You just never know who is going to show up on the bump for the Astros, but one this is for certain: Brett Myers will bring his A-game. Let’s take a deeper look at the Astro pitching staff in the fourth series of the year:
Brett Myers was sandwiched by two crummy starts from Figgy and Wandy, but the line is not too bad for the Stros: 16 IP, 25 H, 4 BB, 11 ER/R, 12 K, and 2 homers allowed. The ERA shook out to be 6.188 with a WHIP of 1.81.
Figgy started off the series on Monday night with a start that must have left Ryan Rowland-Smith scratching his head. Only getting through four innings, Nelson surrendered 8 hits and a couple of walks to a Cubs team that looked like they couldn’t get out even if they wanted to. Granted he has only pitched twice this season, Figgy has looked clueless out there, and you have to begin to wonder how much longer he is going to be thrown out there as the fifth starter. Rowland-Smith was signed to minor league deal, and you have to wonder how many more Figgy starts it will take for him to get the call to come up to the big leagues.
Brett Myers has not missed a beat since the 2010 season, and has become even sharper as the season has worn on. In 7 IP, he didn’t walk a batter and gave up 8 hits. One of them was a homer, but Brett has done a great job at keeping the ball in the park this year, allowing only 2 homers this season. With his season ERA resting at a cool 1.77 and a WHIP of 1.13, Myers’ dependability has to be a reason why this team has some hope.
Wandy looked great last week in his start against the Fish, but Wednesday looked more like the confused Wandy of the second game of the season. Early on in his career, the big inning and playing away from home were WayRod’s biggest concerns, and he always makes us eat our words in the second half of the season. The first half of this season, though, makes you wonder which Wandy we are going to see as the season unfolds. Anyway, 5 runs in 5 innings was all Wandy could produce in his third start this season, and he still has yet to throw more than 90 pitches in an outing.
The relievers filled in with a line that follows: 10 2/3 IP, 8H, 3BB, 4ER, 5R, 10K. A 8.4 strikeouts per 9 rate is what we have been looking for this whole season from the pen, but the 3.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP are numbers that can help secure ball games as the season goes on.
Brandon Lyon, Wilton Lopez, Mark Melancon, Enerio Del Rosario, and Fernando Abad combined for 5 innings of no hit baseball after the Figgy blow up to keep the Astros in the game on Monday. Losing by one, the bullpen played an extraordinary role that featured the 5 guys that you have to assume will pitch the most innings this year.
The one man that befuddles me when it comes to our pitching staff is Aneury Rodriguez. I know the guy is a rule 5′er with a lot of promise, but his potential has yet to be seen in any of his 5 appearances this year. 5 earned runs in 3 1/3 IP is just aggravating regardless of the situation. Gustavo Chacin is a pitcher that can make a difference in this lineup, and his addition would be extremely useful to this staff.
The one man that keeps me smiling is Mark Melancon. He is striking out batters at a rate higher than one per inning. His slider leaves hitters just looking foolish on 2 strike counts. This is the man we received for Berkman, so it is nice to see that we got some immediate help in return. He has been a solid 7th inning pitcher so fair this season.
Norris, Happ, Figgy (sigh), and Myers will face up against the Padres as the four game series rolls into Minute Maid.