Houston Astros (68-87) at Seattle Mariners (83-71), 1:10 p.m. (CST)
TV: CSN Houston, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Mariners SBNation Blog: Lookout Landing
RHP Collin McHugh (10-9, 2.66 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) vs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (14-8, 3.42 ERA, 1.04 WHIP)
Dallas Keuchel and five home runs dismantled the Mariners to even the final home series of the Astros. Now, two pitcher that have been key to each team's success this season face one another, Collin McHugh and Hisashi Iwakuma. To be fair, that's selling Iwakuma short. The Japanese import has been part of the backbone the Mariners pitching staff since 2012.
McHugh has been lights out since the All-Star break, pushing for inclusion in the conversation for American League Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, a certain first baseman in Chicago will take that honor. What can I say? Chicks dig the long ball. McHugh has ten starts since the All-Star break, posting a 1.90 ERA in 66.1 innings pitched with 58 strikeouts and 7 walks. In his last start, McHugh went 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Indians on Monday, before coming out after a comebacker hit his left wrist. But, McHugh will still make his scheduled start Sunday.
In their most recent confrontation, McHugh held the Mariners to one run on two hits over eight innings on September 9 in Seattle. Logan Morrison's solo home run accounting for Seattle's lone run.
Iwakuma is making his fifth start against the Astros this season, posting a 4.88 ERA in 24 innings. This includes his most recent start against Houston, September 9, where he allowed four runs over 4 1/3 innings. That performance continued a downward trend for Iwakuma in the second half of the major league season - posting a 4.02 ERA in 71 2/3 innings (13 IP, 9.69 ERA in September).
Jose Altuve is 9-for-22 with two doubles against Iwakuma in his career. Marwin Gonzalez is 7-for-12 with a double and a home run, and Alex Presley is 4-for-11.