John Smoltz offers ultimate praise for Astros’ loaded rotation
John Smoltz offered the ultimate praise for the Houston Astros’ loaded rotation.
During the ’90s, Smoltz teamed with the likes of Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine to form the core of one of the best rotations in recent MLB history. Steve Avery, and later Denny Neagle and Kevin Millwood, helped round out their truly stellar rotation. The Braves did not miss the playoffs from 1991-2005 and won one World Series. Smoltz, Maddux and Glavine all became Hall of Famers.
And guess what? Smoltz thinks the Astros’ rotation is “way better” than theirs was.
Astros owner Jim Crane said John Smoltz called him today to gush about his rotation: "Smoltz said 'Man, you really did a great job of putting that together.' I said, 'Yeah, it looks like Smoltz, Glavine and Maddux.' He said, 'No, no, you guys are way better than we ever were.'"
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) August 2, 2019
Smoltz was probably exaggerating in his comments to Astros owner Jim Crane, but that gives you an idea of how people around baseball are viewing Houston’s pitching.
Justin Verlander is 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA and has undergone a revival since joining the Astros. Gerrit Cole is 13-5 with a 2.87 ERA and 216 strikeouts in 150.2 innings. Wade Miley is 9-4 with a 3.06 ERA. And now they add Zack Greinke on top of that. The 35-year-old is 10-4 with a 2.90 ERA and 135 strikeouts this season.
As daunting of a rotation as that appears, we’ll only start taking Smoltz’s praise seriously once Verlander, Cole and Greinke all make the Hall of Fame.