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Memorial Day Match Up/Game Thread

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Aaron
Harang
Rogér
Clemens
3 - 2, 3.32 3 - 2, 1.19

With the Astros coming off their first road series win of the year, and still maintaining an acceptable home record (and offensive stats), an Astro fan can only hope that he is not committing an act of hubris in thinking that today's game is not only one that the Astros CAN win, it is one that the Astros SHOULD win.

The pitching matchup is a little more even than you might think. Harang, despite missing his last start due to illness, is coming off a rather nice 3-game stretch in which he's pitched 23-1/3 innings. With a 2- 0 record over those last three starts, and an excellent 2.31 ERA over that span, Harang finds himself indisputably hot.

Clemens, because 1) he never goes more than seven* and 2) he left his start at Wrigley May 24 after five with a sore groin, has only pitched 19.0 over his last three; the ERA of course remains stellar over that period at 1.42.

The Reds of course have the reputation as being an offensive powerhouse, and indeed, among regulars, only two Astros can surpass the Reds' worst in onbase plus slugging--that is, only Biggio at .885 and Ensberg at .912 outdo the Reds' eighth best, Larue at .690.

But I don't need to tell you that the Astros' road home splits are dramatic. So I made a little chart:

CIN Road
OPS
Position Home
OPS
HOU
Larue .715 C1 .630 Ausmus
Valentin .664 C2 .182 Chavez
Casey .818 1B .878 Lamb
Freel .823 2B 1.119 Biggio
Lopez .906 SS .747 Everett
Randa .785 3B 1.097 Ensberg
Peña 1.039 OF1 .839 Palmeiro
Dunn .977 OF2 .829 Berkman
Kearns .884 OF3 .829 Taveras
Griffey .682 OF4 .748 Lane
And for kicks, let's throw in the Pitchers:
Harang .154 P .879 Clemens
Which makes it look like the Astros can kind of hang in there today, no? And I'm running out of time, but the Reds have bullpen problems that make ours look trivial. It's a different Wagner they trot out for the ninth, let's keep it at that . . . .

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*OK, once.