Champagne mishap pushes McCullers back to Game 4

October 22nd, 2022

Astros starter has given new meaning to the phrase “champagne problems.”

The right-hander was lined up to start Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, but he will start Game 4 instead. Why? McCullers said he was pushed back after being hit on the elbow by a champagne bottle and sustaining a small cut during the team’s clubhouse celebration in Seattle following Game 3 of the ALDS.

“I’m OK. It’s just a little bit of swelling, not a huge deal,” McCullers said.

“Earlier in the week, we thought it would be beneficial to give me some days off, let everything settle down and give me an extra day to go [in] Game 4. It was really no one’s fault. It was just an accident, so it’s not a huge deal.”

McCullers reported no problems during a 35-pitch bullpen session Friday and will match up against Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes in Game 4.

This isn’t the first odd injury of the 2022 postseason. Phillies reliever David Robertson was forced to miss the NLDS against the Braves after straining a calf muscle while celebrating Bryce Harper’s home run in Game 2 of the team’s Wild Card Series in St. Louis.