Thursday, April 28, 2011

Friends Close, Enemies Closer: G25 vs. Cardinals

Jeez. This just looks like the Astros are asking for a bloodbath. Kyle McClellan takes the hill for the Cardinals facing Vintage Figgy.

Friends Close

*Figueroa has had a rough go of it. His WHIP is up over 2.00 through four starts. He's allowed 31H/19ER, 12K:10BB in just 20IP, average 5IP per start.

*He's been throwing his fastball less (44.3% in 2011, as opposed to 54.1% in 2010), and his slider way more (37.3% in '11, 25% in '10). His curve has gained 1mph in velocity, but his fastball is averaging 87mph in 2011, down from 88mph in 2010.

*Figueroa is averaging a game score of 30, through his four starts. But this should be noted: he's had terrible "luck." His BABIP is .377, but he's also averaging almost five line drives allowed per game - so he's just getting rocked.

*His Home splits are much better than the Away splits. In two starts at home, he's allowing an OPS of .757 (compared to 1.028 on the road).

*Berkman and Molina have three hits off of Figueroa in his career, while Pujols is 2x16 lifetime off Figs.

Enemies Closer

*Kyle McClellan has never faced Houston before as a starter, so there's that. McClellan is undefeated on the season, with a 2.16 ERA, and hasn't given up more than 2ER in an outing.

*McClellan throws a fastball (59% - 88.5mph), cutter (16.2% - 84.7mph), curve (14.6% - 72.4mph), and a change (10.1% - 81.3mph).

*On the road, he's 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA/1.31 WHIP, giving up 13H but only allowing 2ER.

*This is curious: With the batter ahead in the count, they're hitting .448/.568/.586. With an event count, that's a .194/.194/.194 line, and with the pitcher ahead, it's .207/.258/.414. Odd.

*After 30 PAs w/RISP, McClellan only allowed three hits and an HBP, with an .083 BABIP.

*The Astros will need to get off to an early start. The first time through the order, opponents have an .867 OPS, which drops to .678 the 2nd time through, and .472 the 3rd time around.

*Pence is 4x11 lifetime off of him - all singles. In 37 PAs against current Astros (pitchers included), only Bill Hall has an XBH - a home run.