Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Know Your Enemy: Mark Buehrle

Houston Astros (3-4) @ Toronto Blue Jays (3-4) - 6:07pm Central

*The Blue Jays play the Astros having just dropped two out of three to the Yankees (who had just dropped two of three to...THAT'S RIGHT HOUSTON ASTROS WOO). They're 1-2 at home, the Astros will be playing their first road games of the season.

*Houston leads the all-time series with Toronto, 8-5, but Toronto won the 2013 season series, 4-3.
*The 2013 Astros dropped three games of a four-game set at Toronto in July 2013, but won two of three from the Blue Jays in Houston in late August.

*Mark Alan Buehrle of St. Charles, Missouri.
*Was cut from his high school baseball team as a sophomore. 
*Drafted in the 38th Round of the 1998 draft. Three other players from that round of the draft made it to the Majors: Tommy Watkins (MIN), who played in nine career MLB games; Trey Hodges (SD) who pitched in 56 games with a -0.7 WAR; and Dennis Tankersley (BOS), who pitched in 27 major-league games for a -1.5 WAR.
*Buehrle threw two starts against the Astros last season, on July 25 and August 25. His total line in those two games? 17IP, 9H/1ER, 16K:4BB. This includes a complete game shutout of the Astros in which he allowed 2H/0ER, 9K:2BB - and did it all in 2h 18m. The two hits were by J.D. Martinez and Justin Maxwell.
*Jesus Guzman is a career 3x6 with two doubles off Buehrle; Jonathan Villar is 2x5, Bob Grossman is 2x4. Chris Carter is 2x8, Jose Altuve is 1x8.

*Mark Buehrle is coming off an April 2 start in which he held the Rays to 4H/0ER, 11K:1BB in 8.2IP.
*Thing is, he's not going to smoke a fastball by you. His fastball last week sat around 82mph, 2mph off his 2013 average. But he throws a four-seam (10.2%), two-seam (30.6%), and a cutter (9.3%) to mix it up. He'll also throw a 76mph changeup a third of the time.

*Brett Oberholtzer gets the start for the Astros.
*He took the loss in G3 vs. New York last week, allowing 5H/3ER, 5K:1BB.
*In the final five starts of his 2013 season, Oberholtzer allowed 26H/7ER, 20K:7BB, a .566 OPS on a .235 BABIP...and the Astros went 1-4 in those games.
*Oberholtzer has never faced Toronto, or any current Blue Jay.