On Thursday afternoon, Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez took the hill against the Texas Rangers. To no one’s surprise, he dominated once again. Valdez tossed seven shutout innings in a 7-3 victory. With the win, Valdez improved to 11-4 striking out eight.
After the game, Astros catcher Martin Maldonado talked about what it was like catching for him. He left reporters with a juicy quote.
Martín Maldonado says Framber Valdez is a $200 million pitcher: “I think Framber is a $200 million pitcher. That’s how high I am on Framber.” pic.twitter.com/tsKlIEPiw4
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 11, 2022
“I think Framber is a $200 million pitcher. That’s how high I am on Framber,” Maldonado said.
With the season Valdez is having, it’s becoming hard to argue with Maldonado’s assessment. Framber Valdez lowered his ERA to 2.74 with the dominating performance. But it has been his consistency that is remarkable. Thursday was his 19th consecutive quality start this season. The last time he did not earn a quality start was way back on April 19th against the Los Angeles Angels.
In order to qualify for a quality start, the pitcher must last at least six innings and allow three runs or less. There is no wiggle room, either. Even if runs score unearned, if it is more than three it doesn’t count. That’s really difficult to do 19 times in a row.
The MLB record for most consecutive quality starts is held by two men. Cardinals legend Bob Gibson pitched 26 in a row spanning the 1967 and 1968 seasons. Then, Mets ace Jacob deGrom matched that feat during the 2018-2019 seasons.
The Astros arguably boast baseball’s best rotation. AL Cy Young front runner Justin Verlander leads the rotation, followed by Valdez, Cristian Javier, Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy. The rich are about to get richer as news surfaced that Lance McCullers is expected to make his season debut Saturday.