|HOUSTON ( KEUCHEL )|
CHICAGO CUBS ( GARZA )
|975||HOUSTON||+160||Ov 9.5,-120||+165||Ov 10,+100|
|976||CHICAGO CUBS||-170||Un 9.5,+100||-175||Un 10,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||20-35||-1.9||27-26||3.7||0.239||0.292||5.0||0.285||0.344|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+4.2||3-4||4.4||0.229||0.279||2.9||0.224||0.270|
|vs Left-handed Starters||10-13||-1.5||8-13||3.6||0.231||0.288||3.9||0.242||0.304|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||+0.1||1-5||3.1||0.202||0.271||3.7||0.255||0.299|
|6/7/2013||LYLES(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)||2-4||L||210||7.5 un||U||9||8||0||9||7||0|
|6/8/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)||2-7||L||160||8.5 ev||O||6||3||3||10||8||0|
|6/9/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)||0-2||L||155||8.5 ov||U||5||6||1||6||6||1|
|6/10/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)||2-3||L||220||6.5 ov||U||7||6||3||9||11||1|
|6/11/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ SEATTLE||HARANG(R)||0-4||L||145||7.5 un||U||2||3||2||7||3||1|
|6/12/2013||LYLES(R)||@ SEATTLE||BONDERMAN(R)||6-1||W||125||7.5 un||U||8||7||2||5||8||0|
|6/14/2013||BEDARD(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||2-1||W||+175||7.5 un||U||5||6||0||6||8||2|
|6/15/2013||HARRELL(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)||4-3||W||+110||8 un||U||6||2||1||8||6||0|
|6/16/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||SANTIAGO(L)||5-4||W||+115||8.5 un||O||7||6||0||8||7||1|
|6/17/2013||NORRIS(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||2-4||L||-105||8 ev||U||8||9||0||9||5||1|
|6/21/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||GARZA(R)|| |
|6/22/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)|| |
|6/23/2013||LYLES(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||SAMARDZIJA(R)|| |
|6/25/2013||BEDARD(L)||ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)|| |
|6/26/2013||HARRELL(R)||ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)|| |
|6/28/2013|| ||LA ANGELS|| || |
|6/14/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ NY METS||MARCUM(R)||6-3||W||110||7.5 un||O||9||4||0||9||8||0|
|6/15/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ NY METS||NIESE(L)||5-2||W||110||7 ov||P||11||16||1||6||6||2|
|6/16/2013||GARZA(R)||@ NY METS||HEFNER(R)||3-4||L||100||7.5 ev||U||7||6||1||6||6||2|
|6/17/2013||WOOD(L)||@ ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||2-5||L||190||7.5 un||U||5||7||2||8||4||0|
|6/18/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||4-2||W||190||7 un||U||8||5||0||8||4||0|
|6/19/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)||1-4||L||155||8.5 un||U||2||4||0||9||6||2|
|6/20/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||1-6||L||165||7.5 ev||U||5||6||0||10||6||0|
|6/25/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||LOHSE(R)|| |
|6/26/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)|| |
|6/27/2013||GARZA(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)|| |
|6/28/2013|| ||@ SEATTLE|| || |
|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.
|CHICAGO CUBS: HITTING: 'Under New Management' is the motto in Wrigleyville, where Epstein, Hoyer, Sveum and Co. aim to turn SS STARLIN CASTRO and a bunch of straw into gold. OF DAVID DeJESUS was an underrated first pick-up. But OFs ALFONSO SORIANO and MARLON BYRD are overpaid and over the hill. C GEOVANY SOTO has lost his mojo. New 3B IAN STEWART has a lousy career OPS of .737 away from Coors Field. 1B BRYAN LaHAIR is tagged as part of a 'youth movement,' but he's almost 30. The other youths'2B DARWIN BARNEY, IF JEFF BAKER, and IF BLAKE DEWITT 'are interchangeable guys with low ceilings. Fourth OF TONY CAMPANA is fast but one-dimensional. And minor-league reinforcements are scarce. OF BRETT JACKSON is solid, but blocked in the lineup. And former uber-prospect 3B JOSH VITTERS has done nothing to justify his third-overall draft status. This rebuilding process will take time. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Chicago suburbs, Jim Hendry quietly sobs into a pile of Cubs-themed stuffed animals. |
STARTING PITCHING: RYAN DEMPSTER should bounce back from an unlucky year in which there was nearly a full-run difference between his ERA and his FIP. He's no ace in good times, but he's an underrated and dependable source of innings and strikeouts. MATT GARZA didn't disappoint in his debut season on the North Side, but he was an odd acquisition to begin with: the Cubs dealt top prospects from a thin system when all signs pointed to a belly-flop of a season. He's already trade bait again. JEFF SAMARDZIJA is moving to the rotation after a strong year in the bullpen (2.97 ERA, 87 K in 88 IP), but he needs to cut down on his walks (5.1 per 9 IP). What killed TRAVIS WOOD in 2011 was uncharacteristic wildness. His walk total spiked by over 50 percent from 2010. He's better than this, though it's hard to say how much. It could be that a 40-inning jump from 2010 to 2011 aided his freefall. Subpar newcomers PAUL MAHOLM and CHRIS VOLSTAD will also compete for rotation spots. The lefty Maholm is coming off his best season in Pittsburgh (3.66 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but was awful after the All-Star break (0-5, 5.75 ERA, .355 Opp. BA). The 6-foot-8 Volstad was 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA for the Marlins last year, but still has time to figure things out at age 25.
