The Houston Astros begin their American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, but the injury status of arguably their best starting pitcher is currently uncertain.
Per MLB Network's Jon Heyman , Astros starter Lance McCullers has undergone an MRI. However, Heyman subsequently reported that McMullers is likely out for the Astros' ALCS showdown with the Boston Red Sox.
There is great concern for McCullers in the short term, and he’s most likely out for the ALCS— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 14, 2021
The MRI was presumably done on the 13-game winner's right forearm, after he pitched four innings of one-run ball during Houston's Game 4, ALDS-clinching victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, but had to be removed with forearm discomfort. During the regular season, McCullers led the Astros with a 13-5 record across 28 starts, while posting the second-best ERA (3.16) among starters - Framber Valdez had a 3.14 mark.
The 28-year-old led the team with 185 strikeouts and pitched the second-most innings on the team with 162 1/3, trailing only Zack Greinke, while surrendering just 13 home runs. He led all starters in hits per nine innings (6.8), home runs per nine innings (0.7) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.3).
The Astros and Red Sox square off in Game 1 of the ALCS at 8:07 p.m. ET on Friday.