|WASHINGTON ( ROARK )|
HOUSTON ( MORTON )
|929||WASHINGTON||+145||Ov 9,+105||+165||Ov 9,-115|
|930||HOUSTON||-155||Un 9,-125||-175||Un 9,-105|
|vs Right-handed Starters||58-39||+1.2||47-45||5.5||0.272||0.340||0.446||0.786||4.4||0.241||0.304||0.401||0.705|
|Past 7 Games||5-3||+0.6||1-6||3.4||0.208||0.288||0.328||0.616||2.0||0.174||0.234||0.277||0.511|
|vs Right-handed Starters||59-29||+19.6||45-37||5.7||0.288||0.345||0.482||0.828||4.3||0.239||0.308||0.398||0.705|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||-0.6||2-5||3.7||0.270||0.320||0.426||0.746||2.7||0.250||0.314||0.393||0.707|
|8/12/2017||JACKSON(R)||SAN FRANCISCO||SAMARDZIJA(R)||3-1||W||-125||9.5 un||U||11||10||1||7||8||0|
|8/13/2017||COLE(R)||SAN FRANCISCO||STRATTON(R)||2-4||L||-150||9 ov||U||7||6||0||9||9||0|
|8/13/2017||SCHERZER(R)||SAN FRANCISCO||MOORE(L)||6-2||W||-250||8 un||P||11||6||0||6||5||2|
|8/15/2017||GONZALEZ(L)||LA ANGELS||SKAGGS(L)||3-1||W||-110||8.5 ev||U||9||7||0||3||4||1|
|8/16/2017||ROARK(R)||LA ANGELS||NOLASCO(R)||2-3||L||-130||9 ov||U||6||8||0||4||2||1|
|8/17/2017||JACKSON(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||CHACIN(R)||2-1||W||100||8.5 un||U||4||7||0||8||8||0|
|8/18/2017||GRACE(L)||@ SAN DIEGO||PERDOMO(R)||7-1||W||-210||7 ov||O||9||6||0||4||4||3|
|8/19/2017||STRASBURG(R)||@ SAN DIEGO||WOOD(L)||1-3||L||-170||8 ov||U||3||5||0||5||3||1|
|8/20/2017||GONZALEZ(L)||@ SAN DIEGO||LAMET(R)||4-1||W||105||7.5 ev||U||5||9||3||5||7||1|
|8/22/2017||ROARK(R)||@ HOUSTON||MORTON(R)|| |
|8/23/2017||JACKSON(R)||@ HOUSTON||FIERS(R)|| |
|8/24/2017||STRASBURG(R)||@ HOUSTON||KEUCHEL(L)|| |
|8/25/2017||SCHERZER(R)||NY METS||DEGROM(R)|| |
|8/26/2017||GONZALEZ(L)||NY METS||GSELLMAN(R)|| |
|8/27/2017||ROARK(R)||NY METS||PILL(R)|| |
|8/28/2017|| ||MIAMI|| || |
|8/29/2017|| ||MIAMI|| || |
|8/8/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||HOLLAND(L)||5-8||L||-250||9.5 ov||O||9||10||0||13||9||0|
|8/9/2017||MCHUGH(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||GONZALEZ(R)||1-7||L||-210||10 ov||U||6||7||1||11||5||1|
|8/10/2017||PEACOCK(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||RODON(L)||2-3||L||-150||9.5 un||U||12||9||2||11||14||2|
|8/11/2017||MORTON(R)||@ TEXAS||HAMELS(L)||4-6||L||-120||10.5 ov||U||8||8||1||10||7||0|
|8/12/2017||FIERS(R)||@ TEXAS||ROSS(R)||3-8||L||-115||11 ov||P||4||7||0||9||6||2|
|8/13/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ TEXAS||CASHNER(R)||2-1||W||-135||11 un||U||6||5||1||7||9||0|
|8/14/2017||MCHUGH(R)||@ ARIZONA||GREINKE(R)||0-2||L||140||9 ov||U||7||7||0||8||8||1|
|8/15/2017||PEACOCK(R)||@ ARIZONA||BANDA(L)||9-4||W||-110||9.5 ov||O||13||8||1||8||7||0|
|8/25/2017||MCHUGH(R)||@ LA ANGELS||BRIDWELL(R)|| |
|8/26/2017||PEACOCK(R)||@ LA ANGELS||SKAGGS(L)|| |
|8/27/2017||MORTON(R)||@ LA ANGELS||NOLASCO(R)|| |
|8/29/2017|| ||TEXAS|| || |
Manager: Dusty Baker (second season)
Who's new? CF Adam Eaton, C Matt Wieters, 1B Adam Lind, LHP Enny Romero, RHP Joe Blanton
Who's gone? CF Ben Revere, C Wilson Ramos, RHP Lucas Giolito, RHP Mat Latos, LHP Sean Burnett, RHP Mark Melancon, LHP Marc Rzepczynski, RHP Yusmeiro Petit
Projected lineup: CF Adam Eaton (.284, 14 HR, 59 RBI, 14 SB with White Sox), SS Trea Turner (.342, 13, 40, 33), 2B Daniel Murphy (.347, 25, 104), RF Bryce Harper (.243, 24, 86, 21 SB), 3B Anthony Rendon (.270, 20, 85), LF Jayson Werth (.244, 21, 69), 1B Ryan Zimmerman (.218, 15, 46) or Adam Lind (.239, 20, 58 with Mariners), C Matt Wieters (.243, 17, 66 with Orioles)
