Friday, 7:05 p.m. -- RHP Bud Norris (6-9, 3.83) vs. LHP Tom Milone (0-0, 8.31)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 188
Saturday, 7:05 p.m. -- LHP Wandy Rodriguez (10-10, 3.47) vs. LHP John Lannan (9-11, 3.48)
TV: MASN Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
Sunday, 1:35 p.m. -- RHP Henry Sosa (2-3, 4.11) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (0-0, 0.00)
TV: MASN, Ch 50 Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183
It continues to be a difficult season in Houston, where the Astros have boasted baseball's worst record for months. It doesn't help that the sale of the club from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane has proceeded at a snail's pace. The sale was announced in mid-May, but MLB has yet to approve the deal and Crane has been showing frustration lately with the delay.
On the field, the Astros have lost five of six, falling to 48-95 and becoming the first team in the majors to be mathematically eliminated this season. After trading away Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence, they've gone with a bunch of youngsters, hoping the experience gained will better prepare them for 2012. The results right now, though, aren't pretty.
Top second base prospect Jose Altuve boasts a solid .287 batting average, but he's drawn only three walks in 44 games, leaving his on-base percentage at .301. Rookie third baseman Jimmy Paredes has impressed with a .290 average and 11 extra-base hits in 33 games. Former Braves prospect Jordan Schafer (a piece of the Bourn trade) has reached base at a .377 clip in 15 games.
Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez remains a reliable member of the rotation, enough that the Astros pulled him back off waivers when the Rockies tried to claim him last month. Right-hander Bud Norris has been a pleasant surprise, posting a 3.83 ERA and 166 strikeouts in 169 1/3 innings.
C Wilson Ramos (.409/.458/.636 last 6 G)
OF Rick Ankiel (.412/.444/.765 last 7 G)
1B Chris Marrero (.280/.333/.320 last 7 G)
RHP Stephen Strasburg (0 ER in 5 IP last start)
LHP John Lannan (3.00 ERA last 7 starts)
IF Clint Barmes (.429/.556/.786 last 5 G)
OF Brian Bogusevic (.313/.353/.563 last 5 G)
OF Carlos Lee (.263/.300/.579 last 5 G)
LHP Wandy Rodriguez (3.48 ERA last 7 starts)
OF Michael Morse (.217/.280/.522 last 6 G)
3B Ryan Zimmerman (.207/.258/.241 last 7 G)
LHP Tom Milone (4 ER in 4 1/3 IP last start)
IF Jose Altuve (.118/.118/.235 last 5 G)
OF J.D. Martinez (.158/.200/.158 last 5 G)
RHP Bud Norris (5.26 ERA last 7 starts)
*Stats updated through Thursday's games