|HOUSTON ( NORRIS )|
DETROIT ( SANCHEZ )
|911||HOUSTON||+240||Ov 8.5,+110||+240||Ov 8,+105|
|912||DETROIT||-275||Un 8.5,-130||-280||Un 8,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||6-21||-12.8||15-10||3.7||0.237||0.288||6.0||0.307||0.370|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.2||5-2||4.4||0.237||0.296||6.6||0.295||0.370|
|vs Right-handed Starters||17-11||+1||18-10||5.4||0.288||0.352||3.7||0.235||0.296|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-3.4||5-2||7.1||0.313||0.374||3.6||0.233||0.298|
|4/29/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ NY YANKEES||PETTITTE(L)||9-1||W||210||7.5 un||O||17||10||0||8||8||1|
|4/30/2013||HUMBER(R)||@ NY YANKEES||KURODA(R)||4-7||L||230||8 un||O||9||8||0||15||10||0|
|5/1/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ NY YANKEES||PHELPS(R)||4-5||L||175||8.5 un||O||10||5||0||9||9||0|
|5/7/2013||LYLES(R)||LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||7-6||W||+155||9 ov||O||7||3||0||8||5||3|
|5/8/2013||NORRIS(R)||LA ANGELS||BLANTON(R)||3-1||W||+130||9.5 un||U||9||6||0||9||5||0|
|5/9/2013||HARRELL(R)||LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)||5-6||L||+140||9 un||O||13||7||3||8||16||0|
|5/13/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)|| |
|5/14/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)|| |
|5/15/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)|| |
|5/17/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ PITTSBURGH||GOMEZ(R)|| |
|5/18/2013||LYLES(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||BURNETT(R)|| |
|5/19/2013|| ||@ PITTSBURGH|| || |
|5/20/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|5/2/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ HOUSTON||LYLES(R)||7-3||W||-155||9.5 un||O||15||13||1||6||4||1|
|5/3/2013||FISTER(R)||@ HOUSTON||NORRIS(R)||4-3||W||-185||8 ov||U||6||6||1||9||9||0|
|5/4/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ HOUSTON||HARRELL(R)||17-2||W||-200||8 un||O||21||9||0||6||4||1|
|5/5/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ HOUSTON||HUMBER(R)||9-0||W||-290||8 un||O||13||8||1||4||6||0|
|5/8/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ WASHINGTON||ZIMMERMANN(R)||1-3||L||-115||7 un||U||7||9||1||8||4||1|
|5/9/2013||FISTER(R)||@ WASHINGTON||HAREN(R)||4-5||L||-120||7.5 ov||O||12||9||1||9||7||0|
|5/16/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)|| |
|5/17/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ TEXAS||TEPESCH(R)|| |
|5/18/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ TEXAS||GRIMM(R)|| |
|5/19/2013|| ||@ TEXAS|| || |
|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.
|DETROIT: HITTING: OF AUSTIN JACKSON doesn't make much contact, but manager Jim Leyland likes his speed in the leadoff spot. RYAN RABURN and RAMON SANTIAGO will split second base duties, with Raburn getting the majority of the starts. 3B MIGUEL CABRERA seems to have cleaned up his act. He's an MVP candidate. So is newcomer 1B PRINCE FIELDER who will try to keep slugging in his move to a pitchers' park. His presence was needed after DH VICTOR MARTINEZ was lost for the season with a knee injury. OF DELMON YOUNG is a pending free agent, and he hit well after escaping spacious Target Field. He'll nab the starting LF job but could also DH. OF BRENNAN BOESCH did enough pre-injury to earn an everyday role, but he'll again be in danger of fading over the summer. SS JHONNY PERALTA had a resurgence in 2011, and he's on the right side of 30. C ALEX AVILA might not hit for average, but his power is legit. Leyland favorite BRANDON INGE and DON KELLY will back up the All-Star corner infielders, so neither expect to get much playing time. Streaky OF ANDY DIRKS is a fourth outfielder. C GERALD LAIRD will spell Avila. |
STARTING PITCHING: You can't expect an identical stat line for JUSTIN VERLANDER; his opponent .236 batting average on balls in play suggests there was some luck involved in his MVP season. But he's still the best pitcher in the American League by a wide margin. DOUG FISTER's improved strikeout rate with the Tigers suggests he could sustain success as a quality No. 2 starter. MAX SCHERZER can still be outstanding when he's on, but he was inconsistent again last year. He could figure it out in his late-20s, but time is running out. RICK PORCELLO still has a ways to go. His mid-season success came against some weak lineups. He's still only 23, but he hasn't been able to beat hitters at any level in the pros. The Tigers are still searching for a No. 5 starter. Top prospect JACOB TURNER is only 20, but the Tigers haven't been shy about fast-tracking young arms. He was dominant in the minors, but torched in his first big-league stint. ANDY OLIVER appears to be the front-runner for this role, but DREW SMYLY is also a possibility.