Houston Astros (44-64) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (59-50), 7:10 p.m. (CST)
TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Blue Jays SBNation Blog: Bluebird Banter
RHP Jake Buchanan (1-1, 5.56 ERA, 1.68 WHIP) vs. LHP Drew Hutchison (7-9, 4.44 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
Hug watch 2014 came to an end with a boom - a team now has the three Cy-Young award winners in one rotation, one team has burnt itself to the ground and rebuilt already, and finally Jarred Cosart is no longer an Astro. Cosart had been warming up before his scheduled start tonight, but was later seen hugging his teammates in street clothes soon after the 4:00 pm ET deadline. The universal sign of a trade had happened. Focusing on today's game with respect to the trade, Jake Buchanan now gets the start in place of Cosart.
The righty from N.C. State has made one start for the Astros this season, he lasted only 4.1 innings against TampaBay and gave up five runs on eight hits. Since then his has made four other appearances as a reliever in the month of July. He has given up two earned runs over six innings of work. In his last outing, he held the Marlins scoreless for 2.1 innings on July 27 - including four strikeouts.
The Astros rookie faces a streaking Blue Jays team, that has won five in-a-row and eight of their last ten. Five Blue Jays have an OPS at or above .800 in the team's last seven games (25+ at-bats). Juan Francisco is batting .381 (8-21) with four extra-base hits and seven RBIs in his last six games. Melky Cabrera is 12-for-30 with five doubles, two home runs, and nine RBIs in his last seven games. Jose Bautista is at .320 (8-25) with four extra-base hits over that same stretch. Dioner Navarro (10-25) and Ryan Goins (9-25) are also knocking the cover off the ball.
On the mound for the Jays today is Drew Hutchison. I'm sure the left-hander is happy to get out of the month of July, he has been trending in the wrong direction - 3.82 ERA in April, 3.94 in May, 4.28 in June, and 5.93 in July. Most of the damage this month came from a 2.2 inning start with six runs allowed to the Red Sox on July 21. Hutchison rebounded in New York, holding the Yankees to two runs over 6.2 innings Saturday. Looking at Hutchison's splits, he has a 2.95 ERA on the road compared to a 6.62 ERA at Home - an alarming split for a game not being played in the Rogers Centre.
The Astros will run out three hot bats tonight, Chris Carter, Jason Castro, and Jose Altuve - all three have an OPS over .800 in 20-plus at-bats. Altuve is doing what Altuve does, batting .429 (12-28) in his last seven games. Castro and Carter each have two home runs during this stretch.