Houston Astros (35-70) at Baltimore Orioles (59-48), 6:05 p.m. (CT)

Patrick Smith

For the second night in a row, Astros scratch scheduled starter. Brett Oberholtzer to make first major league start.

Houston at Baltimore, 6:05 pm (CT)

TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Orioles SBNation Blog: Camden Chat

Pitching Match

LHP Brett Oberholtzer ( 0 - 0 / 7.35 ERA / 1.50 WHIP) vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez ( 8 - 4 / 3.69 ERA / 1.22 WHIP)

Preview

The Astros must have "cat scratch fever", another starting pitchers has been scratched from his scheduled start in Baltimore. (Yes, I am aware how terrible a reference that is. Just let it's lameness wash over you). The Astro-verse is all a buzz after the Astros traded two of their Opening Day starters, Bud Norris and Justin Maxwell. But, the games must go on.

Tonight's Starter for the O's is Miguel Gonzalez. He is less a surprise now with two straight seasons with a sub 4.00 ERA in the American League. Gonzalez has a plethora of pitches, low 90's two-seam, tough splitter, slider, curveball, and a sinker. In a previous start against Houston this season, Gonzalez held the Astros to one run over six innings. At the time, he struck out his season high seven bats that night against Houston. Jason Castro, Matt Dominguez, and J.D. Martinez are batting .500 (1-2) against the O's starter. Castro has a double and walk in three at-bats. Chris Carter is 0-for-2 with two strikeouts.

Before his most recent start, Gonzalez had pitched 11 quality starts in 12 chances. In that July 25 start, Gonzalez gave up six runs on eight hits in just 4 2/3 innings of work. By far his worse out of the year, it was also the first outing of the year where Gonzalez failed to strikeout a single batter.

Brett Oberholtzer takes Erik Bedard's spot tonight on the mound. It was an easy jump to believe Bedard was on the move as a result of his scratch. We later found out that Bedard is resting a sore shoulder. Either way, Oberholtzer is making his first major league start.

Obe' was one of the many pieces that came back to Houston as part of the Michael Bourne trade. His pitches include a four-seam, curveball, changeup, and cutter - with overall saprobe command. Over his last 16 starts in AAA Oklahoma City, the left-hander has 4.37 ERA, 3.22 K/BB rate, and 3.87 FIP (courtesy of Fangraphs).
Oberholtzer has given up six runs in three relief appearances this season in the majors.

Chris Davis has the second highest total number of strikeouts by one player since the All-Star break (21), and has 23 straight games with a strikeout. He ended his longest streak of at-bats the season without a homerun last night at 43. The O's offense continues to sputter with only three hits yesterday, but the Astros gifted seven walks for the Baltimore win.

Joining the Astros lineup today is L.J. Hoes, a third round pick of Orioles in 2008. Hoes' best tool his is bat, he is a patient and makes good contact. He is currently bating .304 (111-365) with 29 XBHs, 40 runs batted in, and seven stolen basses. Hoes isn't a liability in the outfield but he is no Brandon Barns.


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