|OAKLAND ( ANDERSON )|
HOUSTON ( HARRELL )
|925||OAKLAND||-150||Ov 7.5,-120||-150||Ov 8,+110|
|926||HOUSTON||+140||Un 7.5,+100||+140||Un 8,-130|
|vs Right-handed Starters||3-2||+0.5||4-1||4.6||0.227||0.288||3.4||0.231||0.293|
|Past 7 Games||4-2||+1.5||5-1||4.8||0.247||0.311||3.2||0.220||0.278|
|vs Left-handed Starters||1-0||+1.5||1-0||8.0||0.281||0.343||2.0||0.187||0.257|
|Past 7 Games||1-4||-2.5||3-2||2.8||0.202||0.226||5.4||0.271||0.338|
|4/5/2013||STRAILY(R)||@ HOUSTON||PEACOCK(R)||8-3||W||-135||8.5 ov||O||10||11||0||9||7||1|
|4/6/2013||COLON(R)||@ HOUSTON||NORRIS(R)||6-3||W||-130||8 ov||O||11||6||0||8||4||1|
|4/7/2013||ANDERSON(L)||@ HOUSTON||HARRELL(R)|| |
|4/9/2013||PARKER(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)|| |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/11/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/12/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|4/13/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|4/14/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|4/8/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ SEATTLE||SAUNDERS(L)|| |
|4/9/2013||HUMBER(R)||@ SEATTLE||MAURER(R)|| |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ SEATTLE|| || |
|4/12/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/13/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/14/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|OAKLAND: HITTING: 2B JEMILE WEEKS may not be a legitimate .300 hitter, but he's still the best option they have at the leadoff spot. C KURT SUZUKI seemingly hits as many line outs as anyone in baseball. He has a solid bat for a catcher and qualifies as a middle-of-the-order option in Oakland. OF JOSH REDDICK is more of a line-drive hitter than a 25-HR guy, and he doesn't yet have the plate discipline to approach .300. 1B BRANDON ALLEN is an all-or-nothing hitter, but his potential for much-needed power should be enough for him to beat out DARIC BARTON. SS CLIFF PENNINGTON has quietly developed into a serviceable regular. With 3B SCOTT SIZEMORE out for the season with a torn ACL, either ERIC SOGARD or JOSH DONALDSON will win the job at third base. Neither player has reached 80 career at-bats yet. Highly-coveted Cuban OF YOENIS CESPEDES inked a four-year deal with Oakland, and will be expected to produced in the heart of the lineup immediately. OF COLLIN COWGILL is undersized, but has shown impressive power in the minors. The DH spot will fall to Allen when Barton is in the lineup. When he's not, it will be filled by such Quadruple-A types as KILA KA'AIHUE and CHRIS CARTER. |
STARTING PITCHING: BRANDON McCARTHY reclamation project worked out nicely. He's an injury risk, but when healthy he's one of baseball's better middle-of-the-rotation arms. BARTOLO COLON pitched better than expected with the Yankees last year (7.4 K/9, 4.00 ERA), and should perform just as well in his new spacious ballpark. DALLAS BRADEN (shoulder) and BRETT ANDERSON (elbow) are both question marks after major surgeries. Braden's return date has been pushed back to early May, while Anderson will might not take the hill until June. The jewel of the Trevor Cahill trade, hard-throwing righty JARROD PARKER has a chance to make a big impact if his arm is recovered from 2009 Tommy John surgery. The Gio Gonzalez trade landed Oakland TOMMY MILONE and BRAD PEACOCK, both of whom are coming off impressive minor-league seasons. They'll compete for rotation spots this spring. TYSON ROSS could get a few starts, but he's gotten very hittable over the past year. They're in no hurry to start the arbitration clock of top prospect SONNY GRAY, but he should make some late-season starts.
RELIEF PITCHING: With Andrew Bailey gone, righty GRANT BALFOUR (2.47 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) will get the first chance to close games. Though his occasional bouts with command issues make him a risk. If Balfour falters, BRIAN FUENTES will get the next look because of his ninth-inning experience and strong second half of 2011 . . . Long a favorite inside the organization, injury-prone righty JOEY DEVINE has long been considered a future closer and should get some late-innings duties. The highest upside option for a future closer is 25-year-old righty FAUTINO DE LOS SANTOS. He has overpowering stuff but his command comes and goes.
