|TAMPA BAY ( HERNANDEZ )|
HOUSTON ( NORRIS )
|969||TAMPA BAY||-120||Ov 8.5,-115||-145||Ov 8.5,-105|
|970||HOUSTON||+110||Un 8.5,-105||+135||Un 8.5,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||30-29||-4.3||30-24||4.5||0.255||0.322||4.7||0.249||0.308|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+3.2||2-4||5.0||0.280||0.357||2.0||0.184||0.254|
|vs Right-handed Starters||21-40||-5.3||29-29||3.7||0.235||0.290||5.2||0.288||0.346|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-4.4||2-3||2.0||0.159||0.236||7.1||0.301||0.374|
|6/19/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||@ BOSTON||DEMPSTER(R)||6-2||W||120||9.5 un||U||15||10||0||7||5||1|
|6/20/2013||MOORE(L)||@ NY YANKEES||PETTITTE(L)||8-3||W||-105||8 un||O||14||7||0||6||5||1|
|6/21/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ NY YANKEES||PHELPS(R)||2-6||L||100||9 un||U||9||9||0||11||3||0|
|6/22/2013||COLOME(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||5-7||L||140||8 un||O||7||2||2||7||10||1|
|6/23/2013||ARCHER(R)||@ NY YANKEES||NOVA(R)||3-1||W||105||9 ov||U||9||12||1||7||7||0|
|7/1/2013||MOORE(L)||@ HOUSTON||KEUCHEL(L)||12-0||W||-155||8 ov||O||17||12||0||2||3||0|
|7/2/2013||PRICE(L)||@ HOUSTON||BEDARD(L)||8-0||W||-180||8 un||P||12||9||0||4||3||0|
|7/3/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ HOUSTON||NORRIS(R)|| |
|7/4/2013||ARCHER(R)||@ HOUSTON||LYLES(R)|| |
|7/5/2013||HELLICKSON(R)||CHI WHITE SOX||AXELROD(R)|| |
|7/6/2013||MOORE(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)|| |
|7/7/2013||PRICE(L)||CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)|| |
|7/10/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|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)||6-14||L||155||9 ev||O||13||8||2||16||6||2|
|6/25/2013||HARRELL(R)||ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)||5-13||L||+135||9 un||O||6||4||1||15||6||0|
|6/26/2013||BEDARD(L)||ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||4-3||W||+160||8.5 un||U||5||6||0||8||7||0|
|6/28/2013||NORRIS(R)||LA ANGELS||WILLIAMS(R)||2-4||L||+130||9 un||U||7||7||2||7||7||0|
|6/29/2013||LYLES(R)||LA ANGELS||BLANTON(R)||2-7||L||+135||9 un||P||4||4||2||11||7||0|
|6/30/2013||HARRELL(R)||LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||1-3||L||+140||9 un||U||5||7||2||8||7||1|
|7/1/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)||0-12||L||+145||8 ov||O||2||3||0||17||12||0|
|7/2/2013||BEDARD(L)||TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||0-8||L||+170||8 un||P||4||3||0||12||9||0|
|7/3/2013||NORRIS(R)||TAMPA BAY||HERNANDEZ(R)|| |
|7/4/2013||LYLES(R)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)|| |
|7/5/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ TEXAS||TEPESCH(R)|| |
|7/6/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)|| |
|7/7/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ TEXAS||GRIMM(R)|| |
|7/9/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)|| |
|7/10/2013|| ||@ ST LOUIS|| || |
|TAMPA BAY: HITTING: OF DESMOND JENNINGS' on-base skills will lead to tons of runs and SBs despite his mediocre batting average. 2B BEN ZOBRIST bounced back from a disappointing 2010, and will continue to produce near the top of the batting order. Though a series of nagging injuries plagued his 2011 season, 3B EVAN LONGORIA slugged 17 HR in his last 53 games. Fully healthy this season, he'll be an elite power-hitter with double-digit SB potential. OF B.J. UPTON's days in Tampa may be numbered. He's an elite athlete, but he just might lose his head if he's traded into a tough situation. After a hot start, OF MATT JOYCE settled in as the productive hitter he is. He should get to play every day in right field. SSs SEAN RODRIGUEZ and REID BRIGNAC will battle for ABs but neither hits on a consistent basis. C JOSE MOLINA was acquired for his defense much more than his hitting. DH LUKE SCOTT can also play some 1B when slugger CARLOS PENA, who is returning to Tampa after hitting 28 homers for the Cubs in 2011, needs a rest. |
