Results tagged ‘ preview ’

Astros try to snap 9-game losing streak to Brewers

The Astros will try to snap a nine-game losing streak at the hands of the Brewers when the teams meet in the first of a three-game series tonight at Miller Park. This is Houston’s first game of the season against a division foe.

Before we get to the lineup, here are some pre-series notes:

  • Astros pitcher Lucas Harrell will be making just his ninth career start tonight. In his previous eight starts Harrell has struggled in the first inning, but has calmed down thereafter. He has a career ERA of 11.25 in first innings and 2.23 in the second inning and beyond.
  • The Brewers’ nine-game winning streak over the Astros is tied for the second-longest active winning streak over an opponent in the Majors. The Tigers have beaten the Indians 10 games in a row, which is the longest current streak in Majors.
  • The Astros have used the home run to score less than 25 percent of their runs this year, which is the fourth-lowest total in the Majors. Only the Phillies (16.3), Cubs (16.9) and Mariners (21.7) have used the home run for a fewer percentage than their runs than the Astros.
  • Astros CF Jordan Schafer has reached base safely in 16 consecutive games, which is the fourth-longest current streak in the Majors. Only Lance Berkman (31), Carlos Santana (21) and Torii Hunter (19) have longer streaks, dating to last season.
  • Ryan Braun has dominated the Astros in his career, hitting .345 (98-for-284) against Houston. The only player who has worn out a club more with a minimum of 300 plate appearances is Minnesota’s Joe Mauer, who’s hitting .346 against the Indians and .348 against the Royals.
  • Nine of Brewers outfielder’s Corey Hart’s 13 hits this season have been for extra bases, the highest percentage in the Majors.
  • Zack Greinke’s team has posted a win in each of his last 19 starts at home (which includes 17 home starts with the Brewers). That is the second-longest streak since 1921

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Jordan Schafer

SS Jed Lowrie

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Chris Johnson

C Jason Castro

2B Jose Altuve

RHP Lucas Harrell

Astros try for series win vs. Rockies

With Bud Norris making his 2012 debut, the Astros will try to win the series against the Rockies in Sunday’s series finale at 1:05 p.m. at Minute Maid Park. If the Astros win and improve to 2-1, they will be over .500 for the first time since they were 51-50 on July 29, 2009. A win Sunday would give the Astros their first opening series win since taking two of three from the Marlins at Minute Maid Park in 2006. Hey, you have to start somewhere.

Astros starting pitchers haven’t allowed an earned run through two games this year (13 1/3 innings). Lucas Harrell, who threw seven scoreless innings Saturday, became the first Astros pitcher to pitch at least seven innings without allowing a run or a walk in his season debut since Bob Knepper — a fellow lefty — in 1986.

Here is the lineup, which is the same as Opening Day 1-8:

CF Jordan Schafer

2B Jose Altuve

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Chris Johnson

C Jason Castro

SS Marwin Gonzalez

P Bud Norris

Astros lineup and preview vs. Brewers

The Astros will try for their fifth win in a row tonight against the Brewers at Minute Maid Park. The Astros are 7-1 in their last eight home games and 9-6 in their last 15 games overall.

The key for the Astros has been pitching. Houston’s pitchers have posted a 1.81 ERA in the last seven games, and the starters have a 1.76 ERA in that span. Lucas Harrell, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start in place of Brett Myers, will try to keep it going tonight. He’s the team’s ninth different starting pitcher this year and fourth rookie starter.

Before we get to the lineup, here are some pregame notes:

  • The Brewers are 9-3 against the Astros this year, outscoring them by an average of 5.6-3.3 per game. Milwaukee has a .307 batting average against the Astros this year and has held Houston to a .216 average. What’s more, Brewers starting pitching has a 2.56 ERA against the Astros, compared to a 5.45 for the Astros against Milwaukee.
  • The Brewers are coming off one of their best road months in history, going 10-3 in August away from home.
  •  The Astros are 7-2 at home since Aug. 8, averaging 5.2 runs per game.
  • Astros LF J.D. Martinez has posted the highest batting average with runners in scoring position in the NL since Aug. 1 at .448.
  • Ryan Braun is a .339 career hitter against the Astros, just ahead of teammate Corey Hart (.337).

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Jordan Schafer

2B Jose Altuve

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Jimmy Paredes

SS Clint Barmes

C Humberto Quintero

P Lucas Harrell

Astros’ lineup and preview vs. Giants

This is it. Game 7. Well, it’s about as much drama as the Astros can have these days, entering Sunday’s series finale against the Giants with a chance to win the season series from the defending World Series champions.

The Astros won two out of three in Houston last weekend, and the Giants have won two out of three in this series, including a walk-off win in the 10th on Saturday night.

Sunday will be a dream come true for Astros starter Bud Norris.

Norris, who grew up in the Bay Area, will make his first Major League start in San Francisco against the Giants in Sunday’s series finale. Norris has never faced the Giants in his two years in the Majors.

“I’m excited to play against my childhood team, which should be interesting,” he said. “But like any other day, I’m going to go out there and do my job and go pitch.”

Norris remembers going to games back when the Giants played at Candlestick Park. Norris has been doing his hometown of Greenbrae, Calif., proud this season in an otherwise rough one for the Astros. Norris has a 3.73 ERA, with a 6-8 record.

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Jordan Schafer

SS Angel Sanchez

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

2B Matt Downs

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Jimmy Paredes

C Carlos Corporan

RHP Bud Norris

Astros-Padres preview

The Astros, coming off of a three-game sweep against the Cubs where they averaged 7.3 runs and had at least 10 hits in each game, will try to keep things going against the Padres tonight in San Diego. Bud Norris (2-4, 3.76 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros against Padres right-hander Tim Stauffer (1-3, 3.60).

Norris is fifth in the Majors at 9.81 strikeouts per nine innings, but is looking for his first road win of the season (0-3). Stauffer, who got his first win of the season in his 11th start on Saturday, became the fifth Padres pitcher to take 11 starts to get his first win of the season.

The Astros have been generating a lot of hits in their last six road games. In fact, the Cardinals are the only team this season to have at least 10 hits in seven consecutive road games, a mark the Astros can equal tonight.

When it comes to pitching, the Astros have done well against the Padres. Since the start of the 2010 season, Houston has a 2.72 ERA in 99 1/3 innings against San Diego – that’s the third-best ERA against the Padres in that span.

Want more reason to be optimistic about the Astros’ chances? The Padres are 9-20 at home this year, including 4-15 in night home games. They are hitting a Major League-worst .199 at Petco Park.

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Michael Bourn – Has driven in the winning run in each of the last two games and has nine RBIs in his past nine games.

SS Clint Barmes – His .307 batting average against the Padres in his best against any opponent in his career.

RF Hunter Pence – Hitting .436 during his current 13-game hitting streak.

LF Carlos Lee – Hitting .344 with three doubles and four RBIs in his past eight games.

2B Jeff Keppinger – Has reached base in 10 of his 23 plate appearances this season.

1B Brett Wallace – Ranks fourth in the Majors in hitting in the seventh inning or later with a .397 average.

3B Chris Johnson – Has hit safely in five of his last six games.

C J.R. Towles – This is his 24th start, which is his most since a career-high 47 starts in 2008.

RHP Bud Norris – He’s 0-3 with a 6.55 ERA in four road starts.

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