|HOUSTON ( NORRIS )|
LA ANGELS ( HANSON )
|975||HOUSTON||+170||Ov 8,-110||+182||Ov 8,+100|
|976||LA ANGELS||-180||Un 8,-110||-195||Un 8,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||2-4||-1||4-2||5.0||0.280||0.308||6.2||0.274||0.345|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2||5-2||4.7||0.282||0.320||6.0||0.257||0.330|
|vs Right-handed Starters||1-5||-4.9||5-1||3.3||0.248||0.311||5.8||0.245||0.325|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-6.1||6-1||4.0||0.290||0.348||6.7||0.315||0.372|
|4/8/2013||HUMBER(R)||@ SEATTLE||SAUNDERS(L)||0-3||L||155||7.5 un||U||7||7||1||5||5||0|
|4/9/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ SEATTLE||MAURER(R)||16-9||W||140||7 ov||O||22||10||1||10||6||0|
|4/10/2013||PEACOCK(R)||@ SEATTLE||BEAVAN(R)||8-3||W||155||7.5 un||O||15||7||0||6||6||1|
|4/12/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ LA ANGELS||HANSON(R)|| |
|4/13/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)|| |
|4/14/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|4/15/2013|| ||@ OAKLAND|| || |
|4/16/2013|| ||@ OAKLAND|| || |
|4/17/2013|| ||@ OAKLAND|| || |
|4/19/2013|| ||CLEVELAND|| || |
|4/1/2013||WEAVER(R)||@ CINCINNATI||CUETO(R)||3-1||W||105||7.5 un||U||6||12||3||3||10||1|
|4/3/2013||WILSON(L)||@ CINCINNATI||LATOS(R)||4-5||L||110||7.5 un||O||9||6||2||6||9||1|
|4/4/2013||BLANTON(R)||@ CINCINNATI||ARROYO(R)||4-5||L||-115||8 un||O||11||9||1||7||3||0|
|4/5/2013||VARGAS(L)||@ TEXAS||HOLLAND(L)||2-3||L||110||9.5 un||U||6||4||0||12||11||0|
|4/6/2013||HANSON(R)||@ TEXAS||HARRISON(L)||8-4||W||120||10 un||O||12||9||0||9||5||1|
|4/7/2013||WEAVER(R)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)||3-7||L||125||8 ov||O||10||10||0||8||5||0|
|4/14/2013|| ||HOUSTON|| || |
|4/15/2013|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|4/16/2013|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|4/17/2013|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|4/19/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|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.
|LA ANGELS: HITTING: SS ERICK AYBAR will likely get another crack at the leadoff spot by default. DH/OF BOBBY ABREU can still draw walks and run a little. 2B HOWIE KENDRICK traded batting average for more power last year. He's still one of baseball's better middle infield bats. 1B ALBERT PUJOLS should benefit from DH-ing a couple of times a year. OF TORII HUNTER is fading fast and may not provide middle-of-the-order power. OF VERNON WELLS has a better chance than Hunter to bounce back, and the Angels have to be patient considering his monster contract. MARK TRUMBO will get a look at 3B. If he can't get it done, ALBERTO CALLASPO would start and Trumbo would back-up first and DH. Speedy OF PETER BOURJOS will start in left, and top prospect MIKE TROUT will soon replace free agents-to-be Abreu or Hunter. KENDRYS MORALES could DH regularly if his ankle is healthy. CHRIS IANNETTA is no Mike Napoli, but he's a monster upgrade over Jeff Mathis. |
STARTING PITCHING: JERED WEAVER had a lot of things go right in 2011, and it's not hard to picture him as a Cy Young candidate again. But he faded late in the year, and may not belong in the upper echelon or pitchers. A cutter has led to DAN HAREN's rebirth. He's right there with Weaver, just a step behind the elite arms. C.J. WILSON may not get the same run support, but he should benefit from getting out of hitter-friendly Arlington; he had a 2.31 road ERA last year. ERVIN SANTANA never developed into a top-of-the-line starter, but he's become more consistent and settled in as a solid starter. Once a washed-out former prospect, JEROME WILLIAMS came back to the States from Taiwan and delivered three quality starts last September. He's not likely to have sustained success, but he does have the inside track for a rotation spot. Middling prospect GARRETT RICHARDS seems like the most likely candidate to step into the rotation in case of injury.