RELIEF PITCHING: Because of his contract and the head-scratching faith in the 'closer mentality' that still pervades even the most enlightened front offices, CARLOS MARMOL will enter the 2012 campaign with a near-ironclad grip on ninth-inning duties for the Cubs. Trading away Sean Marshall, arguably Chicago's best reliever last season, is yet another vote of confidence for Marmol. His lack of command leads to more hittable pitches (along with tons of walks), though his ceiling for strikeouts and saves is sky-high. KERRY WOOD will be the main set-up man again after a triumphant return to Chicago last season (3.35 ERA, 57 K in 51 IP).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (HOUSTON-CHICAGO CUBS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Astros-Cubs Preview* =====================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Houston (27-46) at Chicago (29-41), 2:20 p.m. EDT
The Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs spent the past few seasons rounding out the bottom of NL Central.
Their poor play is spread over two divisions now.
In the first interleague matchup between these former division rivals, Dallas Keuchel will seek to help Houston beat the Cubs on Friday at Wrigley Field.
The Astros (28-46) are in last place in the AL West and own the league's worst record but head into Chicago having won six of eight. They earned all but one of those wins on a seven-game homestand and took two of three from another former NL Central opponent, Milwaukee, to begin this week.
Former Cubs slugger Carlos Pena helped his team finish off that series with a 7-4 victory Thursday by hitting a three-run homer in the 10th inning.
"What a great homestand. I thought we were in every single game. This is a lot of momentum moving forward," said Pena, who hit a team-best 28 homers for Chicago in 2011.
Pena will face his former club and former Tampa Bay teammate Matt Garza (1-1, 4.98 ERA) for the first time Friday. The two played together from 2008-10 and were members of an AL championship team in the first of those seasons.
Keuchel (4-3, 4.23) will try to help Pena finish on the winning side of that reunion while improving on a 3-1 record and a 2.13 ERA in his last four starts. The left-hander bounced back from his only defeat over that stretch by beating the other Chicago team Sunday.
Keuchel gave up two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 5-4 victory over the White Sox.
"All you can ask of your guys is consistency, and no doubt that Dallas has given us that more than anybody in the rotation, even when we've been pitching so good lately," manager Bo Porter told the team's website. "He's figured out how to get guys out with all of his pitches."
Keuchel did not get a decision in his only start against the Cubs on Sept. 10, allowing one run over four innings in a 4-1 home defeat.
Chicago (29-42), which is tied with the Brewers for last in the division, edged Houston in the season series 8-7 for the second straight year in 2012 but has won 11 of 15 meetings at Wrigley Field. The Cubs, though, enter having dropped four of five and are 2-7 at Wrigley this month.
They scored one run for the second straight game Thursday, falling 6-1 in St. Louis. Welington Castillo had three of the team's five hits while Starlin Castro's average for the month dropped to .127 (9 for 71).
"I'm working hard every day, I know I can get out of this," Castro said. "When I get out of this, I'll be good for the rest of the season."
Garza allowed two runs over 5 1-3 innings to beat the Astros at home last June after going 0-3 with a 4.64 ERA in his first five matchups with them.
He is coming off a solid showing, tossing seven scoreless innings against the New York Mets on Sunday after getting tagged for a career-worst nine runs in five innings in a loss to Cincinnati five days earlier.
The right-hander, though, did not get a win Sunday as reliever Carlos Marmol's struggles continued in a 4-3 defeat.
|Last Updated: 9/30/2014 3:21:55 PM EST|