What's this, the third straight weekend series that Houston has been swept? I know it's the 11th series of three or more games where Houston's been swept in 2011. They were in the Friday night game, that spectacular pitcher's duel that ended so poorly, but were they in any others?
It was a tough weekend for some of the rookies and an even tougher road trip for the bullpen. Sunday, it was Jordan Lyles who was getting brutalized, giving up killer home runs to Matt Kemp and Co. Lyles' numbers have not been pretty since his nice debut against the Cubs, but he's been better than I expected. If you look at his stats on FanGraphs, however, the thing that jumps out the most is his home runs. Lyles is just giving up an inordinate number of long balls this season, moreso than he ever did in the minors. That's why his xFIP is almost a full run less than his ERA. His strikeout rate still could be better and he'll still have starts like this one.
I mentioned this before, but the rookies did not have a particularly sunny time in Chavez Ravine. Martinez, in particular, is going through a cold spell right now, with just two hits in his last 16 at-bats. However, that's playing games with his numbers, as he was 4 for 8 in the two games before this current funk. Young hitters will go through this and I wonder if the Cubs pitching staff will be just the ticket to get him back on track.