ARLINGTON -- After a short 66-pitch, five-inning victory last Tuesday, Astros starter Jake Odorizzi made it clear last week he wants to stay in games longer than manager Dusty Baker let him that night. But Baker had no choice but to pull Odorizzi early Monday after the Astros righty injured his right foot while covering first base on a groundout in the second inning.
“When he went to cover, he stepped on the bag and he couldn’t put any weight on it after that,” Baker said. “He couldn’t put any weight on it. He tried to throw a couple pitches and it didn’t work. We’re just going to get him analyzed and see exactly what’s wrong and then we might have an answer hopefully by tomorrow, it depends on how he wakes up.”
En route to a 15-1 victory, the Astros already led 7-0 when Odorizzi climbed the mound to start the bottom of the second to face Nick Solak, who would be his final batter. Solak grounded weakly to first; Odorizzi raced to the bag to field the throw from first baseman Yuli Gurriel, just beating Solak, but Odorizzi was surrounded by coaches and athletic trainers almost immediately after returning to the mound. He was pulled having allowed two hits and no walks in 1 1/3 scoreless innings Monday and throwing 32 pitches.
The Astros said later during Monday’s game that Odorizzi departed due to “right foot soreness” as a result of an awkward step on the first-base bag.
Odorizzi entered Monday with a 4.28 ERA over 21 games, including 20 starts, but has been on a tear lately with a 2-1 record and a 2.90 ERA over his last six starts. Counting Monday’s abbreviated outing, Odorizzi faced the Rangers four times in 2021, posting a 3.00 ERA with only five earned runs allowed in 15 innings.
Odorizzi had pitched at least five innings in each of his previous starts, though he hasn’t pitched more than six in any start this season. He was pulled after 66 pitches and five innings his last time out, on Sept. 7 against Seattle, and expressed displeasure with the quick hook after the game. He told reporters it was “extremely frustrating” to be removed that early.
A 2019 All-Star with the Twins, Odorizzi was plagued by injuries in 2020, making only four starts with a 6.59 ERA in 13 2/3 innings. He signed with Houston in March 2021.