STARTING PITCHING: DAVID PRICE was a little more hittable than in 2010, but he increased his already-high strikeout rate while cutting back on walks. His win total should rise from a disappointing 12 last year. JAMES SHIELDS put his 2010 disaster season behind him and became a Cy Young candidate. His peripheral stats and skills weren't all that different the past two years, it was a big swing of luck. Some people are putting out the Bust Alert on Rookie of the Year JEREMY HELLICKSON. He had the league's luckiest batting average on balls in play (.217), but he improved as last season progressed. MATT MOORE may be this year's R.O.Y. after a dominant late-season call up. He'll be among the league leaders in strikeouts for years to come. WADE DAVIS is a mediocre pitcher who eats innings at the back of the rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: KYLE FARNSWORTH looked as strong as he has in years, converting 25 of 31 saves in his first season with the Rays. He's the closer again this year, but it won't take much for him to lose that job after an unsteady last third of the 2011 season. JOEL PERALTA may overtake Farnsworth for ninth-inning duties at some point this season. Peralta was 5-for-5 on saves in September when Farnsworth was hurt, and gave up only one run in his final 21.3 innings. Possible future closer JAKE McGEE progressed nicely after a tough start to 2011. He's got potentially lethal stuff. Former Angels hurler FERNANDO RODNEY is looking to bounce back after a wild season (28 walks, 26 strikeouts in 32 IP).
|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 (TAMPA BAY-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Rays-Astros Preview* =====================
By NOEY KUPCHAN STATS Writer
Tampa Bay (44-39) at Houston (30-53), 8:10 p.m. EDT
The Tampa Bay Rays are rolling thanks to impressive efforts on the mound and at the plate.
Manager Joe Maddon's club has proven especially dominant against the major league-worst Houston Astros.
The visiting Rays aim for a fifth consecutive win Wednesday night and eighth in a row over the Astros, who try to avoid getting shut out in three straight contests for the first time in nearly 28 years.
After Matt Moore combined with Cesar Ramos on a two-hitter in Monday's series-opening 12-0 win, David Price returned from the disabled list to throw seven masterful innings Tuesday in an 8-0 victory. Winner in seven of nine, Tampa Bay (45-39) has taken four straight by a 27-4 margin, going 17 for 46 (.370) with runners in scoring position.
Desmond Jennings went 3 for 5 with a homer and career high-tying four RBIs while Yunel Escobar drove in two for the Rays, who have outscored Houston 60-21 during their seven-game run in the series.
The Astros (30-54) have also been outscored 34-5 during a five-game skid overall. Houston, which is hitting .150 during that stretch, hasn't suffered three consecutive shutouts since July 14-19, 1985.
Leading the club with a .286 average, Jose Altuve is hitless in his last 10 at-bats. Matt Dominguez is mired in an 0-for-18 slump, and Brandon Barnes is 4 for his last 31. Chris Carter has also struggled, going 3 for 21 with 10 strikeouts during a seven-game stretch.
"It's just one of those things where we're just not hitting right now," Dominguez said. "Tomorrow, we could go out and get 15 hits or something. Baseball is crazy that way. We just have to keep grinding and doing what we do."
The Astros will try to regroup against Roberto Hernandez (4-9, 4.98 ERA), who's hoping to avoid losing a season-high fourth consecutive start. The right-hander, though, pitched well last Wednesday in a 3-0 loss to Toronto, allowing three runs and six hits in eight-plus innings.
"I thought Roberto was fantastic," Maddon told MLB's official website. "That probably was his best game all year, one walk, (five) punchouts. The ball was alive, the sinker was very good, the slider."
While Hernandez has never faced Houston, he's limited former Rays slugger Carlos Pena to two hits in 12 at-bats in their matchups. Pena returned to the club after missing two games following the death in the family, but did not play Tuesday.
The Astros give the ball to Bud Norris (5-7, 3.35), who's looking to snap a season-high five-start winless stretch. The right-hander allowed one unearned run and four hits in seven innings but didn't factor in the decision of Friday's 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
"He's got the fastball that's sneaky and works his breaking ball in on you," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Norris, who is 3-3 with a 2.38 ERA in 10 home starts.
Norris is 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two career outings against the Rays, with the last one coming in 2011. James Loney is 7 for 14 against him.
Norris will also need to be wary of Evan Longoria, who went 2 for 4 in his first game back since missing three due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The All-Star third baseman is batting .448 with four homers, four doubles and 13 RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak against the Astros.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 8:51:13 PM EST|