Thursday, April 16, 2009

Matchup - G9 at Pittsburgh

Russ Ortiz vs Jeff Karstens, as the Astros attempt to build on last night's win...

Russ Ortiz
Making his debut in the rotation, Russ Ortiz is looking to rekindle former glory. Will it happen against the Pittsburgh Pirates? God, I hope so.

From 2006-2008, Ortiz faced the Pirates twice and posted a winning record of 1-0 against them. Ortiz only has a winning record, similarly 1-0, against one other team: the Diam'ndba's.


vs. PIT2GS, 1-04.61 ERA/1.23 WHIP2 HR8K:3BB


Jeff Karstens
Karstens, a piece of the Nady trade with the Yankees last season, will be making his first start of the season. He has only enjoyed 9 plate appearances against the Astros: Keppinger is 0x4, Tejada 0x3, and Erstad is 1x1; thus, we won't do the table thing for this one.

The scouting report on Karstens says to jump on his fastball. He throws it 56% of the time, 63% of the time on the first pitch, and 64% of the time when he's behind. He'll also mix in a changeup, curve, and a slider, but relies pretty heavily on that fastball. But there's some bad news. With the Pirates towards the end of last season, Karstens was getting more groundballs than flyballs - and for the Astros lately, that spells disaster. He is hittable: batters made contact with pitches thrown in the strike zone 88.5% of the time in 2008, but he got batters to swing at pitches out of the zone in 25% of his pitches.

If the Astros are going to get something going offensively, it should be today.