Rotation: RH Max Scherzer (20-7, 2.96 ERA), RH Tanner Roark (16-10, 2.83), LH Gio Gonzalez (11-11, 4.57), RH Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 3.60), RH Joe Ross (7-5, 3.43)
Key relievers: RH Shawn Kelley (3-2, 2.64), RH Joe Blanton (7-2, 2.48), RH Blake Treinen (4-1, 2.28), LH Sammy Solis (2-4, 2.41), RH Trevor Gott (0-0, 1.50), LH Oliver Perez (2-3, 4.95), LH Enny Romero (2-0, 5.91 with Rays)
Hot spots: First base and closer. Zimmerman posted a career-low .642 OPS last season and was often spelled by left-handed hitter Clint Robinson. Now 32, Zimmerman must prove he's worthy of regular playing time. Robinson and free-agent pickup Lind are next in line. The ninth inning could be a committee job too, though it's never been the Nationals' preferred method. After Kenley Jansen spurned D.C. for less money in L.A., their choices were limited. Kelley and Blanton have never closed in a combined 20 seasons in the majors, but both were stalwart set-up men last season. Joe Nathan and his 377 career saves are also in camp on a minor-league deal.
Outlook: Trading former top prospect Lucas Giolito to the White Sox for Eaton signaled the Nationals' championship ambitions. Their five-game loss to the Dodgers last October marked the third time in five years they've fallen just short of the NLCS. Washington begins the season with some familiar weapons ' a dangerous heart of the lineup, an experienced bench and exceptional starting pitching. Eaton is a huge upgrade over Revere at the plate, but Wieters will be pressed to replace Ramos' 3.5 wins above replacement (via FanGraphs). Failing to sign a marquee closer could prove fatal if Kelley, Nathan or someone else can't hold down the ninth inning.
|HOUSTON: 2016: 84-78, third place
Manager: A.J. Hinch (third season)
Who's new? RF Josh Reddick, CF Carlos Beltran, LF Nori Aoki, C Brian McCann, RHP Charlie Morton
Who's gone? C Jason Castro, INF Luis Valbuena, OF Colby Rasmus, RHP Doug Fister
Projected lineup: CF George Springer (.261, 29 HR, 82 RBI), 2B Jose Altuve (.338, 24, 96, 30 SB), SS Carlos Correa (.274, 20, 96, 13 SB), DH Carlos Beltran (.295, 29, 93 with Yankees and Rangers), C Brian McCann (.242, 20, 58 with Yankees) or Evan Gattis (.251, 32, 72), 3B Alex Bregman (.264, 8, 34 in 49 games), RF Josh Reddick (.281, 10, 37 with A's and Dodgers), 1B Yulieski Gurriel (.262, 3, 15), LF Nori Aoki (.283, 4, 28 with Mariners)
Rotation: LH Dallas Keuchel (9-12, 4.55 ERA), RH Collin McHugh (13-10, 4.34), RH Mike Fiers (11-8, 4.48), RH Lance McCullers (6-5, 3.22), RH Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.15 in four games with Phillies)
Key relievers: RH Ken Giles (2-5, 4.11, 15/20 SV), RH Luke Gregerson (4-3, 3.28, 15/21 SV), RH Will Harris (1-2, 2.25, 12/15 SV), RH Chris Devenski (4-4, 2.16), LH Tony Sipp (1-2, 4.95), RH Michael Feliz (8-1, 4.43)
Hot spots: Fifth starter and catcher. Hamstring issues limited 33-year-old Morton to four starts with the Phillies last season. That didn't stop the Astros from signing him to a two-year contract worth at least $14 million. Now, veteran Fiers and 24-year-old Joe Musgrove are on the bubble for the fifth starter's job. McCann and Gattis give the Astros a pair of veteran catchers with slugging potential. McCann has fewer weaknesses behind the plate; Gattis is the better all-around hitter. With Beltran aboard as the primary designated hitter, McCann and Gattis won't both be in the lineup on most nights.
