Thursday, May 9, 2013

Game Notes: G35 vs. Los of Angeles of Angels of Anaheim

More like LOSS Angeles, amirite? The Astros will go for their first sweep of the season as well as their second three-game win streak of the year tonight at 7:10pm Central, as they've already locked up their first series win against a team not named Seattle.

*An Angels loss tonight will mark their second five-game losing streak of the year, and also bring the Astros to within a half-game of Los Angeles. The Angels are 2-9 in their last eleven road games.
*The Angels will send Jason Vargas to the mound. He was selected by the Marlins in the 2nd Round of the 2004 draft - four picks after the Astros selected Hunter Pence.
*Vargas and teammate Jered Weaver were on the same Long Beach State squad in 2004.
*Vargas only made 28 starts in the minors before he found himself in the wasteland that was the Marlins' stadium between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. He was traded by the Marlins (of course) with Adam Bostick to the Mets in November 2006 for future Astro Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens.
*In December 2008, he was traded to New York in the big three-team trade in which the Mets received Sean Green, J.J. Putz and Jeremy Reed; the Mariners received Vargas, Mike Carp, Endy Chavez, Aaron Heilman, and Franklin Guiterrez; the Indians received Joe Smith and Luis Valbuena.
*In December 2012, Vargas was traded by Seattle to the Angels for Kendry(s) Morales.

*Vargas will be making his 7th start of the season. After allowing 27H/11ER, 8K:7BB in his first three starts (6.75 ERA/2.32 WHIP), Vargas has bounced back, allowing 16H/5ER, 12K:7BB in 24IP (1.88 ERA/0.96 WHIP), including two straight complete games. He's coming off a complete game shutout of Baltimore on May 3. His 82 Game Score was the highest of the season, and his highest since June 19, 2011.

*The Angels are 2-4 in his starts, averaging 3.15 runs in support of Vargas.

*Opponents are hitting .281/.341/.438 against Vargas for the season, but .240/.302/.375 in his last four starts.
*RHBs vs. Vargas: .240/.325/.423, including all four homers he has allowed.
*LHBs vs. Vargas: .367/.380/.469, with one walk in 50 PAs.
*Opponents on the road vs. Vargas: .319/.363/.486.
*Opponents on the first pitch of the AB: 1.063 OPS.
*1st PA of the game: .619 OPS
*2nd PA of the game: .641 OPS
*3rd PA of the game: 1.139 OPS
*Vargas hasn't faced Houston as a starter since 2005, but current Astros have faced him in 29 PAs. Chris Carter is 0x10 with 5K:2BB; Carlos Pena is 1x11 with 2K; and Ronny Cedeno is 1x6 with 1K.

*The Astros will send out Lucas Harrell to try to complete the sweep.
*Harrell last faced the Angels on April 13, going 5.2IP and allowing 6H/1ER, 5K:1BB (the one run coming on Josh Hamilton's 1st HR of the season) in One Of The Games Jose Veras Blew.
*Harrell is coming off his second 8ER outing of the season. The good news is that his start against the Angels on April 13 followed his first 8ER outing, against Oakland.
*Harrell got straight rocked last Saturday, allowing 10H/8ER, 3K:4BB, throwing just 60 of his 107 pitches for strikes and recording a Game Score of 10 - the lowest of his career.