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Astros ace Lance McCullers questionable for ALCS after MRI on forearm, team confirms

Dusty Baker says Framber Valdez will start Game 1 Friday and Luis García will start Game 2 on Saturday. After that, it's still up in the air.

HOUSTON — Houston Astros ace Lance McCullers Jr. had an MRI on his forearm and won't pitch in ALCS Games 1 or 2, Manager Dusty Baker confirmed Thursday. 

He said Framber Valdez will start Game 1 Friday and Rookie of the Year candidate Luis García will start Game 2 on Saturday. After that, it's still up in the air.

Whether McCullers is available for the rest of the championship series against the Red Sox will depend on what the MRI shows, GM James Click said.

“First and foremost it’s Lance and how he’s feeling. We’re gonna get those images taken a look at by our doctors and get a second opinion," Click told reporters at Minute Maid.

McCullers was impressive in his Game 1 win over the White Sox in the ALDS but was pulled after four innings in Game 4. Even with the discomfort, he gave up only one run and the Astros went on to win 10-1.

“I just started getting tight at the beginning of the inning,” McCullers said. “I got out of it. I was fine, but in a 5-1 ballgame, especially with how they came back on us a few nights ago … I felt like we had the day off yesterday, so our guys were pretty rested up."

“I just told them, 'Listen, I'm not 100 percent.' I pitched the whole fourth inning like that. I could probably do it, but I [didn't] think it would be the best idea, and so they went to the 'pen and did a masterful job.”

The decision to remove McCullers was an easy one for Baker.

On Thursday, McCullers was asked about White Sox manager Tony LaRussa's complaints that Kendall Graveman purposely threw at Jose Abreu during Game 4. 

"If you know Kendall Graveman, the guy is about as sweet as they come. The ball got away from him, he's hit a lot of guys this year, unfortunately," McCullers said. "If there's anyone we have respect for over there it's Jose Abreu, so he would not be the one to get hit."  

ALCS schedule

Game 1: Friday, Oct. 15 at Minute Maid Park; 7:07 p.m. 

Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 16, at Minute Maid Park; 3:20 p.m.

Game 3: Monday, Oct. 18, at Fenway Park; 7:07 p.m. 

Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 19, at Fenway Park; time TBD 

Game 5 (if necessary): Wednesday, Oct. 20, at Fenway Park, time TBD 

Game 6 (if necessary): Friday, Oct. 22, at Minute Maid Park; time TBD

Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday, Oct. 23, at Minute Maid Park; time TBD