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOSE VALVERDE was perfect in 2011, but it was a surprising development considering his sliding K/BB ratio. For Tigers fans, he carries more risk than 49-for-49 would suggest. One of baseball's better set-up men, JOAQUIN BENOIT is an eighth-inning-only guy. He'd take over if Valverde got hurt. OCTAVIO DOTEL is another elite set-up man who will step up as the seventh-inning guy. As good as AL ALBURQUERQUE was in the regular season (one extra-base hit'a double'allowed in 43.1 innings!), he's out until at least the All-Star break after offseason elbow surgery. Lefty DANIEL SCHLERETH has a chance to be the closer of the future, but first he'll need to cut down on the walks.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (HOUSTON-DETROIT) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Astros-Tigers Preview* =======================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Houston (10-27) at Detroit (20-14), 7:08 p.m. EDT
The Detroit Tigers' Anibal Sanchez owns one of the AL's best ERA's but has had trouble getting consistent run support.
Judging by his career numbers against the lowly Houston Astros, the right-hander might not need too much help in Monday night's series opener in Detroit.
Sanchez (3-3, 1.97 ERA) has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his seven starts but has received a combined three runs from the Tigers (20-15) in his three defeats. He's taken two of those losses in his two outings this month, the latest a 3-1 setback at Washington on Wednesday.
Sanchez pitched at least six innings for the sixth straight time and fanned eight, keeping him among the AL leaders with 58 strikeouts in 45 2-3 innings.
If he can get some better support, Sanchez would appear to have a good chance to avoid a third straight loss. He's 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in seven career starts against the Astros and had a 1.38 ERA in two matchups last season while with Miami.
Houston (10-28) heads into this game with the worst record in the majors and with 11 losses in its last 12 road games. The Astros are 3-14 overall since April 24 and were outscored 37-8 during a four-game sweep by Detroit from May 2-5 in Houston.
The Tigers could use another such set of performances after dropping four of five. Jose Valverde gave up a one-run lead in the ninth inning Sunday against Cleveland - his first blown save since returning to Detroit - and Darin Downs yielded another run in the extra frame in a 4-3 loss.
That defeat gave Detroit back-to-back losses at Comerica Park, where it had won six of seven.
"It's going to happen, because we are human," catcher Brayan Pena said. "Valverde's our closer, and we're very happy to have him, and he's one of those guys that tomorrow is going to be back on the mound and see what happens."
The Astros' most effective starter, Bud Norris (4-3, 3.40), will try to help add to that skid while winning in back-to-back outings for the first time in 2013. He gave up one run and scattered nine hits over eight innings in Wednesday's 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
"I really hope that the rest of the starters take heed of what can happen when you attack the strike zone," manager Bo Porter said. "We have a pretty good defense, and when you make the other team feel like they have to swing early in the count (and) put the ball in play (and) allow our defense to play, we get starts like we got tonight from Bud Norris."
The right-hander allowed two runs over seven innings in his only start against Detroit on May 3, but the Astros bullpen blew a one-run lead in the ninth in a 4-3 loss.
Miguel Cabrera had the only extra-base hit off Norris in that game, a double, and his hit streak has now grown to 11 games. Cabrera, who is batting .404 with 14 RBIs during his current run, was 8 for 17 (.471) with two homers and seven RBIs in the four games in Houston.
Cabrera wasn't with the Tigers during the most recent visit from Houston, a three-game Detroit sweep June 26-28, 2006.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 1:29:26 AM EST|