Houston Astros (53-73) at New York Yankees (63-60), 6:05 p.m. (CST)
TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Yankees SBNation Blog: Pinstripe Alley
RHP Scott Feldman (6-9, 4.45 ERA, 1.42 WHIP) vs. RHP Michael Pineda (2-2, 1.82 ERA, 0.89 WHIP)
Four strikeouts, and one game-winning home run - Chris Carter in a nutshell. The Astros will take his 130-plus strikeout for his 30 home runs. More importantly for this series, he crushed a the playoff hopes of the Yankees' playoff hopes ever so slightly last night.
Tonight the job of playoff spoiler falls on the shoulders of Scott Feldman, the Astros veteran leader in the rotation. Experience can be a key factor for success in the bright lights of Yankee stadium, Feldman has four career starts in 'The House That Jeter Built". He has a quality start in three of those four starts, and overall ERA of 4.15 in 21.2 innings pitched. With Baltimore last season, Feldman faced the Yankees twice in the heat of a playoff run in late August and September. In those two starts he held New York to four runs over 14.2 innings.
Fast Forwarding back to the present, Feldman has been on a bit of a rollercoaster. He has given up three runs over less in seven of his last ten starts, but the other three he has given up six or more. The Red Sox blew up his pitch count and collected seven runs over 5.1 innings in his last start. Before that Feldman had given up just five earned runs over 22.1 innings in his three previous starts. Feldman got 2014 off on the right foot in his first start this season against the Yankees, he held the Bronx Bombers scoreless through 6.2 innings - outdueling CC Sabathia.
With this amount of history against the Yankees, there are few players with a positive history in ten-plus at-bats. Newest Yankees, Stephen Drew and Chase Headly have the best career records against tonight's Astros starter - Drew is 5-for-11 with three extra-base hits and Headly is 4-for-7 with a home run. Mark Teixeira has a home run among his seven hits in 20 at-bats against Feldman. Derek Jeter has less success, batting .273 (6-22) with two home runs in his career. Former member of the AL West, Ichiro Suzuki has 39 plate appearances against Feldman, and just 10 hits.
Michael Pineda started opposite Feldman, the prize of the trade made with Mariners back in 2012 for Jesus Montero. Pineda has been injured on and off again since joining the Yankees. This season he was caught with a foreign substance on his hands and hat, as a result was ejected from a game with the Red Sox and suspended ten games. During a simulated game to keep fresh while suspended, Pineda strained a back muscle. Pineda returned to the rotation on August 13, going five innings in Baltimore and allowing just one run.
Chris Carter is the only Astro with a previous at-bat against Pineda, he is 0-for-1 with a walk.