Framber: “I go with everything” in Game 5

ATLANTA – Framber Valdez has one of the best and most approachable personalities of this World Series, a vibe he has exhibited throughout the postseason. The Astros left-hander has made four starts this month, three of which have been forgotten and one that was the best work of a starter this month in the majors.

Now, it’s up to Valdez to start the crucial Game 5 of the Fall Classic for Houston against Atlanta this Sunday at Truist Park, after allowing eight hits (including two home runs) and five runs in just 2.0 innings of Game 1 last week.

With the Siderales against the wall, trailing 3-1 in the series, it’s a matter of life and death for Valdez and the Houstonians.

As was the case after a poor presentation in the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox, Valdez speaks with all the confidence in the world ahead of his presentation this Sunday. On that occasion vs. the Patirrojos, the Palenque native responded with an 8.0-inning, one-run gem to put the Astros on track to their third AL title in the past five years.

“Not thinking I had a bad start, not putting that in my mind,” Valdez said of his way of turning the page and moving on after a bad opening. “Not letting myself be carried away by how bad it was for me, but practicing, seeing how bad you did in that outing, seeing the mistakes you made, seeing the adjustments that you couldn’t make and making them for the next one.”

That attitude doesn’t come out of nowhere. Since the winter of 2019-20, Valdez has worked with psychologist Andy Núñez in the Dominican Republic. As part of his effort to slow down the pace of his thoughts, Valdez has assimilated the practice of meditation. Even during this postseason, the southpaw has been seen in a kind of such practice in the dugout between innings.

Valdez acknowledges that last Tuesday in Game 1 of this series, he did not completely dominate the mental part.

“It seems that the emotion was a little more than me, but I already (took) it for the next outing that I have to do now,” said the 27-year-old pitcher. “I already know what I’m going for and the adrenaline there is. There is more than in the regular season. We are already in the World Series and I already know what it is. I go with everything there ”.

On the technical side, better locating your two main pitches — the sinker and the curveball — will be the key. And for that, it has planned some touches to its mechanics.

“It was a bit off on my last outing against this team,” Valdez said. “Focus on 100, like I always have. Try to hit the first strike pitch, to get me up on the countdown. And try to get every inning ”.

For manager Dusty Baker, it’s important to remember that Valdez remains a relatively inexperienced pitcher, with a total of 45 starts at the Major League level, in addition to his two postseason runs since 2020.

“What we can’t lose sight of is that Framber has only been in the majors for a year and a half (actually, parts of four seasons). “With youth, you are going to see some inconsistency. You keep learning to deal with the lows in this game. “

Valdez, to whom Baker calls, “Framboso,” insists that he will be mentally prepared.

“I feel calmer,” he said. “(Game 1) was a very impressive moment for everyone. My first World Series. My first time opening the World Series. I didn’t feel scared, but there was a lot of tension in the guys that it was their first time in a World Series, like me. I was very happy. He was, it seems, over-excited to pitch there. “


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Framber: “I go with everything” in Game 5