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. PIT||2GS, 1-0||4.61 ERA/1.23 WHIP||2 HR||8K:3BB|
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.