Former Archbishop Shaw and Tulane pitcher J.P. France has solid outing in MLB postseason debut
Houston Astros pitcher J. P. France made his major-league debut in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Monday. The right-hander was called on in the fifth inning to stymy the Texas Rangers’ bats while giving his team a chance to catch up from a three-run deficit.
France, who had not pitched since September 23, entered the game in the top of the fifth inning with Texas leading 5-2. He followed Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez, who put the Astros in a hole in the first inning when he gave up four runs and another in the third, and reliever Rafael Montero, who retired the four batters he faced in the third and fourth frames.
France quieted the Rangers’ bats, allowing no runs in his 2 1/3 innings of relief. He faced eight batters, allowing only one hit, a triple to Leody Taveras that was erased on a line-drive double play. He walked one and struck out the Rangers’ leading hitter Corey Seager.
The Astros missed several opportunities times to get even with the Rangers and ultimately fell short. The 5-4 final score put the Rangers in a commanding 2-0 lead in games played as they head home for Game 3.
France, who prepped at Archbishop Shaw High School and played collegiately at Tulane and Mississippi State, made his major-league debut on May 6, when several Astros starting pitchers went on the Injured List. Behind Valdez, he was the Astros’ most effective starting pitcher. He made 23 starts, compiling an 11-6 record, 3.83 ERA, and 101 strikeouts in 136.1 innings pitched.
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New Orleans baseball historian
Richard Cuicchi, Founder of the Metro New Orleans Area Baseball Player Database and a New Orleans area baseball historian, maintains TheTenthInning.com website. He also authored the book, Family Ties: A Comprehensive Collection of Facts and Trivia About Baseball’s Relatives. He has contributed to numerous SABR-sponsored Bio Project and Games Project books.