The Astros (8-14) are managed by Brad Mills. Whether or not it’s Mills fault, this is his third season and the Astros keep getting worse. So I’m going to assume his seat will warm up soon.
The Astros are in last place in the NL Central, but they’ve outscored their opponents 100-97 on the season. So they’ve been pretty decent at scoring as many runs as their opponent, just not on a game-by-game basis.
Here’s what the Astros lineup looks like:
CF — Jordan Schafer – L
SS — Jed Lowrie – S
LF — J.D. Martinez – R
1B — Carlos Lee – R
RF — Brian Bogusevic – L
3B — Chris Johnson – R
C — Jason Castro – L
2B — Jose Altuve – R
Uhhhhhh. Carlos Lee is day-to-day with an ankle injury, and may not play this series. Houston has a young team: Lee is the only regular over 30, and Lee, Jed Lowrie, and Chris Johnson are the only three with 150 or more major league games under their belts. They’re young, they draw walks, get on base, and don’t really hit home runs. We’ve seen this show before.
Here are the pitching matchups:
- Monday night: R.A. Dickey vs RHP Bud Norris. Norris has started slow, 5.84 ERA, but he was a popular breakout pick on fantasy teams run by Patrick Flood. Norris is a two-pitch pitcher, fastball and slider, and he’s struck out 410 batters in 420 major league innings as his walk rate improved each season.
- Tuesday night: Jon Niese vs LHP J.A. Happ. Yup, the same J.A. Happ once on the Philles and once traded for Roy Oswalt. Happ’s career took a FIP-predicted downturn in Houston, and now he’s a replacement-level lefty. Pitch f/x says Happ throws a 90 MPH fastball, accompanied by a curveball, slider, and occasional changeup.
- Wednesday afternoon: Chris Schwinden vs LHP Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a frontline lefty pitcher, often forgotten because he developed late and plays for the Astros. Small by pitcher standards and lacking velocity, Rodriguez is a curveball machine. Basically Ike Davis’ nightmare.
Another Phillies castoff, Brett Myers, closes games for the Astros. The rest of Houston’s bullpen is a who’s who of “who the heck is that guy?”
And there’s some stuff about the Astros.