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Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves, Apr 30, 2010 6:35 PM CDT

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Current Series

3 game series vs Braves @ Turner Field

Houston Astros
@ Atlanta Braves

Friday, Apr 30, 2010, 6:35 PM CDT
Turner Field

Brett Myers vs Tommy Hanson

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.

Daily Astros News and Notes
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Complete Coverage >

Sat 05/01 2:10 PM CDT
Sun 05/02 12:35 PM CDT

It's been a long time since Atlanta was the Q to the Astros' Jean-Luc Picard. Both teams are currently at the bottom of their respective divisions and the Braves are actually a half-game behind Houston at 8-14. Super-prospect Jason Heyward has had his moments, but is having to adjust to each new wrinkle thrown at him by opposing pitchers. These two teams have been linked since 1997, so it's eerie to see how related they remain this season.

For starters, former Astros Billy Wagner and Brooks Conrad will greet the team in Atlanta. Conrad has only gotten nine plate appearances as the left-handed bat off the bench, but has played in four more as a defensive replacement. Wagner has saved one game and pitched in six more. He's still striking people out at a good clip with 13 strikeouts in 7 innings.

The first bit of divergence in the Astros and Braves is in the starting pitching. Atlanta went into 2010 with a surplus of starters. They were so confident in the players on their roster that they traded Javier Vasquez to New York for Melky Cabrera and prospects. That assured Tim Hudson and Kenshin Kawakami rotation spots. Of course, shortly after the trade, starter Jair Jurrjens suffered a bit of an injury in spring training. He made it back for the regular season, but has been one of three Brave starters who have struggled out of the gate.

The Astros will face Tommy Hanson, one of the few Atlanta starters who isn't struggling, on Friday. Brett Myers will pitch for Houston. Hanson is striking out 11 per 9 innings and has an xFIP of 3.63. His BABiP of .339 is even a bit high for a guy with a 2.12 ERA. If there's one knock on Hanson's repetoire, it is that he's a fly ball pitcher. Luckily for him, the Astros haven't been hitting too many fly balls lately. The Astros have yet to announce their Saturday starter, but indications are that it will be Wandy Rodriguez. He will face Tim Hudson, who's the other Brave starter to excel this season. Hudson is getting by on luck early this season, though. His ERA of 3.28 is much lower than his xFIP of 4.60, in part due to his meager K rate of 4.01. Hudson has been very lucky with a BABiP of .245 and looks like a good candidate to get hit around by the Astros. On Sunday, Bud Norris will face Derek Lowe and his extreme ground ball rate. Lowe has had trouble this season with walks. His BB rate of 5.14 is twice as high as his career rate of 2.50. His ERA is higher than his xFIP of 4.41, partly because he's given up a slightly higher home run rate than his career average.

Offensively, the Braves superstars like Brian McCann and Chipper Jones are both struggling, while starters Cabrera, Yunel Escobar, Troy Glaus and Nate McLouth are all start off the season slowly. Second baseman Martin Prado leads the team in wOBA at .396 while Heyward is in second at .378. That's the thing about the Braves; while they may be struggling in batting average, they are hitting the ball for power when they do make contact and taking walks when they can. Thus, their wOBA is higher than you'd expect.

The bullpen is anchored by Wagner, but has been one of the few solid points to the Braves April schedule. Kris Medlen, Peter Moylan, Takashi Saito and Eric O'Flaherty all have ERAs at 3.00 or below. Only O'Faherty, the Braves' LOOGY, has a strikeout rate under 8 and his is at 7.3. In fact, it's unfair to label O'Flaherty as a LOOGY, since he only has one appearance this season where he faced just one batter. Saito is the somewhat surprising figure here, with a K rate of 11 in 9 innings of work. The 40-year old was probably not factored into many people's scouting reports on the Braves and he's yet to be used in many medium or high leverage situations. His average leverage index is at .73, which is higher than just three guys in the bullpen (O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Jesse Chavez).


Brett Myers

#39 / Pitcher / Houston Astros

6-4

240

R

R

Aug 17, 1980



Tommy Hanson

#48 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-6

220

R

R

Aug 28, 1986




NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
St. Louis 15 7 .681 0 Won 5
Cincinnati 11 11 .500 4 Won 4
Pittsburgh 10 12 .454 5 Won 3
Chicago 10 13 .434 5.5 Lost 3
Milwaukee 9 13 .409 6 Lost 3
Houston 8 13 .380 6.5 Lost 3

(updated 4.30.2010 at 1:19 PM CDT)




Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Felipe Paulino 4 6 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .500 .500 .667
Wandy Rodriguez 4 8 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 .375 .375 .375
Michael Bourn 20 70 12 23 5 0 0 3 11 16 9 2 .329 .427 .400
Geoff Blum 16 40 3 13 2 1 0 4 1 3 0 0 .325 .341 .425
Jeff Keppinger 19 61 6 18 6 0 0 8 8 3 0 0 .295 .377 .393
Pedro Feliz 19 73 5 19 6 0 1 10 0 10 1 1 .260 .263 .384
Lance Berkman 9 33 4 8 2 0 2 6 4 9 0 1 .242 .324 .485
Tommy Manzella 16 55 2 13 2 0 0 3 0 13 0 0 .236 .263 .273
Jason Michaels 11 17 3 4 1 0 2 5 0 4 0 0 .235 .235 .647
Hunter Pence 20 79 11 18 2 0 2 6 2 10 2 1 .228 .247 .329
Chris Johnson 8 22 4 5 0 1 0 2 0 8 0 0 .227 .227 .318
Humberto Quintero 11 32 3 7 0 0 1 3 1 7 0 0 .219 .242 .313
J.R. Towles 14 39 3 8 3 0 1 7 2 11 0 0 .205 .256 .359
Bud Norris 4 5 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 .200 .200 .200
Carlos Lee 20 79 8 14 2 1 0 5 3 16 1 2 .177 .207 .228
Kazuo Matsui 13 34 1 5 0 0 0 1 3 4 0 0 .147 .216 .147
Roy Oswalt 5 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .143 .250 .143
Brett Myers 4 8 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 .125 .125 .125
Cory Sullivan 18 20 1 2 0 1 0 2 2 5 0 0 .100 .182 .200
Jeff Fulchino 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Matt Lindstrom 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Brandon Lyon 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Tim Byrdak 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Samuel Gervacio 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Chris Sampson 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Brian Moehler 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Wilton Lopez 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Chris Sampson 0-0 9 0 0 0 0 0 9.2 7 1 1 0 3 5 0.93 1.03
Matt Lindstrom 0-0 10 0 0 0 6 0 10.0 11 3 3 1 3 11 2.70 1.40
Roy Oswalt 2-3 5 5 0 0 0 0 33.0 29 11 10 4 9 28 2.73 1.15
Brian Moehler 0-0 6 0 0 0 0 0 9.2 10 3 3 0 1 4 2.79 1.14
Wandy Rodriguez 1-2 4 4 0 0 0 0 24.2 25 11 10 2 8 14 3.65 1.34
Brett Myers 1-1 4 4 0 0 0 0 26.0 35 12 11 2 4 18 3.81 1.50
Tim Byrdak 1-0 11 0 0 0 0 0 9.0 6 4 4 2 3 5 4.00 1.00
Wilton Lopez 1-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 6.0 8 3 3 1 1 5 4.50 1.50
Samuel Gervacio 0-1 4 0 0 0 0 0 3.1 2 3 2 0 3 3 5.40 1.50
Felipe Paulino 0-3 4 4 0 0 0 0 21.2 22 20 13 0 14 15 5.40 1.66
Bud Norris 1-2 4 4 0 0 0 0 17.2 19 13 11 0 13 23 5.60 1.81
Brandon Lyon 1-1 11 0 0 0 0 1 9.1 10 6 6 1 1 8 5.79 1.18
Jeff Fulchino 0-0 8 0 0 0 0 0 7.0 8 5 5 2 1 6 6.43 1.29


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Martin Prado 22 86 13 31 8 0 1 4 10 12 0 2 .360 .429 .488
Eric Hinske 18 26 4 8 2 1 0 8 2 7 0 0 .308 .357 .462
Omar Infante 11 30 4 8 3 0 0 3 2 7 2 0 .267 .313 .367
Brian McCann 20 60 8 15 4 0 2 8 16 7 1 0 .250 .397 .417
Chipper Jones 18 58 10 14 4 0 2 6 15 9 2 0 .241 .397 .414
Jason Heyward 21 71 9 17 3 0 5 17 13 25 0 0 .239 .365 .493
Brooks Conrad 13 9 3 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .222 .222 .444
Yunel Escobar 22 79 7 17 4 0 0 8 9 9 2 0 .215 .295 .266
Troy Glaus 22 70 7 14 1 0 2 9 9 21 0 0 .200 .300 .300
David Ross 7 15 1 3 0 0 0 3 2 4 0 0 .200 .294 .200
Matt Diaz 16 46 2 9 1 1 0 2 2 14 1 0 .196 .229 .261
Melky Cabrera 21 74 8 14 2 0 0 3 9 11 0 0 .189 .277 .216
Nate McLouth 20 54 4 8 2 0 1 3 9 18 0 0 .148 .277 .241
Tommy Hanson 4 8 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .125 .125 .125
Derek Lowe 5 8 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 .125 .125 .125
Tim Hudson 4 8 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .125 .125 .125
Jair Jurrjens 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 .000 .286 .000
Kenshin Kawakami 4 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Kris Medlen 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jo-Jo Reyes 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000 .500 .000
Jesse Chavez 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Eric OFlaherty 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jonny Venters 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Peter Moylan 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Takashi Saito 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Billy Wagner 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Eric OFlaherty 1-0 10 0 0 0 0 0 8.2 5 2 1 0 4 7 1.04 1.04
Jonny Venters 0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 7.2 4 1 1 0 5 5 1.17 1.17
Tommy Hanson 1-2 4 4 1 0 0 0 21.0 19 6 5 2 10 26 2.14 1.38
Billy Wagner 1-0 7 0 0 0 1 1 7.0 3 2 2 1 3 13 2.57 .86
Peter Moylan 1-0 11 0 0 0 0 1 10.0 9 3 3 0 6 10 2.70 1.50
Takashi Saito 0-1 9 0 0 0 0 0 9.0 6 3 3 0 4 11 3.00 1.11
Kris Medlen 0-1 10 0 0 0 0 0 14.2 14 6 5 1 3 14 3.07 1.16
Tim Hudson 1-1 4 4 0 0 0 0 24.2 21 9 9 2 10 11 3.28 1.26
Jesse Chavez 0-0 8 0 0 0 0 0 11.1 10 6 6 1 2 11 4.76 1.06
Kenshin Kawakami 0-4 4 4 0 0 0 0 21.1 24 15 13 1 8 10 5.48 1.50
Derek Lowe 3-2 5 5 0 0 0 0 28.0 27 20 18 4 16 18 5.79 1.54
Jair Jurrjens 0-3 5 5 0 0 0 0 24.0 22 19 17 3 11 15 6.38 1.38
Jo-Jo Reyes 0-0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3.1 10 9 9 2 3 2 24.30 3.90