November 7, 2022

Of course Twins-beating Framber Valdez won Game 6 of the World Series

Growing up one of my favorite movies was an early 1970s Western called, “Valdez is Coming,” starring Burt Lancaster as Bob Valdez. His character is badly mistreated by a rancher in the film, which finally leads Valdez to seek revenge. As he sets out on his vengeful path, he delivers a message that is forwarded to his ultimate victim.

“Valdez is coming,” he says.

One wonders if the Philadelphia Phillies heard the same on Saturday prior to their Game 6 tilt against the Houston Astros. They didn’t have to face Bob Valdez, of course, but they did have to tangle with Framber Valdez, a pitcher who has been nothing short of incredible this season and postseason.

No surprise: Valdez was sensational, allowing only one run over six innings with nine strikeouts, and the Astros went on to win their second World Series since 2017.

How good has Valdez been? He was 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA during the postseason, which followed a regular season in which he went 17-6 with a 2.82 ERA. He also set the major league record for most consecutive quality starts at 25 in an 8-2 win over the Oakland A’s on Sept. 18.

The talk of the town is that Valdez’s teammate Justin Verlander is going to win the AL Cy Young award, but I’m not so sure. Valdez is certainly going to receive some votes, and based on the numbers above, I would say he’s got a good chance to win it.

Extra innings… 

-The Twins know Valdez all too well, I’m afraid. In 2020, the Twins met the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the AL Wild Card Series at Target Field.

Pitcher Zack Greinke earned the nod for the Astros who allowed an early run to the Twins. He also walked three batters in four innings and appeared to be on the verge of giving up a lot more runs to the team from Minnesota.

But Astros manager Dusty Baker had seen enough and called on Valdez to replace Greinke. Previously a reliever, Valdez earned his stripes for a more substantial role because he two-hit the Twins over the final five frames for the 4-1 win. Unlike his Game 6 start on Saturday, Valdez didn’t overpower the Twins but quietly kept them off balance.

For some reason, I knew the wild card series was over for the Twins after the loss. And so it was. The Twins dropped the next game and the best-of-three series came to a quick end.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.