|HOUSTON ( HARRELL )|
BALTIMORE ( CHEN )
|915||HOUSTON||+220||Ov 8.5,-115||+235||Ov 8.5,-110|
|916||BALTIMORE||-240||Un 8.5,-105||-265||Un 8.5,-110|
|vs Left-handed Starters||10-17||-0.7||14-12||3.6||0.233||0.287||5.3||0.263||0.348|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-1.2||3-4||3.7||0.204||0.262||5.1||0.276||0.370|
|vs Right-handed Starters||41-32||+8.2||37-33||4.9||0.272||0.320||4.5||0.260||0.322|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-3.6||2-4||3.4||0.261||0.305||4.0||0.259||0.321|
|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)||8-6||W||220||9.5 un||O||8||4||0||11||3||0|
|7/28/2013||COSART(R)||@ TORONTO||REDMOND(R)||1-2||L||180||9.5 un||U||5||5||2||7||14||1|
|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||COSART(R)||@ MINNESOTA||GIBSON(R)|| |
|8/4/2013||NORRIS(R)||@ MINNESOTA||PELFREY(R)|| |
|8/6/2013|| ||BOSTON|| || |
|7/19/2013||CHEN(L)||@ TEXAS||HOLLAND(L)||3-1||W||130||9 un||U||6||5||0||9||10||0|
|7/20/2013||GONZALEZ(R)||@ TEXAS||WOLF(R)||7-4||W||-105||9.5 ev||O||17||8||1||14||10||1|
|7/21/2013||TILLMAN(R)||@ TEXAS||PEREZ(L)||4-2||W||120||9.5 un||U||10||11||0||6||6||2|
|7/22/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||DAVIS(R)||9-2||W||-120||9 un||O||18||13||0||5||5||1|
|7/23/2013||HAMMEL(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)||2-3||L||100||8.5 ov||U||5||5||0||11||12||1|
|7/24/2013||CHEN(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||SANTANA(R)||3-4||L||-110||7.5 ov||U||8||6||1||9||5||2|
|7/25/2013||GONZALEZ(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||1-7||L||-135||8 ov||P||8||7||0||10||5||0|
|8/6/2013|| ||@ SAN DIEGO|| || |
|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.
|BALTIMORE: HITTING: The leadoff spot is 2B BRIAN ROBERTS' if he can stay on the field. His recent injury history is very troubling, though his talent makes him a risk worth taking. 2B ROBERT ANDINO and 2B RYAN ADAMS would compete for time if Roberts is out. The O's best hitter last year was arguably SS J.J. HARDY. He was healthy for the first time in years and flexed his legit 30-HR power. If Roberts and Hardy stay healthy, OF NICK MARKAKIS will likely hit third and see an increase in RBI chances. OF ADAM JONES seems to have the highest ceiling of any Baltimore hitter. 3B MARK REYNOLDS will probably end up at 1B. His horrendous average cancels out some of his 40-HR potential. OF NOLAN REIMOLD revived his MLB career with an impressive end of the season. He's got a shot to start in left. 1B CHRIS DAVIS is a candidate to start at first, third or DH as sort of a Junior Mark Reynolds. C MATT WIETERS is already one of the best two-way backstops in baseball at age 25. |
STARTING PITCHING: WEI-YIN CHEN pitched well enough in Japan (2.48 ERA, 1.06 WHIP in past four seasons) to become the de-facto ace of this horrible pitching staff. JAKE ARRIETA is a mediocre talent, but is good enough to secure a spot as a Baltimore starter. JASON HAMMEL hopes the switch from Coors Field will help lower his career ERA of 4.99. The highest-risk, highest-potential O's pitcher may be BRIAN MATUSZ. His 2011 line is frightening (10.69 ERA, 2.11 WHIP), but he has the raw skills and pitch repertoire to turn it around. TOMMY HUNTER came over from Texas midseason and should round out the rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: There was talk of JIM JOHNSON being converted into a starter, but he'll open the season as the team's closer. Johnson established himself as the O's best option to close after going 7-for-7 in that role last September. KEVIN GREGG would step in as the ninth-inning man if Johnson falters. He was unstable in that role last year. Gregg is a trade candidate this midseason, in which case he'd probably end up a set-up man elsewhere. Flame-throwing MATT LINDSTROM is a darkhorse for saves. He saved 23 games for Houston in 2010 before being used as a set-up man in Colorado last year. TSUYOSHI WADA brings his finesse game from Japan. He's a heady hurler who hides the ball well, but he's in for a rude awakening in the A.L. East. BRAD BERGESEN and CHRIS JAKUBAUSKAS are long relievers who may get bumped into the rotation if the young Baltimore SPs struggle again.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (HOUSTON-BALTIMORE) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(EDITS last graph)
*Astros-Orioles Preview* ========================
By JORDAN GARRETSON STATS Writer
Houston (35-69) at Baltimore (58-48), 7:05 p.m. EDT
The Baltimore Orioles would like to bolster their rotation before the trade deadline. They're about to get a particularly close look at one of the best arms available.
