|HOUSTON ( KEUCHEL )|
OAKLAND ( GRIFFIN )
|923||HOUSTON||+230||Ov 8,-110||+235||Ov 7.5,-115|
|924||OAKLAND||-260||Un 8,-110||-270||Un 7.5,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||36-64||-2.6||51-45||4.1||0.243||0.297||5.3||0.281||0.345|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||+0.4||3-4||3.6||0.262||0.310||5.1||0.252||0.335|
|vs Left-handed Starters||25-19||+3.4||19-24||3.8||0.240||0.315||3.6||0.241||0.290|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+1.1||2-5||4.1||0.253||0.318||2.7||0.249||0.304|
|8/26/2013||OBERHOLTZER(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||RIENZO(R)||10-8||W||140||9 un||O||13||6||1||14||7||2|
|8/27/2013||CLEMENS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||3-4||L||205||9 ov||U||10||8||0||9||7||1|
|8/28/2013||COSART(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||1-6||L||215||7.5 ev||U||5||4||1||10||9||0|
|9/5/2013||PEACOCK(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRAY(R)||3-2||W||240||7.5 ov||U||8||5||0||6||6||1|
|9/6/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ OAKLAND||GRIFFIN(R)|| |
|9/7/2013||OBERHOLTZER(L)||@ OAKLAND||STRAILY(R)|| |
|9/8/2013||CLEMENS(R)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)|| |
|9/9/2013||COSART(R)||@ SEATTLE||WALKER(R)|| |
|9/10/2013||LYLES(R)||@ SEATTLE||SAUNDERS(L)|| |
|9/11/2013||PEACOCK(R)||@ SEATTLE||HERNANDEZ(R)|| |
|9/13/2013|| ||LA ANGELS|| || |
|8/23/2013||STRAILY(R)||@ BALTIMORE||NORRIS(R)||7-9||L||110||9 un||O||12||8||1||7||6||0|
|8/24/2013||PARKER(R)||@ BALTIMORE||TILLMAN(R)||2-1||W||105||8.5 ev||U||4||3||0||5||7||1|
|8/25/2013||GRAY(R)||@ BALTIMORE||FELDMAN(R)||3-10||L||100||8.5 un||O||6||6||0||13||4||0|
|8/26/2013||GRIFFIN(R)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)||8-6||W||150||8.5 ov||O||12||11||0||13||10||0|
|8/27/2013||MILONE(L)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||6-3||W||155||8.5 ov||O||7||6||1||3||3||1|
|8/28/2013||STRAILY(R)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)||14-4||W||150||9 un||O||21||5||1||13||9||0|
|8/29/2013||COLON(R)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)||6-7||L||180||7.5 ov||O||12||7||0||15||9||1|
|8/30/2013||PARKER(R)||TAMPA BAY||PRICE(L)||4-3||W||+100||6.5 ov||O||7||4||0||8||8||1|
|8/31/2013||GRAY(R)||TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||2-1||W||-110||7 ov||U||5||4||0||7||9||0|
|9/1/2013||GRIFFIN(R)||TAMPA BAY||WRIGHT(R)||5-1||W||-130||8 un||U||9||7||0||7||5||2|
|9/10/2013||PARKER(R)||@ MINNESOTA||HENDRIKS(R)|| |
|9/11/2013||GRAY(R)||@ MINNESOTA||PELFREY(R)|| |
|9/12/2013||GRIFFIN(R)||@ MINNESOTA||CORREIA(R)|| |
|9/13/2013|| ||@ TEXAS|| || |
|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.