Outlook: After slipping to third place in the AL West last year, the Astros' front office decided to double down on dingers rather than upgrade a rotation that lacks a true ace. The result: A lineup with eight potential 20-home run hitters, including possible MVP candidates in Altuve and Correa. Everyone returns from an impressive young bullpen with high strikeout potential. If the Astros are in contention by the trade deadline, the front office should have the financial flexibility to add a front-line starter. Then again, if Dallas Keuchel looks like the pitcher who won a Cy Young Award in 2015, Houston might not have a problem.
|Astros try to regain momentum against Nationals|
HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros already had clinched their series with the American League West cellar-dwelling Oakland Athletics prior to their home loss on Sunday, but that fact did not stem the continuing swell of concern casting a pall over the team with the best record in the AL.
The Astros will keep searching for answers as the Washington Nationals visit Minute Maid Park for a three-game interleague series beginning on Tuesday.
Even after following a season-long five-game losing streak by winning five of eight games, the Astros (76-48) haven't reclaimed the form that saw them reach 34 games over .500 just three weeks ago. Losing 11 of 14 games will raise question marks alongside the red flags hoisted when the club failed to make a significant roster addition at the non-waiver trade deadline.
From an internal perspective, the answers for the slump are obvious. Houston remains hamstrung by injuries, with seven regular contributors on the disabled list. The Astros can play better for sure, but waiting for reinforcements is a logical means to addressing all the losses.
"I think our guys are going to get healthy," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I think we're fighting through a tough stretch."
Unlike Houston, the Nationals (74-48) are trending in a positive direction at a season-best 26 games over .500. They've done so despite recently placing All-Stars Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer on the disabled list.
"It's a big series because they're a good team," Hinch said of the Nationals. "We've got to play clean baseball to beat them. Obviously, we get a day off (Monday), which is something a lot of guys need. That'll be nice to have at home and get back to the ballpark on Tuesday.
"They present a lot of challenges. They do a lot of things well, which is why they're at where they are. So do we."
Right-hander Charlie Morton (10-5, 3.69 ERA) will start the opener for the Astros. Morton is 2-4 with a 6.27 ERA over eight career starts against the Nationals, but he has not faced Washington this season.
He is 5-2 with a 3.26 ERA over eight starts following his reinstatement from a month-plus stint on the 10-day disabled list caused by a right lat strain.
The Nationals will counter with Tanner Roark (9-8, 4.70 ERA). The right-hander allowed one run on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts over five innings in his lone career appearance against Houston, a 6-5 victory on June 17, 2014, at Nationals Park.
Even with the recent losses of Harper (knee) and Scherzer (neck) added to a handful of sidelined starters (Trea Turner, Adam Eaton, Jayson Werth), the Nationals continue to roll in large part due to their exceptional pitching. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez matched Scherzer with his team-leading 12th victory on Sunday in San Diego, while right-hander Stephen Strasburg bounced back from a short stint on the DL to pitch effectively in a weekend loss to the Padres.
And the bullpen, maligned for most of the season, has been reborn with the additions of left-hander Sean Doolittle (11 saves in 15 games with Washington), and righties Ryan Madson (2-0, 0.00 ERA but currently disabled with a sprained finger) and Brandon Kintzler (2-0, 0.90 ERA).
"The main thing is that we pitch well," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "It starts with the pitching. We've got good pitching every day. These guys are just trying to find a way to win."
|Last Updated: 9/19/2017 10:15:17 AM EST|