|HOUSTON ( LYLES )|
CHICAGO CUBS ( SAMARDZIJA )
|977||HOUSTON||+150||Ov 9,-110||+160||Ov 9,-115|
|978||CHICAGO CUBS||-160||Un 9,-110||-170||Un 9,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||20-36||-2.9||27-27||3.7||0.237||0.290||5.0||0.286||0.344|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1.7||3-4||4.3||0.224||0.280||3.1||0.239||0.285|
|vs Right-handed Starters||19-30||-8.9||24-24||4.1||0.241||0.293||4.4||0.240||0.305|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.5||0-7||2.4||0.201||0.263||3.7||0.241||0.288|
|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)||1-3||L||165||10 un||U||4||4||0||10||7||1|
|6/22/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)||4-3||W||130||9.5 un||U||6||5||2||8||8||2|
|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||KEUCHEL(L)||LA ANGELS||WILLIAMS(R)|| |
|6/29/2013||NORRIS(R)||LA ANGELS||BLANTON(R)|| |
|6/30/2013|| ||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||WOOD(L)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)|| |
|6/29/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ SEATTLE||HARANG(R)|| |
|6/30/2013|| ||@ 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 (28-47) at Chicago (30-42), 2:20 p.m. EDT
Some strong pitching performances have carried the lowly Houston Astros on one of their best stretches of the season.
Jordan Lyles will try to provide another in Sunday's series finale against the Chicago Cubs while extending his career-best win streak to four games.
Houston (29-47) has registered a 2.10 team ERA with a 1.37 bullpen ERA while winning seven of 10 games. The Astros had a major league-worst 4.93 ERA in their first 66 games.
Houston's pitchers kept the game close enough Saturday for a 4-3 comeback win in Chicago. J.D. Martinez got the rally started with a three-run homer in the sixth inning and former Cub Ronny Cedeno's squeeze bunt in the final frame brought home Justin Maxwell with the winning run.
"In order to play these types of close games, you have to play good baseball," manager Bo Porter said. "What I love about our ballclub is even though we make some mistakes, they don't hang their head. They keep battling, they keep fighting and we find a way to either get ourselves back into the game or make it a ballgame every night."
Lyles (4-1, 3.22 ERA) will try to help Houston win the series between last-place clubs by improving on his 3-0 record and 1.61 ERA in his last seven starts. He might have a good chance at accomplishing that task as the Cubs (30-43) are batting .201 during a 2-5 stretch and are 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position in their last four games.
They went 1 for 7 in such situations Saturday and failed to score in the eighth despite having three players in scoring position. Alfonso Soriano was picked off after a one-out double, and Darwin Barney flied out with the bases loaded.
"It's a broken record. We just can't seem to get that hit to break the game open in those situations. We get guys on and we just can't get them in," manager Dale Sveum said.
Sveum gives the ball to Jeff Samardzija (4-7, 3.35), who is trying to build on his best start of the month.
He allowed two runs over 8 1-3 innings in a 4-2 win in St. Louis on Tuesday after going 0-1 with a 5.89 ERA in his first three June starts. Prior to Tuesday, Samardzija was 0-5 with an 8.49 ERA in eight June starts dating back to last season.
"I really want to knock this June bugaboo," the right-hander said. "I've been working really hard and I like where I am today."
Samardzija, who is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two home starts this month, is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts against the Astros. The Cubs are 3-8 at Wrigley Field in June after winning eight of their previous 12 there.
Lyles, who is 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs, has gone seven innings in each of his last three starts and gave up one run to Milwaukee in Tuesday's 10-1 home win.
Starlin Castro, who is 1 for 8 lifetime against Lyles, is batting .138 in June.
|Last Updated: 9/23/2014 9:26:54 PM EST|