McHugh’s pitch­ing in­ten­sity fu­el­ing his post­sea­son push

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - BASEBALL - Jake Ka­plan

ANA­HEIM, Calif. — Af­ter pitch­ing six in­nings of one-run ball in the Astros’ 2-1 vic­tory over the Los An­ge­les An­gels on Fri­day night, Collin McHugh said he came into the start as if it were in the post­sea­son.

“It’s a play­off game for me,” said McHugh, who be­cause of an el­bow in­jury didn’t make his sea­son de­but un­til the Astros’ 97th game. “I don’t have the lux­ury of hav­ing a full sea­son be­hind me to kind of find my groove and get into the swing and things.

“Ev­ery start down the stretch for me is a prac­tice in in­ten­sity to be ready to pitch in the play­offs, to be able to pitch in Oc­to­ber.”

Astros man­ager A.J. Hinch lauded the in­ten­sity with which McHugh pitched Fri­day, when he al­lowed only three hits and struck out eight against two walks.

Like af­ter his last start, when he pitched six score­less in­nings against Oak­land, McHugh said he didn’t feel like he had his best stuff. He felt he had de­cent fast­ball com­mand but didn’t spin his break­ing balls very well.

“You’re not go­ing to have your best stuff ev­ery time up,” said McHugh, who has a 3.63 ERA in seven starts. “If you have five starts in a month, two times you might be great, two times you might be ter­ri­ble and that one start that’s go­ing to kind of make or break things.

“You never know what you’re go­ing out there with. You might have a bazooka. You might have a pocket knife. But you’ve got to go out fight­ing with what­ever you have. Tonight was prob­a­bly some­where in be­tween, but we made it work. We fought and the in­ten­sity was there. From a play­off stand­point, this is what I’m look­ing for from my­self.”

McCullers will make re­hab start

Lance McCullers Jr. will make his next re­hab start Wed­nes­day or Thurs­day with the Astros’ Class AA Cor­pus Christi af­fil­i­ate in a game at Frisco.

Astros man­ager A.J. Hinch said on Satur­day the team had yet to de­ter­mine which of the days McCullers will pitch. McCullers made his first re­hab start Fri­day night with Class AAA Fresno, an out­ing in which the 23-year-old righthander lasted only three in­nings, al­lowed three runs and is­sued five walks com­pared to just one strike­out.

McCullers, who hasn’t pitched for the Astros since July 30 be­cause of what the team de­scribed as “back dis­com­fort,” re­joined his team­mates Satur­day af­ter­noon at An­gel Sta­dium.

Cor­rea’s re­hab moves to El Paso

Car­los Cor­rea will ac­com­pany the Astros’ Class AAA Fresno af­fil­i­ate on Mon­day to El Paso, where the Griz­zlies open a fourgame se­ries that evening.

Cor­rea, who played in Fresno on Satur­day and is sched­uled to play again Sun­day, will have Mon­day off, ac­cord­ing to Astros man­ager A.J. Hinch.

Through two games in his re­hab as­sign­ment, Cor­rea is 2-for-6 with a sac­ri­fice fly.

Odds & ends

The Astros still plan to fly from Cal­i­for­nia on Sun­day night af­ter their se­ries fi­nale against the An­gels. Be­cause of Trop­i­cal Storm Har­vey they may stop over in Dal­las. …

Will Har­ris (shoul­der) re­joined the Astros on Satur­day at An­gel Sta­dium and could be ac­ti­vated as soon as Sun­day. …

Re­hab­bing re­liever Michael Feliz (shoul­der) will likely pitch again for Class AA Cor­pus Christi next week in Frisco. Left­hander Tony Sipp (calf ), who logged a score­less in­ning for Class AAA Fresno on Fri­day night, is sched­uled to pitch again Sun­day or Mon­day. … Astros’ ra­dio broad­caster Robert Ford will be off the air­waves for a cou­ple weeks af­ter un­der­go­ing an emer­gency ap­pen­dec­tomy Satur­day morn­ing in Or­ange County. Re­tired long­time tele­vi­sion broad­caster Bill Brown will fill in for Ford be­gin­ning Tues­day.

Jae C. Hong / As­so­ci­ated Press

Astros start­ing pitcher Collin McHugh al­lowed one run in six in­nings against the An­gels on Fri­day night as he con­tin­ued his string of solid per­for­mances.

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