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The Astros Are Soaring With Their Ultramodern Pitching Staff

Some people may still need reminding, but the 1990s are over. Starting pitching no longer requires the volume it did two decades ago. The latest example: Baseball's best team is doing quite well after losing three pitchers who started more than half their games last year.

“It’s not better, it’s not worse, it’s just different,” said Houston manager A.J. Hinch. “It’s going to be different for us this year. We’re going to be more like the Rays. I don’t mean with an opener. I mean getting a pitcher out at around 90 pitches. I can do that with [Brad] Peacock, [Wade] Miley and [Collin] McHugh, and we can just let [Justin] Verlander and [Gerrit] Cole do their thing.