|HOUSTON ( KEUCHEL )|
TORONTO ( JOHNSON )
|965||HOUSTON||+205||Ov 9.5,+100||+205||Ov 9.5,+105|
|966||TORONTO||-225||Un 9.5,-120||-225||Un 9.5,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||24-51||-10.7||37-35||3.8||0.236||0.292||5.4||0.286||0.349|
|Past 7 Games||1-6||-4.4||3-4||3.4||0.214||0.271||6.3||0.258||0.354|
|vs Left-handed Starters||13-16||-3.6||19-10||5.0||0.272||0.321||5.6||0.271||0.337|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.8||4-3||5.6||0.282||0.367||6.6||0.298||0.357|
|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)||0-4||L||190||9 ov||U||2||4||0||7||2||0|
|7/26/2013||LYLES(R)||@ TORONTO||DICKEY(R)||6-12||L||220||9 un||O||11||9||2||15||9||0|
|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||LYLES(R)||@ BALTIMORE||TILLMAN(R)|| |
|8/2/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ MINNESOTA||DEDUNO(R)|| |
|8/3/2013|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|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||JOHNSON(R)||@ LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)|| |
|8/2/2013||REDMOND(R)||@ LA ANGELS||HANSON(R)|| |
|8/3/2013|| ||@ 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 MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer
Houston (34-67) at Toronto (46-55), 1:07 p.m. EDT
The Toronto Blue Jays have finally strung together a couple of wins.
Josh Johnson would settle for one at this point.
The right-hander will try to avoid a career-worst fifth consecutive losing start Saturday when the Blue Jays and major league-worst Houston Astros continue their series north of the border.
After Mark Buehrle's two-hitter in Thursday's 4-0 series-opening victory helped Toronto (47-55) end a season-high seven-game skid, the Blue Jays equaled a team record with 12 extra-base hits in Friday's 12-6 victory.
Edwin Encarnacion hit two of the club's five homers, a solo shot and a grand slam in the eight-run seventh. The only other Blue Jay to homer twice in one inning was Joe Carter on Oct. 3, 1993, against Baltimore.
"I don't think you can get any better than that," manager John Gibbons said after Toronto won back-to-back games for the first time since a franchise record-tying 11-game surge June 11-23. "He's having another great year (with 28 home runs)."
Johnson (1-6, 5.66 ERA) is not. He's 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA in five starts since defeating the Orioles on June 23 after lasting just two-plus innings in Monday's 14-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing five runs and seven hits and calling his performance "pitiful."
"You feel for the guy because he's competing but it just hasn't happened," Gibbons said.
Johnson, who also lost four consecutive starts Aug. 9-25 while with the Marlins, is 0-2 with a 4.84 ERA in four career starts versus Houston.
He'll face an Astros team that's dropped 19 of 23 overall and 15 of 19 on the road.
Houston (34-68) will try to get back on track with Dallas Keuchel (4-5, 4.42) going for his first win in six starts. The left-hander was in position to pick up a victory Monday, exiting with a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning, but the bullpen faltered again in a 4-3 loss.
The Astros have blown 15 saves and their relief corps has been tagged for a major league-high 64 homers - 22 more than anyone else in baseball.
"It doesn't matter about what the other team is going to do," manager Bo Porter said. "We have to do a better job of making quality pitches in those situations."
One positive for Houston heading into the weekend is the play of Marc Krauss, who went 2 for 4 with a homer and four RBIs on Friday. The rookie left fielder had four RBIs in his first 20 games since getting called up June 21 when Trevor Crowe (shoulder) went on the disabled list.
Krauss could get more playing time with J.D. Martinez (sprained left wrist) being placed on the disabled list after getting injured Friday. The club called up center fielder Robbie Grossman to take Martinez's spot.
Jose Reyes is swinging one of the hottest bats for the Blue Jays since the All-Star break. Reyes is hitting .394 during that eight-game stretch with two homers, four doubles and seven RBIs after reaching safely five times and coming up a triple shy of the cycle Friday.
Colby Rasmus' 4-for-5 effort, meanwhile, lifted his average to .393 since the break.
Toronto has won three of four from Houston since losing the first four matchups between these clubs.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 6:16:02 PM EST|