Bud Norris takes the mound in what could be his final start for the Houston Astros as they visit the Orioles on Tuesday night.
In their chase for a second consecutive postseason appearance, Baltimore (58-48) has been bogged down by a starters' ERA of 4.65 that ranks among baseball's worst.
The Orioles already made one move earlier this month to try to improve that weakness, acquiring Scott Feldman from the Chicago Cubs, but he's 2-2 with a 5.12 ERA in five starts with Baltimore. According to the team's official website, general manager Dan Duquette would like to do more before Wednesday's non-waiver deadline.
Houston shipped off one asset Monday, dealing closer Jose Veras to Detroit for minor league outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named.
Norris (6-9, 3.93 ERA) figures to be one of the most coveted pitchers leading up to the deadline, with general manager Jeff Luhnow telling the club's official website the right-hander has attracted "significant interest."
"There's nothing close at this point, but we still have 2 1/2 days to go and still a lot of activity could happen, even though nothing's close," Luhnow said.
Perhaps the possibility of being traded has clouded Norris' focus in recent weeks. He posted a 2.85 ERA over 12 starts from May 3-July 3, but has since gone 0-2 with an 8.47 ERA in three outings.
Manager Bo Porter told the team's website he spoke to Norris last week about ignoring the swirling trade speculation.
"Just go out and pitch and don't worry about what the next day is going to bring and whether you're going to be here or someplace else," Porter said. "Let the decision-makers that are making those decisions be able to be allowed to make the decisions, and you control the portion of this that's in your hands, which is your performance."
The Astros (35-69) have lost 20 of 25 as well as eight of nine to Baltimore, including two of three in Houston from June 4-6. Norris lost the finale of that series, throwing seven innings of three-run ball in a 3-1 defeat.
However, the Orioles have lost five of six after winning four straight to begin the season's second half. The pitching woes have been magnified by an offensive slump, as the club has produced 15 runs in the last six games and is homerless in three of four.
Jason Hammel's losing streak extended to six games in a 5-0 home loss to Boston on Sunday, but the Orioles managed only five hits and were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
"The big emphasis, what I look at, is we didn't score any runs," manager Buck Showalter said. "We didn't mount much of anything offensively."
Chris Davis is 3 for 22 over his last six games and is homerless in 10 straight, his longest drought of the season, while fellow All-Stars Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy are mired in 4-for-32 and 3-for-22 slumps, respectively. That trio was 0 for 12 on Sunday with Davis striking out three times.
Hardy was 3 for 3 off Norris earlier this year while Davis went 2 for 4.
Baltimore will hand the ball to Wei-Yin Chen (5-3, 2.78), who has remained solid amid the rotation's recent struggles. He's 2-0 in three starts with a 2.18 ERA since returning from a strained oblique.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 3:44:35 PM EST|