Astros go for 8 in a row, sweep of Cardinals

Coming off an incredible night when they pounded out 22 hits (17 singles) in an 18-4 rout of the Cardinals, the Astros will try to run their winning streak to eight games when they send left-hander J.A. Happ (2-0, 1.27 ERA) to the mound in Wednesday night’s series finale. It won’t be easy, though, with Chris Carpenter (11-3, 2.93 ERA) starting for St. Louis.

The Astros are 30-25 since June 1, which is the fourth-best record in the NL in that span, and they’re suddenly knocking on the door of third place. No, they’re not going to catch the Cardinals, but they’ve put 10 games behind them and the last-place Pirates.

Astros pitchers have posted a 1.67 ERA in their last nine games, which is the lowest ERA in the Majors in that span. Meanwhile, the Astros are hitting .284 and averaging 5.9 runs per game since the All-Star break and have the second-highest NL batting average in the second half. Prior to the All-Star break, they were hitting .238 and averaging 3.5 runs per game, which was 15th in the 16-team NL.

Tonight we get a second look at Happ in an Astros’ uniform. He threw six scoreless innings in his Astros debut on Friday. This will be his first apperance at Busch Stadium, and he’s 0-1 with a 5.11 ERA in two career games against St. Louis. He’s 5-2 with a 3.36 ERA in his career against NL Central teams.

Here are the lineups:

ASTROS

Michael Bourn, cf
Angel Sanchez, ss
Hunter Pence, rf
Carlos Lee, lf
Jeff Keppinger, 2b
Brett Wallace, 1b
Chris Johnson, 3b
Jason Castro, c
J. A. Happ, lhp 
 
CARDINALS
 
Felipe Lopez, 3b
Colby Rasmus, cf
Albert Pujols, 1b
Matt Holliday, lf
Allen Craig, rf
Yadier Molina, c
Brendan Ryan, ss 
Chris Carpenter, rhp
Aaron Miles, 2b 

 

1 Comment

Who cares about catching the Cardinals? It’s the Reds we need to overtake! Just kidding (mostly), but isn’t this FUN? All that hitting! Great pitching! And, best of all, ENERGY!! What possessed Carlos to think he could extend a double into a triple? (and arguably, succeeded, if you believe the slo mo over the ump!) Could it be that the energy level has infected him and made him think he’s young and fast!? GOOD! If we’re not going to the playoffs, it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose — but it sure is nice to see some people acting like they live for getting out there to play ball! It’s hard to believe that behind the scenes, Bagwell isn’t having some effect on this.

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