|SEATTLE ( SAUNDERS )|
HOUSTON ( NORRIS )
|975||SEATTLE||-115||Ov 8.5,+105||-120||Ov 8.5,-110|
|976||HOUSTON||+105||Un 8.5,-125||+110||Un 8.5,-110|
|vs Right-handed Starters||28-36||-6.4||31-30||3.8||0.245||0.307||4.5||0.255||0.308|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.8||5-2||6.9||0.310||0.365||5.7||0.282||0.342|
|vs Left-handed Starters||10-14||+2.3||13-10||3.6||0.234||0.287||5.2||0.263||0.347|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||+0.2||3-4||3.9||0.238||0.292||4.9||0.285||0.350|
|7/5/2013||HARANG(R)||@ CINCINNATI||LEAKE(R)||4-2||W||182||8.5 ev||U||6||3||1||6||5||0|
|7/6/2013||BONDERMAN(R)||@ CINCINNATI||LATOS(R)||4-13||L||235||8.5 un||O||8||11||2||13||8||0|
|7/7/2013||SAUNDERS(L)||@ CINCINNATI||ARROYO(R)||3-1||W||170||8.5 ov||U||6||5||1||6||5||1|
|7/12/2013||SAUNDERS(L)||LA ANGELS||WILLIAMS(R)||8-3||W||+120||8 ov||O||11||4||0||9||7||0|
|7/13/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||LA ANGELS||WEAVER(R)||6-0||W||-110||7 ev||U||11||6||0||7||6||0|
|7/14/2013||IWAKUMA(R)||LA ANGELS||BLANTON(R)||4-3||W||-115||8 un||U||7||8||0||8||6||0|
|7/19/2013||SAUNDERS(L)||@ HOUSTON||NORRIS(R)|| |
|7/20/2013||IWAKUMA(R)||@ HOUSTON|| || |
|7/21/2013||HERNANDEZ(R)||@ HOUSTON|| || |
|7/22/2013|| ||CLEVELAND||JIMENEZ(R)|| |
|7/23/2013|| ||CLEVELAND|| || |
|7/25/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|7/26/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|7/5/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ TEXAS||TEPESCH(R)||5-10||L||205||9.5 un||O||10||5||1||9||7||1|
|7/6/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)||9-5||W||260||9 un||O||11||8||0||10||6||0|
|7/7/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ TEXAS||GRIMM(R)||4-5||L||182||10 un||U||8||3||1||7||5||2|
|7/9/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||5-9||L||240||7.5 un||O||8||8||0||15||8||0|
|7/10/2013||LYLES(R)||@ ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)||4-5||L||230||8 un||O||10||12||0||7||6||2|
|7/12/2013||COSART(R)||@ TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||2-1||W||260||7.5 un||U||8||3||1||4||3||0|
|7/13/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||HERNANDEZ(R)||3-4||L||235||8 ov||U||6||2||0||8||5||0|
|7/14/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||0-5||L||215||8.5 un||U||5||3||1||12||8||0|
|7/20/2013|| ||SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)|| |
|7/21/2013|| ||SEATTLE||HERNANDEZ(R)|| |
|7/22/2013|| ||OAKLAND|| || |
|7/23/2013|| ||OAKLAND|| || |
|7/24/2013|| ||OAKLAND||GRIFFIN(R)|| |
|7/25/2013|| ||@ TORONTO|| || |
|7/26/2013|| ||@ TORONTO|| || |
|SEATTLE: HITTING: C/DH JESUS MONTERO was brought over from the Yankees to hit in the heart of the order. At age 22, his offensive potential is scary. OF ICHIRO SUZUKI is entering the twilight of his career, but he might still have another .300 season left. 2B DUSTIN ACKLEY is the kind of line-drive hitter who fits well in Safeco, but he needs to catch up to MLB pitching. 1B JUSTIN SMOAK has disappointed, but he's making strides and has 30-HR upside. OF CASPER WELLS could play everyday. He won't hit for average, but has the power Seattle needs. MIKE CARP figures to at least grab early at-bats against righties. He'll strike out, but has lots of power. OF FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ is out for at least a month with a pectoral injury, but will reclaim his starting gig based on his defense. Seattle would love to see OF MICHAEL SAUNDERS step up to replace Gutierrez, but he's shown no signs of being able to handle MLB pitching. C MIGUEL OLIVO still has solid power, but he's an all-or-nothing hitter. 3B CHONE FIGGINS isn't quite done, but he's close. He'll have to battle line-drive hitting KYLE SEAGER for a job. SS BRENDAN RYAN will stick around for defense, but his bat is barely good enough for a regular gig. |
STARTING PITCHING: FELIX HERNANDEZ had a touch of bad luck last year, but he's one of the few pitchers in baseball who's a lock for 200 strikeouts. JASON VARGAS just keeps throwing strikes and letting his defense make plays. He'll get by fine again in spacious Safeco. BLAKE BEAVAN doesn't have a strikeout pitch, but he'll make few mistakes and get some outs thanks to a strong defense. HECTOR NOESI, who also came over from New York with Montero, isn't a big strikeout pitcher, but has good control and is savvy enough to get his shot in Seattle's rotation this year. 37-year-old journeyman KEVIN MILLWOOD will fill out the fifth spot in the rotation after a solid spring. Top prospect DANNY HULTZEN could break into the bigs in 2012. The lefty has the polish of a big leaguer right now, though his ceiling is more good-not-great.
