Series Preview: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays, June 5-7, 2015
The Astros are back on track after taking three of four from the Orioles. The Astros are still on a historic pace with the best record in team history through 55 games, at 34-21 - one game ahead of the previous record set by the 1980, 1998, and 1999 Astros teams.
The Blue Jays are 5-4 in their last nine games. Winning a three game series with the White Sox, dropping two of three against the red hot Twins, and took two of three from the Nationals in a rain shortened four-game series. The Jays currently sit 4.5 games behind the division-leading Yankees (it hurts my soul to write that) with a current record of 25-30.
The Astros and Jays squared off during the middle of June, Houston took all four games in the series. The Astros outscored the Blue Jays 24-15 in the series. Back-to-back doubles from Preston Tucker and Jonathan Villar pushed to the win in game one. Houston blasted their way to a win in game two with home runs from George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Luis Valbuena. Evan Gattis, Chris Carter, and Marwin Gonzalez brought the pop in game three, and in game four it was Colby Rasmus' turn. The long ball was the Astros' friend in the previous series with the Blue Jays.
Game 1 — RHP Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.92 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) vs. RHP Aaron Sanchez (4-4, 3.88 ERA, 1.53 WHIP)
Game 2 — LHP Brett Oberholtzer (0-0, 3.24 ERA, 1.92 WHIP) vs. RHP Drew Hutchison (4-1, 5.26 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)
Game 3 — RHP Collin McHugh (6-2, 4.33 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) vs. RHP R.A. Dickey (2-6, 5.53 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
The Astros staff couldn't complete the sweep against O's but managed to look less like a trainwreck after Dallas Keuchel in the series.
In game one, Roberto Hernandez feels like he is always pitching for his job with each passing day. The Astros have answer that can fill his slot once Brad Peacock or Scott Feldman return from the disabled list. It a surprise the Astros are 5-2 in his last seven starts. It may have to do with the fact that Hernandez is averaging 5 runs of support per game. Hernandez has allowed 13 runs over his last 17 1/3 innings. Let's hope the Astros have forgo their boom sticks in customs for game, they'll probably need it.
Aaron Sanchez appears to be putting it together. The two-year veteran has pitched back-to-back quality starts in his last two outings. Sanchez is 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 31 2/3 innings at the Rogers Center this season.
Brett Oberholtzer returned to the Astros active roster, after the majority of the start of the season on the shelf with a blister issue. Oberholtzer held the O's to two runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in that most recent outing.
Drew Hutchison allowed just two runs over six inning in his first this season against the Astros. It's been up and down since that start for Hutchison, he gave up four runs in two of the game and pitched a complete game shutout in the other.
Collin McHugh battled in his most recent outing, giving up four runs by the end of the second but failed to give up another through the next five inning. In his first start against the Jays, McHugh gave up two runs over seven innings on six hits.
R.A. Dickey is looks like Collin McHugh if you slide some sliders up on the create-a-player. Dickey has struggled, giving up 16 runs over 19 innings in his last start. He rebounded against the Nass, his most recent appearance, giving up just two runs over 6 innings
Chris Carter and Evan Gattis have led the way for the Astros on offense. Carter is currently batting .409 in his last seven starts. He has five extra-base hits and five RBI during that same stretch. Gattis is batting .333 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs. While Jake Marisnick and Luis Valbuena are batting under .200 in their last 18+ bats.
The Blue Jays have four players with at least 14 at-bats over the past week that are batting over .348 - Kevin Pillar Ezequiel Carrera, Jose Reyes, and Jose Bautista. Only a few points be hined is third baseman Jose Donaldson at .296 in his last six games
The Astros take two of three from the Jays. Brett Oberholtzer shows what the Astros have been missing.