Astros Live Game Feed: Game 41 Preview- White Sox
It took 11 innings, but the Houston Astros finally recorded their sixth road victory and second extra-inning win of the season.
Tyler White got his stroke back and belted two solo home runs along with a double. Dallas Keuchel kept his team in the game and again ran into control issues, Luckily, Ken Giles came into a bases loaded, one-out situation in the seventh and whiffed two White Sox batters to get out of the jam.
After Jose Altuve hit a sacrifice fly to center to score pinch-runner Tony Kemp in the eighth, closer Luke Gregerson blew the save opportunity, his third in the past four chances, and the game went to extras. In the 11th, George Springer got on base with a single and Evan Gattis hit a line drive shot over the left field fence to give the Astros a 6-4 lead. Tony Sipp came in to close the game out, and made it interesting, but got the job done.
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It will be interesting to see what A.J. Hinch will do at the closer spot. Gregerson has been very unreliable as of late, and Giles appears to be rounding into form. Setup man Will Harris has been unquestionably the best bullpen arm, but would he replicate his numbers in the closer role? We shall see very soon as it would be unlikely to go right back to Gregerson if game two has a save situation.
GAME 2: Doug Fister (3-3, 4.22) vs. Mat Latos (5-0, 3.40)
Fister has been the most consistent Houston starter this season, While he is not racking up fantasy numbers with an electric pitch assortment, Fister is simply keeping his team in games and not giving up a big inning. The Astros have won his last three starts with Fister earning wins in two of them.
Fister looks to keep rolling against a former AL Central foe of his. Historically, Fister is 2-4 with a 3.72 ERA against the White Sox. However, he has not faced the club since 2013. Melky Cabrera, Alex Avila, and Todd Frazier are all hitting over .350 against Fister, and Frazier should be back in the lineup tonight, coming off an illness. This season, Fister has been noticeably tougher on righties than left-handed batters, with respective opposing batting averages of .188 and .281. Look for manager Robin Ventura to load up an LHB-heavy lineup.
The White Sox may have gotten a deal in free agency when they signed Mat Latos to a one-year, 3 million dollar deal. Latos has had injury issues, but for the second half of last season with Miami, he did quite well and looked like he had possibly regained his form.
This season, Latos started off hot, allowing just two runs in his first four starts and compiling a 0.74 ERA. His past three starts have been just the opposite, in which Latos has given up at least four runs per game and has not made it past the sixth inning. Hitters appear to be simply seeing the ball better, and in turn making better contact. Latos has also been walking more batters, including five in his last start alone.
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He has used a split-finger pitch more this year than ever before in his career, and he was having success with it in April, but it does not appear to be as effective as of late. Current Astros are hitting a combined .383 versus Latos with Colby Rasmus and Altuve both hitting over .500 against him.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***