The Astros will attempt to avoid getting swept by the Mariners in Seattle tonight, when the game starts slightly before the wolves howl at the moon.
Recommended Watching Instead of This Game: The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (available on Netflix)
Snapshot: The Astros have lost eight of their last ten games, getting outscored 55-36. The Mariners have won seven of their last ten games, outscoring their opponents 50-30.
Opposing Pitcher: Hisashi Iwakuma
Iwakuma is 35 years old, making his 2nd start of the season. He's coming off a win on April 22 at Anaheim in which he threw 8IP, 6H/2ER, 3K:1BB. 62 of his 89 pitches were for strikes.
Vs. the Astros:
Iwakuma only made one start against Houston in 2015, and it was on April 20 (nice) when he allowed 5H/4ER, 3K:0BB in 5.1IP, getting the no decision because the Astros got two go-ahead runs in the 8th to actually win that game. Overall, though, he's 1-3 lifetime against the Astros with a 5.67 ERA.
Current Astros have racked up 110 PAs against Iwakuma in their respective careers. Watch out for:
Jose Altuve (31 PAs): .370/.333/.481
Marwin Gonzalez (14 PAs): .571/.571/.857
George Springer (9 PAs): .222/.222/.667
Jason Castro (25 PAs): .167/.200/.167, 7K:1BB
Luis Valbuena (7 PAs): .167/.143/.667
Colby Rasmus (16 PAs): .125/.125/.313, 5K:0BB
Evan Gattis and Carlos Gomez are a combined 2x8 against Iwakuma lifetime.
Astros Starting Pitcher: Collin McHugh
Collin McHugh will be making his 5th start of the season. He has had two disaster starts (combined 4.1IP, 13H/10ER, 3K:3BB), one bad start (5.1IP, 10H/4ER, 7K:0BB), and one fantastic start (7IP, 8H/0ER, 4K:1BB).
On April 11, McHugh threw 7IP, 8H/0ER, 4K:1BB against the Royals. In his last two outings he has thrown a combined 9.1IP, 20H/9ER, 10K:1BB. This dude is just getting battered around. Among those 20 hits are eight doubles, a triple, and a home run.
McHugh faced the Mariners three times in 2015 with varying levels of success. His first start was a 7IP, 7H/3ER, 3K:2BB win, his next was a 7IP, 6H/4ER, 3K:2BB win in which all four runs came on solo homers. His third outing was Bad with 3IP, 9H/8ER, 1K:2BB and two homers allowed.
Because of the turnover in the Mariners lineup from last year to this year, McHugh has only allowed a .215/.260/.366 against the current version of the Fightin' Servaises.
Nelson Cruz is 4x11 with 2HR off McHugh for a 1.273 OPS.
Theth Thmith is 2x8 and a .775 OPS.
Robinson Cano is 6x23 with a .683 OPS.
Chris Ianetta is 1x10 with a homer and two walks for a .650 OPS.
Nori Aoki is 2x8 with a .583 OPS.
Leonys Martin is 2x10 with a .400 OPS.
Kyle Seager might get the night off: he's 1x20 off McHugh lifetime with 7 strikeouts and a .148 OPS.
When the plate appearance ends on the 1st pitch, opposing hitters have a 1.222 OPS. You know what? Let's just stop here.
Over the last two weeks, here is the 5/9 of the lineup, arranged by OPS:
Valbuena: .612 OPS
Correa: .594 OPS
Castro: .508 OPS
White: .457 OPS
Gomez: .421 OPS
And still we wonder what's going wrong.