RELIEF PITCHING: Like many rebuilding teams, the Mariners will continue to shop their closer. BRANDON LEAGUE will pick up saves in Seattle, but he's more of a groundball pitcher than a strikeout artist. He'd likely be ticketed for a set-up role elsewhere. If League is traded, the closer role is wide open. SHAWN KELLEY came back from Tommy John surgery late last year and looked as good as ever. If he picks up where he left off last year, he'd be an obvious choice for ninth inning duties. CHANCE RUFFIN, part of the Doug Fister trade, has a strong minor-league track record. He could carve out a big role in this bullpen if he can improve his command.
|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 (SEATTLE-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Mariners-Astros Preview* =========================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
Seattle (43-52) at Houston (33-61), 8:10 p.m. EDT
After one of the worst performances in his career his last time out, Bud Norris will try to bounce back as he takes the mound to open the Houston Astros' second half of the season.
But picking himself up could prove challenging against the Seattle Mariners, who entered the All-Star break riding baseball's strongest power surge.
Norris and the Astros try to slow down Raul Ibanez and the Mariners at Minute Maid Park on Friday night.
Norris (6-8, 3.63) surrendered a career-high 11 hits and matched a season worst by allowing seven runs over five innings in a 9-5 loss at St. Louis on July 9. The right-hander had posted a 2.29 ERA in his previous nine outings, though he lost 4-0 at Seattle on June 11.
To make matters worse, Norris also twisted his ankle after a pitch in the second inning against the Cardinals, though the injury wasn't serious.
"It's pretty sore, I tried to battle through it," said Norris, whose ERA leads Houston starters. "I definitely tweaked it."
While Norris gave up a two-run homer to Matt Holliday, he's limited opponents to 0.6 homers per nine innings - the second fewest among AL starters.
Norris will have to be mindful of the long ball against the Mariners (43-52), whose 37 homers and .481 slugging percentage since June 20 are the best in the majors.
Ibanez has fueled the hot stretch, hitting 10 homers with 22 RBIs in 21 games during that span with an OPS of 1.172. His 24 home runs are tied for fourth in the AL and leave him five shy of Ted Williams' 1960 record for the most in a season at the age of 41.
"He's the same guy every day, on and off the field," manager Eric Wedge said of Ibanez, whose power has helped the Mariners to 115 homers, tied for baseball's second most after their 149 were the league's fourth fewest in 2012. "He prepares as well as anybody, if not more so than that."
Ibanez is 5 for 17 with a homer and two doubles off Norris, who also beat Seattle 3-2 at home on April 23.
Mariners starter Joe Saunders (8-8, 4.24) comes in trying to win his fourth straight start. He was the winning pitcher in Seattle's 3-0 home victory over the Astros on April 8, but a 10-3 loss in Houston was consistent with his road struggles earlier in the season.
The left-hander went 0-4 with an 11.25 ERA in his first five road starts, but has since gone 3-1 with a 1.26 ERA in five starts away from Safeco Field.
He shut out the Los Angeles Angels for seven innings while yielding five hits in an 8-3 victory at home last Friday.
J.D. Martinez, batting .256, went 10 for 28 (.357) in his last seven games prior to the All-Star break. He's 1 for 5 off Saunders.
The Astros (33-61) have lost six of their last seven at home but took two of the teams' first three meetings at Minute Maid Park and own a 5-4 advantage in the season series.
|Last Updated: 9/18/2014 6:49:16 PM EST|