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2019-10-10 01:22:32

By David Barron, Houston Chronicle

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch speaks to the media during the Astros press conference at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Houston.

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch speaks to the media during the Astros press conference at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Houston.

Photo: Karen Warren, Staff Photographer

Photo: Karen Warren, Staff Photographer

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch speaks to the media during the Astros press conference at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Houston.

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch speaks to the media during the Astros press conference at Minute Maid Park, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Houston.

Photo: Karen Warren, Staff Photographer

Astros saw encouraging signs from bullpen in Game 4

With Gerrit Cole on the mound Thursday, the Astros hope to require only limited contributions from their bullpen. If they're needed, however, manager A.J. Hinch said he caught a glimpse of hope from the bullpen's work down the stretch of the Game 4 loss Tuesday.

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Five Astros relievers gave up six hits but no runs after taking over for starter Justin Verlander with two out in the fourth. Among the contributors was Ryan Pressly, who retired the only batter he faced by getting Travis d'Arnaud on a groundout with two men on to end the sixth inning.

They're some things that you're going to work on every time you take the ball, but I just wanted to go out there and do my job and get us out of the inning as quickly as possible, Pressly said.

Pressly, who has had limited work since returning from late-season arthroscopic knee surgery, threw three 95 mph fastballs and got d'Arnaud on a curveball on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. It was, he said, definitely a sign of progress.

Press has given us everything that he can, He's only had four or five outings, Hinch said. I thought the outs (Tuesday), while it didn't seem maybe as big to some, keeping us in range when he came in and got d'Arnaud out, that was a huge out and much more like he usually pitches when it comes to the mid-90s fastball, the power breaking ball.

Will Harris has had a tremendous postseason thus far. And it's no secret that I go to him in the most leveraged opportunities that I can. I've always had (Roberto) Osuna's back. I think when all is said and done, I think we're going to see this guy come in and throw really hard. He's going to throw some really good breaking balls.

Hinch said Joe Smith and Josh James also have been throwing well, and I like the chances with the depth we have. ... How creative we have to be will be depending upon the game. The tone will be set by Gerrit Cole, and that's a good feeling.


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