Felipe Paulino tries to recapture that Starting Pitcher Spirit that was so rudely taken away from him last month by shifting Moehler back into the rotation. He'll do so against a team in which he has never faced: the Fightin' Nolans.
The Astros are 25-23 against the Rangers lifetime in interleague play.
The Astros are 1-6 when Paulino appears in a game, though his first three starts went very well. During the Bullpen Experiment, Paulino watched his ERA climb higher than Hef's blood pressure - from 2.55 following the April 29 G22 @ Cincinnati to 6.93, where it sits currently.
Notice the last two starts? 18 strikeouts, no walks. Still has not allowed a home run. Eight of Wandy's 15 walks have been to the first batter of the inning.
Let's do the splits:
vs Righties: 21x65, .323/.405/.415, 10K:7BB
vs Lefties: 15x38, .395/.500/.684, 9K:7BB
When swinging at the first pitch (13): .455/.500/.818, 3XBH
After First-Pitch Strikes (51): .404/.451/.532, 7K:3BB
After First-Pitch Balls (59): .267/.421/.422, 12K:11BB
RISP: 17x37, .459/.535/.568, 9K:5BB
Runners on: 21x55, .382/.477/.509, 13K:8BB
2OwRISP: 9x16, .563/.611/.625, 7K:0BB
I think it's probably safe to say that Paulino is pitching for his job tonight. First game of a high-profile series and Backe waiting in the wings, eligible to come off the DL next week. If Paulino keeps it on lock, then maybe he stays in the rotation and Backe rejoins the team from the bullpen initially. If Paulino has another meltdown, it doesn't look good. And I put this squarely on the Front Office. There was absolutely no need to shift Paulino to the bullpen - Ortiz should have been there a week earlier.
Rookie Derek Holland takes the mound for the Rangers, making his first start of the season. He's coming off a May 15 appearance in which he allowed 5ER in 2.2IP with three walks.
Let's do the splits:
vs Righties: 6x31, .194/.306/.419, 5K:5BB
vs Lefties: 7x19, .368/.400/.579, 1K:1BB
When swinging at the first pitch (9): .111/.111/.444, 1XBH
After First-Pitch Strikes (24): .333/.417/.571, 3K:3BB
After First-Pitch Balls (23): .250/.348/.400, 3K:3BB
RISP: 4x13, .308/.400/.615, 1K:2BB
Runners on: 6x22, .273/.333/.500, 3K:2BB
2OwRISP: 4x9, .444/.545/.889, 1K:2BB
1st PA: 9x43 (.209/.277/.419)
2nd PA: 4x7 (.571/.667/.857)