|HOUSTON ( BEDARD )|
TORONTO ( BUEHRLE )
|969||HOUSTON||+185||Ov 9.5,+100||+185||Ov 9,-115|
|970||TORONTO||-200||Un 9.5,-120||-200||Un 9,-105|
|vs Left-handed Starters||10-16||+0.3||14-11||3.7||0.238||0.291||5.3||0.263||0.349|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-4.4||3-4||3.6||0.241||0.289||6.1||0.252||0.348|
|vs Left-handed Starters||12-16||-4.6||19-9||5.0||0.272||0.321||5.8||0.276||0.343|
|Past 7 Games||0-7||-7.8||5-2||4.6||0.254||0.329||7.9||0.320||0.369|
|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|
|7/25/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ TORONTO||BUEHRLE(L)|| |
|7/26/2013||LYLES(R)||@ TORONTO||DICKEY(R)|| |
|7/27/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ TORONTO||JOHNSON(R)|| |
|7/28/2013||COSART(R)||@ TORONTO||REDMOND(R)|| |
|7/30/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ BALTIMORE||CHEN(L)|| |
|7/31/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ BALTIMORE||GONZALEZ(R)|| |
|8/1/2013|| ||@ BALTIMORE|| || |
|7/11/2013||DICKEY(R)||@ CLEVELAND||SALAZAR(R)||2-4||L||-120||8.5 un||U||5||5||1||8||8||0|
|7/12/2013||BUEHRLE(L)||@ BALTIMORE||TILLMAN(R)||5-8||L||125||9 un||O||14||9||0||9||1||0|
|7/13/2013||REDMOND(R)||@ BALTIMORE||HAMMEL(R)||7-3||W||140||9.5 ov||O||12||5||0||7||8||0|
|7/14/2013||JOHNSON(R)||@ BALTIMORE||FELDMAN(R)||4-7||L||110||9.5 un||O||9||6||0||8||3||0|
|7/19/2013||ROGERS(R)||TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||5-8||L||+120||8.5 un||O||8||6||2||14||9||0|
|7/20/2013||BUEHRLE(L)||TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)||3-4||L||-105||9 ov||U||6||10||1||12||10||1|
|7/21/2013||DICKEY(R)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||3-4||L||-125||9 ov||U||8||11||0||8||7||1|
|7/22/2013||JOHNSON(R)||LA DODGERS||RYU(L)||5-14||L||-125||9 un||O||13||8||5||16||11||0|
|7/23/2013||REDMOND(R)||LA DODGERS||CAPUANO(L)||9-10||L||-115||9.5 ev||O||15||9||0||13||9||2|
|7/24/2013||ROGERS(R)||LA DODGERS||NOLASCO(R)||3-8||L||-115||9.5 un||O||5||8||2||16||13||3|
|7/29/2013||ROGERS(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRIFFIN(R)|| |
|7/30/2013||BUEHRLE(L)||@ OAKLAND||STRAILY(R)|| |
|7/31/2013||DICKEY(R)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)|| |
|8/1/2013|| ||@ LA ANGELS|| || |
|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.
|TORONTO: HITTING: SS YUNEL ESCOBAR brings a little pop and could score runs in bunches atop a solid lineup. OF JOSE BAUTISTA has simply been the best hitter in baseball the past two seasons. 1B ADAM LIND will have plenty of RBI chances, but his average stinks and he faded late last year. 3B BRETT LAWRIE will be a 30-30 candidate in his prime and he's a solid slugger already. Expect big power numbers but a painful average in C J.P. ARENCIBIA's sophomore season. OF COLBY RASMUS should have his head right this year and could see an uptick in power numbers. 2B KELLY JOHNSON improved his dreadful average after being traded to Toronto. He has great potential as a 20-20 candidate. DH EDWIN ENCARNACION raked at home last season and has the position flexibility to stay in the lineup every day. OF ERIC THAMES will start in left field. Thames has 15-15 potential. OF RAJAI DAVIS' speed makes him worthy of staying in the fourth outfielder role. |
STARTING PITCHING: He's not really an ace, but RICKY ROMERO is a solid innings-eater at the front of the Jays' staff. He's a low-risk, low-reward starting pitcher. BRANDON MORROW's talent is intriguing. His mid-90s heat and deceptive slider lead to huge strikeout tallies, but also leads to a lot of gopher balls. Questionable conditioning was an issue for BRETT CECIL last year, as he gave up a whopping 37 HR between the majors and Triple-A. He seemed to straighten things out over the second half of last season. HENDERSON ALVAREZ's performance as a 21-year-old gives him an inside track for a rotation spot. He has intriguing upside. DUSTIN McGOWAN returned in September from a 38-month layoff to put himself in the mix for the rotation. His mid-90s gas is still there, giving him 175-K potential. KYLE DRABEK has great potential, but he was a disaster in 2011. He could not command his promising arsenal of pitches, and broke down mentally at times.
