Astros return home to face Dodgers

The Astros (5-8) send J.A. Happ to the mound tonight at Minute Maid Park to face the Dodgers. Here is the lineup:


CF Justin Maxwell

2B Jose Altuve

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

3B Chris Johnson

SS Jed Lowrie

RF Brian Bogusevic

C Chris Snyder

LHP J.A. Happ

Check out this pregame notes:

  • The Dodgers have won four in a row against the Astros, who have scored a total of one run in those four games with only 17 hits (The Astros had 17 hits on Thursday against the Nationals). The Dodgers have outscored the Astros, 15-1, in their last four meetings.
  • The Dodgers have outscored their opponents, 14-3 in the first inning this year, which continued a trend from last year. The Dodgers’ plus-48 run differential in all of last season and the first two weeks of this year is the largest in the Majors.
  • The Dodgers are 8-1 when scoring first this year.
  • The Astros have lost six games in which they’ve blown a lead this year, which is tied with the Cubs for the most in the Majors.
  • Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has been on fire the first two weeks of the season, hitting .348. That’s the highest batting average for players in the Majors whose primary position is second base.
  • Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are the third pair of teammates in the live-ball era to each collect 18-plus RBIs in their team’s first 13 games. What bodes very well for Ethier and the Dodgers is that half of his RBI have come off left-handed pitching; he had just 13 RBIs off southpaws all season in 2011 and his ninth (and 10th) did not come until June 28.
  • Since returning from the Minor Leagues last year, J.A. Happ is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA. He was 4-14 with a 6.26 ERA in 22 last year prior to getting sent to Triple-A.
  • Dodgers starter Ted Lilly is 7-3 lifetime versus the Astros — though he has not beaten them since Sept. 2, 2009 — and only three active starters have a lower career ERA against them — Adam Wainwright (1.56), Jake Peavy (2.31) and Chris Carpenter (2.62).
  • Carlos Lee has 54 career plate appearances against Lilly, most among active players, and Lilly has never struck him out; that is the most times that any active hitter has faced any active pitcher without being fanned.


Well, funny you mention him. Zambrano is fifth at 2.69.

Happ has looked a lot better since the beginning of last season. I’d still like to see him try to get more ground balls by keeping the ball down.

Niether Happ or Lilly had good stuff, and the base running was AWFUL. Dave Clark needs to be replaced ASAP! We’ve seen enough of him.

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