Minnesota at Houston, 1:10 pm (CT)
RHP Paul Clemens (4-4 / 5.81 ERA / 1.41 WHIP) vs. LHP Andrew Albers (2-2 / 2.92 ERA / 1.14 WHIP)
Happy Labor Day, #Astros fans!— Houston Astros (@astros) September 2, 2013
There is nothing like a day game on a holiday. Well, I don't imagine many people were requesting the Astros and Twins for the holiday. But, baseball is baseball and who am I to complain?
Paul "Pinky" Clemens take the mound for the Astros in his second career start. After 30 relief appearances this season, Clemens looked sharp in his first time starting a major league game. He held the White Sox to one run over six innings-allowing four hits, two walks, and striking out two.
This is will be the first time the Twins lineup has faced Clemens. Minnesota is coming off a 2-5 week, where they were held to one run in all five losses. Joe Mauer is currently on the seven-day disabled list after getting a foul tip off his mask. His long time counter part, Justin Morneau was traded to the Pirates. The only batter hitting with any constituency over the past week has been Tyler Plouffe, he batting .300 (6-20) with two doubles. Brian Dozier is only other Twin that is hitting over .250 during this same stretch - .261 (6-23), 2 doubles, 2 home runs, and three runs batted in.
On the mound today for the Twins is Andrew Albers, who frankly comes a bit out of no where. Albers was selected in the 2008 in 10th round by the Padres, released by 2009, and signed to a minor league contract with the Twin in 2010 after driving from Arizona to Florida for a tryout. He helped team Canada to win the bronze medal in 2011 Baseball World Cup, and gold in Pan American Games. Albers pitched 6.2 in that gold medal game.
Back to the present, Albers made his first start of the season on August 6 against Kanas City, pitching 8.1 scoreless innings. Which he then followed up with a complete game shut out of the Indians. In his most recent three starts, he has given up 12 runs over 19.2 innings. He's had a consistent ground ball/fly ball rate thus far, 45% ground ball rate.
He'll be facing a hot Matt Dominguez, batting .370 (10-27) with two extra-base hits and three runs batted in over his last seven games. Chris carter is batting .300 (6-20) with three home runs and six runs batted in his last six games. Jason Castro is still filling the box score, with five hits in his last 18 at-bats. Three of those hits were for extra bases and drove in three runs