|HOUSTON: HITTING: This season will mark Houston's final year in the National League. Look away, children, as the Astros launch into what is sure to be the crappiest victory lap in baseball history. Tiny 2B JOSE ALTUVE's jump from High-A to MLB starter says more about Houston's pitiful state than anything. He belongs in Triple-A. CHRIS JOHNSON won the starting 3B job as JIMMY PAREDES was optioned to Triple-A. Johnson was thought to have 25-homer power, but last year he slugged just .378. 1B CARLOS LEE is in the twilight of a very productive career. Backup 1B BRETT WALLACE seems to be in the twilight of an unproductive one. OF BRIAN BOGUSEVIC has a low ceiling. But he's one of only a few recent draft picks who will even contribute. OF J.D. MARTINEZ doesn't blame you if you haven't heard of him, but he's the team's best player who hits third in the lineup. SS JED LOWRIE was a nice little pickup for a mid-tier closer. But his platoon split is intense. C JASON CASTRO will probably play ahead of CHRIS SNYDER. OF JORDAN SCHAFER has yet to put things together; but he'll be starting in center on Opening Day. Fourth OF J.B. SHUCK is only 24, but doesn't have a whole lot of upside. |
STARTING PITCHING: WANDY RODRIGUEZ has been a durable, above-average starter for five years, yet every season his real-world team limits his wins. He'll be traded at some point this year. Don't shortchange BUD NORRIS. He's an underrated source of strikeouts, and has improved his command. J.A. HAPP really needs to cut down on his walk total. JORDAN LYLES couldn't legally drink until the second-to-last week of the season. He's in the big leagues way too soon. He's yet another young Astro who isn't terrible, but won't ever set the world on fire. KYLE WEILAND came from Boston with Jed Lowrie and should earn the final spot in the rotation. Texas-bred fireballer JARRED COSART, 21, is a legitimately exciting (but risky) prospect who Houston will probably rush up to the majors at some point this year.
RELIEF PITCHING: BRETT MYERS flummoxed the Astros' front office with a stinker of a season. He's probably closer to that pitcher than to the one who posted a career-best 3.14 ERA in 2010 at age 29, but he'll move the bullpen this year to get the rare opportunities to close out a game when this awful team is actually leading. WILTON LOPEZ was good in 2011, but was much better the previous season, when he may have been the most underrated reliever in the National League. Houston will go with him in the ninth if they want Myers to return to the rotation. BRANDON LYON has seen better days. He bombed early, then was shut down for good with a bicep injury. He intimidates nobody now.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (OAKLAND-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(CORRECTS date in 5th graph)
*Athletics-Astros Preview* ==========================
By NOEY KUPCHAN STATS Writer
Oakland (3-2) at Houston (1-3), 2:10 p.m. EDT
While the Oakland Athletics have started to heat up, the struggling Houston Astros can't seem to get things together.
The visiting Athletics go for a fifth consecutive win and a three-game sweep of the Astros, who try to avoid a fifth straight loss Sunday afternoon.
After scoring one run in opening 0-2, Oakland (4-2) appears to have found its groove. The Athletics have averaged 7.0 runs and hit a combined eight homers during their winning streak, and they stayed hot in Saturday's 6-3 victory.
Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, and Seth Smith all went deep for Oakland, which went 4 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Lowrie is 9 for 15 with two homers, four doubles and four RBIs during the winning streak.
The A's also got a boost Saturday from Bartolo Colon, who earned the victory in his first appearance following a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test in August.
"I had to take care of myself because there were a lot of new guys that I didn't even know," Colon said of facing the Astros. "The only guy that I know is Carlos Pena."
Houston's relatively obscure lineup could be in for a rough road ahead if its early-season efforts are any indication. The Astros (1-4) have hit .183 and been outscored 25-6 during their four-game skid, and their 60 strikeouts through their first five games are the most by any team since 1921.
Houston had struck out at least 13 times in each of its first four contests before fanning four times Saturday.
"I couldn't tell you how many it was yesterday or how many it was today," manager Bo Porter said when asked about the strikeouts. "What I do know is we lost the game."
"These guys are going to hit. We have no doubt in our minds we are going to hit. It is just a matter of time."
Things aren't about to get any easier with a matchup against A's No. 1 starter Brett Anderson (0-1, 2.57 ERA) in store. The crafty left-hander, though, was outdueled by Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on opening day, yielding two runs, four hits and four walks over seven innings of a 2-0 defeat.
"I was definitely impressed with Brett," catcher John Jaso told MLB's official website. "The lights come on, and it's a different guy out there. He's competitive, and he's throwing the ball hard. That performance that he gave out there, that's definitely one that deserves a win."
Anderson has never faced the Astros and has no experience against any of their players except Pena, who is 3 for 8 with a homer. Pena, though, is batting just .167 (3 for 18) with seven strikeouts thus far.
The Astros, meanwhile, give the ball to Lucas Harrell (0-1, 1.50), who yielded six hits over six innings of one-run ball but took the loss in Tuesday's 7-0 defeat to Texas. While Harrell fared well, he was outdueled by Yu Darvish, who came within one out of throwing a perfect game.
"Lucas was outstanding," Porter said. "Even the time he got into jams, he was able to make pitches to make the double play to get out of them."
In his only career start versus Oakland, Harrell gave up one run, five walks and four hits over six innings, earning the win opposite Anderson during a 6-1 victory July 30, 2010, while with the Chicago White Sox.
|Last Updated: 10/21/2014 4:11:58 AM EST|