Houston vs. Toronto, 1:10 pm (CT)
LHP Mark Buehrle (9-7 / 4.23 ERA / 1.33 WHIP) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (5-7/ 5.11 ERA / 1.54 WHIP)
If I told you the Astros would have a chance at sweeping the Blue Jays at the beginning of the season, would you have believed me? Probably not, right? Toronto was the sexy picked to win the vaunted AL East crown coming into the season. Health and pitching are keys to any team's success, take the Jays for example.
On the mound today for the Astros in this battle of left-handers is Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel's last outing was one of his shortest starts this season. The Angels knocked him out after four innings of work, they scored four runs on eight hits in that start. The Arkansas product may have been on a short leash after recording 26 of 27 required outs against Texas on 116 pitches. Only two of his four appearance this month have been as a starter. In those two previous stated starts, he is 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA.
Keuchel's start in Toronto prompted his return to the bullpen for a short stent. He gave up six runs on 10 hits over 7.1 innings. This included home runs to Jose Bautista, Mark DeRosa, and Colby Rasmus. Edwin Encarnacion was 3-for-3 with an run batted in. Jose Reyes was 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
Every time I see Mark Buehrle, I have flashbacks to 2005. The sooner this game is over the better. Buehrle comes into today's game with two straight quality starts under his belt. He held the Red Sox to one run over seven innings, and the Yankees to two over 6.2 innings. In his last start against Houston on July 25, he pitched a complete game shutout. Holding the Astros to two hits and two walks. Buehrle struck out nine in that start.