start in the ALCS, will start crucial Game 4 at 7:08 pm Tuesday, October 19. Greinke has thrown only 12 and one-third innings in the last month while still surrendering five runs. He needs to stop doing that, too.
More troubling, if that's even possible, Astros pitching coach Brent Stromm is suggesting that Astros hurlers are tipping their pitches. Imagine how much an advantage a Red Sox batter would have if he knew what pitch was coming. Oprah's Book Club would see this as literary irony. You remember 2017, right? The Red Sox certainly do.