Game 5 Preview: Astros vs. Athletics

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Bud Norris takes the mound looking for his second win in 2013.

Houston vs. Oakland, 6:10 CT

TV: CSN Houston
Radio: KBME 790 AM
Athletics SBNation Blog: Athletics Nation

Pitching Match

RHP Bud Norris (1-0 / 3.18 ERA / 1.41 WHIP) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (2012: 10-9 / 3.43 / 1.21 WHIP)

Preview

The story hasn't changed thus far for the Astros. The Astros have increased their lead in strikeouts over the rest of the league. The Astros' current total is 56, the next closest is the Angels with 42. This also includes two teams that have already played more games, the Mariners (35) and Athletics (29). To summarize, the Astros almost have twice as many strikeouts as the Athletics in just four games.

In a slight change of plans, Bud Norris has moved up to the Saturday start from Sunday. The Astros have pushed Erik Bedard back to Tuesday. Norris is coming of a win against the Rangers on Opening day, pitching 5.2 innings - giving up two earned runs, scattering five hits and walking three. Norris frankly didn't look sharp, and missed his spots all night. Chris Perry looked over Norris' start and found the continuance of a troubling trend in Norris' velocity. Norris has kept what Oakland batters he has faced thus far in his career in check, but John Jaso and Seth Smith have touched him up for a homerun each.

Bartolo Colon will be facing Norris tonight. Colon has survived this late in his career with an AL-best walk rate and a fastball that still tops over 90+ MPH. The question is ‘this really Colon or steroids?' Colon was suspended 50 games for the use of synthetic testosterone. Carlos Pena is the only Astros with any history with Colon. Over his career, Pena has had 30 at-bats against Colon with a .300 AVG, three homeruns, and five RBIs.


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