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Game Up/Matchthread

4 - 2, 1.49 3 - 2, 4.97

Kenny Rogers bellies up to the bar tonight with his AL-best 1.49 ERA, and the Astros get to match their skills with a lefty much more exerienced than the one who baffled them last night.

Rogers--who had an ERA of 3.33 on April 21, but has seen it drop,drop, drop since then as he has spun 30 consecutive scoreless innings--appears to perhaps benefit most from the way he's kept the ball in the park. His 1 home run allowed in 54 innings is a ratio that is not bettered by anybody in the AL. And given that the Astros still rank last in the NL in jacks, tonight's game probably won't be decided by any single decisive shot.

But righties have hit Rogers OK, and if nothing else, he might be due for a letdown. And his ERA is certainly worse at Arlington. . . .

On the other hand, while Backe has given up one run over his last 15 innings, hitters are lighting him up with a .315 average on the road. . . . but I'd give even money that Backe does alright tonight vs. the Rangers; he appears to have found his comfort zone, road, home whatever.