COLORADO ROCKIES (27-23) VS HOUSTON ASTROS (14-36)
MINUTE MAID PARK IN HOUSTON, TEXAS
After taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals, many fans (myself included) thought that maybe the Houston Astros could finally end their losing streak to the Oakland Athletics. Their starting pitching looked like it had started to turn the corner, and Jose Veras was looking like one of the best closers in the game. We were wrong. After the Astros played a great game through eight innings on Friday night, Veras came in and blew the save with two walks and a Chris Young big fly. The final two games of the series were no-doubt wins for the A’s, and now I have very little confidence in the rotation again. We’ll see if they can get back on track against an old NL foe.
The Colorado Rockies are coming off of losing the final two games of their three game series with the San Fransisco Giants. The Rockies have impressed the baseball world to this point in the season. They are currently in third in the NL West, and just one game back of the Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rockies have one of baseball’s top five offenses, and their pitchers rank seventh in FIP and eleventh in team ERA. They do have a losing record on the road, so that should give the Astros a glimmer of hope for the home portion of this series.
Jhoulys Chacin started his 2013 campaign red-hot, going 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA in the month of April. This month Chacin has not fared so well, starting off 0-3 with a 6.85 ERA. In his last start, against the Diamondbacks, Chacin threw 6.1 innings and allowed four hits and three runs. In his May 16th start, Chacin surrendered a six-run lead to the Giants. Carlos Pena is 6-12 with two home runs in his career against Chacin.
Bud Norris was great again at Minute Maid Park during his last start on Tuesday. Norris threw six shutout innings against the Royals, allowing just five hits and striking out two. Unfortunately, Bud had to leave the game with only 88 pitches thrown due to tightness in his back. Norris is expected to be healthy enough to make the start on Monday, but the Astros will have to keep an eye on his back as those issues tend to linger.
Jorge De La Rosa has been great in the month of May. He’s won his last four starts and in 23.1 innings this month, he has allowed just six runs (five of which came in one game). The 32-year old southpaw had been forgotten after only making 20 starts in 2011 before needing Tommy John Surgery. He missed a majority of the 2012 season due to his rehab and some tightness in that elbow. De La Rosa has never been much of an “innings-eater”, and has only one start this season of more than six innings.
If you ignore Jordan Lyles’ May 12th start against the Rangers, then you could say that Lyles has been outstanding since rejoining the Astros. In his other four starts he has a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings pitched. Lyles is coming off of his best start of the season, going six innings and allowing just one run on six Royals’ hits. I’m hoping that we’ve seen Lyles turn a corner so that he can finally live up to his potential.
- Bud Norris’ home/road splits continue to grow. So far this season he is 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA at home and 1-3 with a 7.71 ERA away from Minute Maid Park.
- This season, right-handed hitters have put up a scary .327/.373/.564 line in 55 at-bats off of Jordan Lyles.
- The Rockies pitching staff has allowed the third lowest HR/9 in all of baseball. That’s impressive considering they play their home games at homer-friendly Coors Field.