The Houston Astros will conclude a 3-game series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington this evening. So far the Astros have taken the series, winning the first two games after losing 7 straight to the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Tonight’s matchup will feature Yu Darvish, a newly three-time All-Star, and Dallas Keuchel who is in the #FinalVote for a spot on the American League All-Star roster. These are the starting lineups for both the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers:
Astros lineup: 2B Altuve RF Grossman CF Springer 1B Singleton 3B Dominguez DH Carter C Corporan LF Hernandez SS Marwin P Keuchel — Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 9, 2014
Wed. at HOU: Choo 7, Andrus 6, Rios dh, Beltre 5, Smolinski 9, Gimenez 2, Odor 4, Rosales 3, Robertson 8, Darvish 1 — John Blake (@RangerBlake) July 9, 2014
Both of the starting pitchers have struggled recently. Following his impressive six starts that have propelled him to All-Star consideration, Keuchel has been shaky recently. In two of his last 3 starts he lasted just 5 innings while throwing 8 innings in a complete game loss at Tampa Bay. Dallas yielded 4 earned runs to both the Nationals and the Rays while the Angels touched him up for 5 runs. Nonetheless Keuchel brings a 3.06 ERA through 108 2/3 innings pitched for the 2014 season.
“Last year, I pitched here and I was going real well and hit a brick wall in the fifth and it left a sour taste in my mouth at the end of last year. That was one thing I was trying to work on is finish strong.” – Dallas Keuchel, provided by Mike Vernon of MLB.com
Yu Darvish has historically been a nightmare for the Astros offense, save maybe Marwin Gonzalez. Marwin is 2×6 in his career against Darvish.
“Darvish is 4-1 with a 2.29 ERA against them in seven starts. In four of those, he’s allowed two runs or fewer and pitched at least eight innings.” – provided by Mike Vernon.
But fortunately for the Astros, Darvish has struggled recently. In fact four of his last 7 starts have seen him yield 4 earned runs. Darvish allowed 5 hits in 5 innings of work against the New York Mets who have one of the lowest team batting averages in major league baseball. With a 4-game winning streak against the Texas Rangers, will the Houston Astros sweep the series, or will Darvish recover his All-Star form against a team that he has dominated since 2012? Watch the game on Fox Sports Southwest and please remember to #VoteKeuchel.
Live game thread is up and running with Ben Dieter and Lisa Weatherall of Nolan Writin .