RELIEF PITCHING: SERGIO SANTOS has unhittable stuff, but will have to battle newcomer FRANCISCO CORDERO as Toronto's closer. Cordero's strikeout rate dropped down to a putrid 5.4 K/9 last year, but he showed great command with a stellar 1.02 WHIP. CASEY JANSSEN was Toronto's most improved pitcher in 2011. He has a sinking fastball, a pretty good K rate and performed quite well against the AL East last season. Prospect JOEL CARRENO, a starter in the minors, is a closer-in-waiting. He was impressive out of the pen after a late-August call-up, and averaged better than a strikeout per inning, albeit with shaky control, in the minors.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (HOUSTON-TORONTO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Astros-Blue Jays Preview* ==========================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Houston (34-65) at Toronto (45-54), 7:07 p.m. EDT
Erik Bedard likely is hoping a return to his native Canada will also be the end of his four-start losing streak as the Houston Astros begin a 10-game road trip.
The Toronto Blue Jays, though, aren't finding home to be all that cozy as they'll look to end a six-game losing streak at Rogers Centre and a seven-game skid overall in Thursday night's series opener between last-place clubs.
Bedard (3-7, 4.41 ERA), who will be making his first start in Ontario since 2007, suggested a hockey-themed team flight to Toronto, where Houston (34-66) begins an extended trip that also has stops in Baltimore and Minnesota.
The left-hander, though, has walked 18 in 23 innings during his losing streak. He had 10 strikeouts and a no-hitter going when he exited with one out in the seventh inning against Seattle on Saturday, but his five walks led to three runs - one earned - and he ended up suffering a 4-2 defeat.
Despite not allowing a hit, Bedard had thrown 109 pitches, matching the same number he threw in his previous start - a 5-0 loss to Tampa Bay on July 14.
"I've had three shoulder surgeries," Bedard said. "I'm not going over 110 (pitches). I'd rather pitch a couple more years than face another batter."
Bedard is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in his last seven starts against Toronto, but he hasn't faced the club since last pitching at Rogers Centre six years ago. He's had some success against current Blue Jays hitters, though, as Melky Cabrera is just 3 for 21 lifetime off Bedard.
He'll look to help get the Astros on track after they fell 4-3 to Oakland on Wednesday for their 17th defeat in 21 games.
"We're going to play a long road trip, but it's also against some good teams," first baseman Brett Wallace said. "We just need to go out there and stay focused and just try to win every series."
The Blue Jays (45-55) have been swept in both of their series since the All-Star break, each coming in Toronto as part of their 10-game homestand that ends Sunday.
They were one out away from victory Wednesday, but Colby Rasmus' error in center field allowed the tying run to score in the ninth before the Dodgers exploded for a five-run 10th to win 8-3.
The Blue Jays haven't lost eight straight overall since a nine-game skid from May 19-27, 2009, and they haven't suffered a seven-game home losing streak since dropping their first eight of 2004.
"I thought we were rock bottom last night," manager John Gibbons said, referring to his club blowing a five-run lead in Tuesday's 10-9 loss. "I guess not."
Starter Mark Buehrle will try to end some personal struggles, as his last two starts haven't gone very well.
Buehrle (5-7, 4.83) allowed eight runs - his most in four years - through six innings of an 8-5 loss at Baltimore on July 12, then gave up four runs and a season worst-tying 10 hits in seven frames of Saturday's 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay.
After going 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA from May 22-June 19, Buehrle is 1-3 with a 5.52 ERA over his last five outings.
"I can't pinpoint what's going on. It's frustrating," Buehrle said.
The left-hander hasn't faced the Astros since allowing one run in eight innings of a 6-3 win June 10, 2007, while pitching for the White Sox.
Houston has won five of six all-time meetings with Toronto.
|Last Updated: 10/22/2014 11:21:49 PM EST|