Coming into today's game, the AL West-bound and down Houston Astros are 21.5 games behind the first place Redlegs. I wouldn't call it a firesale, but they have shipped out a number of veteran players already. Carlos Lee, Brett Myers, JA Happ, and Brandon Lyon have all been moved along for prospects of varying degrees of utility. One of the few remaining elder Astros is tonight's starter Wandy Rodriguez, for whom the Astros have likely just not found the right deal yet. I would put the odds at 3 to 1 that he is a late scratch tonight and on his way to Baltimore.
The Astros are 2-19 in their last 21 games. I actually feel really, really bad for Astros fans. At least they know they are rebuilding and the team is making every effort to ensure future victories. Cold comfort, I know. But remember when the Reds were really bad, but never really dedicated themselves to an earnest rebuilding? Honestly, I don't know which is worse. Nevertheless, this Astros team is embarrassing, and though I do not wish for our Reds to take mercy on them (quite the contrary, actually), I do wish that no unnecessary harm befall them. Let the Reds sweep this series by healthy and honest four-run margins, rather than 10-run humiliating blow outs.
Wa-wa-wa-wa-waaaaaaandy!! has been steady as usual this season, though he has seen a downturn in his K rate and an uptick in the number of hits allowed. He's faced the Reds twice this year, earning a win and a no-decision. He totaled 11 innings in those two starts, giving up an equal amount of runs. He still owns Jay Bruce like a rented mule, striking him out 15 times in 29 career PAs. So it's probably a good time to call it. Chris Heisey will get the start in RF tonight.
Mat Latos earned his first loss since mid-April his last time out, giving up five runs against the Diamondbacks and not surviving the 5th inning. This Astros lineup is so putrid though, Maty boy should be able to work seven solid with little effort tonight. Check after the jarnd to see whether or not the bullpen needs it.
|COZART SS||ALTUVE 2B|
|STUBBS CF||GONZALEZ SS|
|PHILLIPS 2B||MOORE 1B|
|LUDWICK LF||JOHNSON 3B|
|FRAZIER 1B||MAXWELL RF|
|ROLEN 3B||FRANCISCO LF|
|HEISEY RF||SCHAFER CF|
|HANIGAN C||SNIDER C|
|LATOS P||RODRIGUEZ P|
|Reliever||7/18||7/19||7/20||7/21||7/22||5 day totals|
|Aroldis Chapman||1.0, 14p||1.0, 13p||1.0, 20p||3.0 IP, 46 pitches |
|Sean Marshall||0.1, 8p||0.2, 10p||1.0 IP, 18 pitches |
|Logan Ondrusek||1.1, 17p||0.2. 7p||1.0, 11p||1.0, 12p||4.0 IP, 47 pitches |
|Jose Arredondo||0.2, 26p||0.2, 13p||1.1 IP, 39 pitches|
|Sam LeCure||1.0, 19p||0.2, 5p||1.2 IP, 24 pitches |
|Alfredo Simon||1.2, 21p||1.2 IP, 21 pitches|
|Bill Bray||1.0, 8p||1.0 IP, 8 pitches|
- Both Chapman and Ondrusek have been ridden pretty hard this past week, so it would probably be prudent to give them a rest tonight if at all possible.
- Everyone else should be freshy fresh, so hopefully Dusty lets the second line get some work in against the opposing JV squad.