Astros try to snap road skid against Padres
The Astros will carry their 13-game road losing streak into San Diego for a four-game series beginning tonight at PETCO Park. Houston will send J.A. Happ to the mound in an attempt to avoid tying the franchise-long losing streak of 14 games, set in 1968-69 and equaled in 1996-97.
The Astros are 1-13 since June 28, which is the worst record in baseball in that span. The Padres are 9-5 since that date, which is tied for the sixth-best record in baseball.
Here are the pitching match-ups:
Monday — LHP J.A. Happ (6-9, 5.14) vs. RHP Kip Wells (1-2, 2.50)
Tuesday — RHP Jordan Lyles (2-5, 5.08) vs. RHP Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 7.41)
Wednesday — LHP Wandy Rodriguez (7-7, 3.51) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (6-10, 3.83)
Thursday — RHP Lucas Harrell (7-6, 4.43) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (5-7, 3.69)
Here are some pre-series tidbits:
- The Astros have posted a 5.52 ERA on the road, which is the highest by any NL team since the 2009 Pirates. The Padres average 2.98 runs per game at home, which is the lowest in the NL this season.
- The Astros have a .205 road winning percentage (9-35), lowest by any MLB team since the 1945 Philadelphia A’s had a .171 mark (13-63).
- Over the last four weeks, the Astros’ offense has been a feast-or-famine proposition. Since June 19, the Astros have scored 27 runs in their five wins (5.4 runs per game) and 35 runs in their 17 losses (2.1 runs per game).
- After a rough stretch in the first week of July, the Houston bullpen has righted the ship. Astros relievers posted a 8.38 ERA from July 2-4 and a 3.10 ERA since.
- The Padres’ offense has improved with each month of the 2012 season. They averaged 3.13 runs per game in April, 3.29 in May, 3.85 in June and 4.45 so far in July.
- IF Scott Moore has accounted for three of Houston’s five homers this month. He has three homers in 36 at-bats in July, while the rest of the team has two homers in 328 at-bats (J.D. Martinez and Chris Snyder have each hit one homer).
- Astros CF Jordan Schafer is hitting .213 with the bases empty, .276 with runners on base and .300 with runners in scoring position.
- Only two third basemen with at least 300 plate appearances have higher on-base percentages than Chase Headley’s .368. They are David Wright (.438) and Miguel Cabrera (.386).
- San Diego’s offensive attack has looked far better in the games Carlos Quentin has played than in the games Quentin has sat out. The Padres are averaging 4.2 runs per game and have a .248 batting average with Quentin and 3.11 runs per game and a .225 average without. The Padres are 15-21 (.417) when Quentin has played, compared to 21-33 (.389) when he has not.
- Dating to his days in Philadelphia, Astros pitcher J.A. Happ has always been extremely tough when the opposing team has had runners in scoring position. Among active pitchers, Happ has the sixth-lowest career batting average against with runners in scoring position (.218). The only pitchers with a minimum of 500 batters faced with RISP who are better are Johan Santana (.216), Matt Cain (.210), Ian Kennedy (.206), Yovani Gallardo (.204) and Clayton Kershaw (.198).
- In his three starts this season, Padres starter Kip Wells has also shown an ability to pitch through tight spots. Opponents are hitting .389 against him with the bases empty and .176 with runners on base.