|OAKLAND: HITTING: 2B JEMILE WEEKS may not be a legitimate .300 hitter, but he's still the best option they have at the leadoff spot. C KURT SUZUKI seemingly hits as many line outs as anyone in baseball. He has a solid bat for a catcher and qualifies as a middle-of-the-order option in Oakland. OF JOSH REDDICK is more of a line-drive hitter than a 25-HR guy, and he doesn't yet have the plate discipline to approach .300. 1B BRANDON ALLEN is an all-or-nothing hitter, but his potential for much-needed power should be enough for him to beat out DARIC BARTON. SS CLIFF PENNINGTON has quietly developed into a serviceable regular. With 3B SCOTT SIZEMORE out for the season with a torn ACL, either ERIC SOGARD or JOSH DONALDSON will win the job at third base. Neither player has reached 80 career at-bats yet. Highly-coveted Cuban OF YOENIS CESPEDES inked a four-year deal with Oakland, and will be expected to produced in the heart of the lineup immediately. OF COLLIN COWGILL is undersized, but has shown impressive power in the minors. The DH spot will fall to Allen when Barton is in the lineup. When he's not, it will be filled by such Quadruple-A types as KILA KA'AIHUE and CHRIS CARTER. |
STARTING PITCHING: BRANDON McCARTHY reclamation project worked out nicely. He's an injury risk, but when healthy he's one of baseball's better middle-of-the-rotation arms. BARTOLO COLON pitched better than expected with the Yankees last year (7.4 K/9, 4.00 ERA), and should perform just as well in his new spacious ballpark. DALLAS BRADEN (shoulder) and BRETT ANDERSON (elbow) are both question marks after major surgeries. Braden's return date has been pushed back to early May, while Anderson will might not take the hill until June. The jewel of the Trevor Cahill trade, hard-throwing righty JARROD PARKER has a chance to make a big impact if his arm is recovered from 2009 Tommy John surgery. The Gio Gonzalez trade landed Oakland TOMMY MILONE and BRAD PEACOCK, both of whom are coming off impressive minor-league seasons. They'll compete for rotation spots this spring. TYSON ROSS could get a few starts, but he's gotten very hittable over the past year. They're in no hurry to start the arbitration clock of top prospect SONNY GRAY, but he should make some late-season starts.
RELIEF PITCHING: With Andrew Bailey gone, righty GRANT BALFOUR (2.47 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) will get the first chance to close games. Though his occasional bouts with command issues make him a risk. If Balfour falters, BRIAN FUENTES will get the next look because of his ninth-inning experience and strong second half of 2011 . . . Long a favorite inside the organization, injury-prone righty JOEY DEVINE has long been considered a future closer and should get some late-innings duties. The highest upside option for a future closer is 25-year-old righty FAUTINO DE LOS SANTOS. He has overpowering stuff but his command comes and goes.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (HOUSTON-OAKLAND) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Astros-Athletics Preview* ==========================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Houston (47-93) at Oakland (80-60), 10:05 p.m. EDT
The Oakland Athletics missed their chance to take sole possession of the AL West lead by dropping their series opener with the lowly Houston Astros.
A.J. Griffin will try to help the A's get back into the win column with another strong outing Friday night.
Oakland (80-60) had an opportunity to overtake an idle Texas atop the division Thursday but fell 3-2 to Houston. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes committed a key error on Jose Altuve's RBI single in the second inning, allowing the Astros to take an early three-run lead.
Cespedes also grounded into a fielder's choice to end a two-run eighth inning, and the A's dropped one-half game behind the Rangers.
"We were a little in-between on a couple of plays and those things end up costing you in close games," manager Bob Melvin said.
Griffin (12-9, 3.84 ERA) will try to aid Oakland's chances of passing Texas on Friday by building on his second straight win, a 5-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday. The right-hander allowed a solo homer, four other hits and one walk over seven innings in that game while striking out seven.
"(Pitching coach Curt Young) and I found some stuff mechanically, keeping my head on line a bit more, and that helped tremendously. I felt I could execute my pitches and get the ball where I needed it more," Griffin told the team's website.
Griffin is 2-0 in three career starts against the Astros - all this season - but he's posted a 4.50 ERA in those games. He's benefited from a combined 17 runs of support.
Griffin will try to help the A's regain their dominance over Houston (47-93) in this matchup. Oakland has dropped four of six to the Astros after winning the first 10 matchups this season.
Dallas Keuchel (5-8, 4.77) will try to lead Houston to another win in the series while snapping a personal three-game skid. The left-hander has given up a combined three runs in his last two outings but has gotten two runs of support.
He allowed three runs in the first inning against Seattle on Saturday but pitched six scoreless frames after that in a 3-1 loss.
"After that tough first inning, Keuchel settled in and went six strong after that. It was pretty impressive," manager Bo Porter said.
Keuchel gave up one run in six innings against Oakland on July 22 but was denied a win when the A's rallied for a 4-3 win. He's 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA in two starts and four overall appearances versus the A's this season, and Nate Freiman has two doubles and a home run in his six at-bats against him.
Houston would probably love to get Jason Castro - out the last three games due to a sprained right knee - back in the lineup because 4 for 9 with two homers this year against Griffin.
The Astros are seeking their first three-game win streak since they won four in a row June 12-16.
|Last Updated: 9/20/2014 7:04:28 AM EST|