On the Astros' current pace, they lose around 117 games in 2013; there will probably be no tougher loss then one suffered last night. Houston had the American League champions on the ropes and the game just slipped from their grasp. Jordan Lyles pitched five solid innings; after that, the bullpen didn't give up an earned run until the fourteenth inning. Soon after the lengthy game was over, the clock struck midnight in downtown Houston - bring another day and another game for the Astros.
Bud Norris takes the mound today; it appears that Norris has bounced from his shortest outing in his career (6 ER over 2/3 inning in Oakland). Over his past two starts, he has worked eleven innings and only given up four earned runs. Thus far Norris has alternated wins and loses this season, if the pattern holds - he'll be in line for a win tonight. If only it were that easy. Another helping factor, Norris has 2.76 ERA at home, and a 5.93 ERA on the road. Doug Fister, the tall righty has put it together in Detroit. Since being traded from Seattle, Fister has made 41 regular season starts as a Tiger with an ERA of 2.89. He's been even better in 2013; Fister has only given up nine earned runs over five starts. At 6'8'', Fister feels like the ideal size for a power "Randy Johnson" type pitcher, in reality Fister gets more swings and misses with his location rather then velocity. The Tigers have struck out at least ten batters in their previous seven games. With Fister on the mound, I expect tonight will be the eighth game in a row.
Bud Norris will be a new challenge to many of the Tigers hitters, with the exception of Prince Fielder. Norris owns Fielder, Prince is only batting .263 in 19 AB with one homerun. As for Astros hitters, Carlos Peña is hitless against Fister in six tries. Chirs Carter is batting .400 with a homerun of the righty.