RELIEF PITCHING: JORDAN WALDEN will have the closer's role again entering the spring, but while he was overpowering he was also very shaky at times. He gave up seven runs over 2.2 innings in his last three appearances. RICH THOMPSON decided to lean on his cutter last year and the results were excellent. If Walden slips up, Thompson has to be in the closer conversation. LaTROY HAWKINS was solid with Milwaukee (2.42 ERA) and joins his ninth different team since 2003. He is expected to set up Walden as well. Lefty SCOTT DOWNS was far from dominant last year, despite his 1.34 ERA. But Scioscia does trust him in high-leverage situations, making him a possible fallback if Walden struggles. The Angels don't seem to have big plans for HISANORI TAKAHASHI, the most well-compensated long reliever in baseball.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (HOUSTON-LA ANGELS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Astros-Angels Preview* =======================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Houston (3-6) at Los Angeles (2-7), 10:05 p.m. EDT
Given the vast difference in their respective payrolls, the Houston Astros probably didn't think they would occupy a higher spot in the standings than the Los Angeles Angels.
The Astros, though, are just above the last-place Angels, who are off to their worst start in 52 years entering Friday night's series opener in Anaheim.
With a combined 213 losses in the past two seasons, the Astros were hardly expected to be competitive when they moved to the formidable AL West, and their $27 million payroll didn't give them much to work with.
As likely predicted, Houston (3-6) has started slowly but did win its final two games in Seattle earlier this week. After getting outscored 37-9 during a six-game slide, the Astros earned that pair of victories by a combined 24-12 margin and totaled 38 hits.
Chris Carter led the way with seven hits, three homers, and five RBIs in those games, and Marwin Gonzalez had five hits, including a homer in each victory, while raising his team-best average to .444.
"Even when a maybe a lot of people around the ballclub were panicking, I never saw any panic from any of those guys. We all understand the game of baseball," manager Bo Porter told the team's website. "We know it can be very streaky from an offensive standpoint. Hitting is contagious, just like the same way a few guys get into a slump it can be contagious."
The Astros will try to keep streaking for a little longer against the Angels (2-7), who are experiencing their worst start since going 1-8 in their inaugural 1961 season. In contrast to the thrifty Astros, Los Angeles boasts a $142 million payroll and made another splash in free agency in the offseason by signing former Texas slugger Josh Hamilton.
Los Angeles also struggled out of the gate after signing Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $240 million deal before last season, dropping 14 of 20 en route to a third-place finish in the West.
After batting .190 with one homer in his first 30 games last season, Pujols is hitting .300 with two home runs so far this season but went 0 for 4 in Thursday's 8-1 loss to Oakland. Hamilton had two of his team's season-low five hits to raise his average to .200.
The Angels, who had 49 hits in their previous four games, have experienced more trouble lately keeping opponents off the scoreboard. Their ERA has quickly risen from 3.11 to 5.42 during their four consecutive defeats.
"The teams we've faced, they're really good offensive clubs. But I think everybody believes in the team we have," starting pitcher Jason Vargas said.
Tommy Hanson, one of three new starting pitchers, will try to help his team begin to snap out of its funk by building on a winning debut. The right-hander gave up three runs over six innings in Saturday's 8-4 victory in Texas.
The former Atlanta right-hander has plenty of experience against the Astros and most of it good. Hanson (1-0, 4.50 ERA) is 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA in six career matchups.
Houston will send out Bud Norris (1-1, 3.18) to face the Angels for the first time. After winning his season debut against Texas, the right-hander gave up one run over his first five innings against Oakland on Saturday before allowing four - three of which were unearned - in a 6-3 defeat.
Pujols is one of two Angels hitters to have faced Norris, going 5 for 26 (.192) with two doubles. Chris Iannetta is 1 for 3 against him.
|Last Updated: 9/18/2014 12:47:14 PM EST|