The Astros open their final series of the season Monday night at Minute Maid Park against the Cardinals, who come to town one game behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL Wild Card chase. The Braves are at the Phillies, which is who the Cards would play in the first round of the playoffs if they can edge the Braves for the final playoff spot. The Cardinals have 21 of their last 29 games.
Before we get to the lineup, here are some things you my find interesting:
- The Astros currently have the youngest team in the NL at 27 years, 131 days old. Only the Royals are younger (26-4).
- If you’re looking for a positive sign from the Astros, take note of this. The previous three times the club has lost at least 90 games, it came back and improved by at least 15 games the next season. They went from 64-97 in 1975 to 80-82 in 1976; 65-97 in 1991 to 81-81 in 1992; and 72-90 in 2000 to 93-69 and a division title in 2001. I’m just saying.
- Carlos Lee, who enters Monday’s game with 94 RBIs, has the third-most RBIs in the NL since 2005. He trails only Ryan Howard (858) and Albert Pujuols (824).
- Tonight’s pitching matchup features two pretty good left-handers in Jaime Garcia and Wandy Rodriguez. Of the lefties who will qualitfy for the ERA title, Garcia is fifth in the NL with a 3.45 ERA and Rodriguez is sixth at 3.51.
Here is the Astros’ lineup:
CF Jason Bourgeois
2B Angel Sanchez
LF J.D. Martinez
1B Carlos Lee
RF Matt Downs
3B Chris Johnson
SS Clint Barmes
C J.R. Towles
LHP Wandy Rodriguez