H-Town Sports

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Series Preview: Nationals v. Astros

This weekend's series at Minute Maid Park with the Nats should be very interesting. The Nationals and Astros are quite similar in that both teams will likely be carried as far as their pitching can take them because the respective offenses are not very productive.

Tonight's opening game pits Tony Armas, Jr. against Brandon Backe. Backe was horrendous in the spring and is fighting some nagging injury problems. Armas has annually been a "breakout" contender, but arm and shoulder problems have hindered his development. The Big Puma is 5-8 with 2 HR lifetime against Armas, and Preston Wilson is 6-17 with a HR as well. On the contrary, Biggio is hitless in 12 at-bats against Armas and Ensberg is 0-5 lifetime.
Prediction: Nats 7, Astros 3

Saturday's matchup is a marquee one: Livan Hernandez v. Roy Oswalt. Expect both pitchers to go late into the night with the Astros coming out on top thanks to Roy O. Several Astros have solid histories against Livan: Bidge (13-33), Lamb (5-14) and Preston Wilson (8-20). Serious Golden Sombrero potential for Alfonso Soriano, who is 1-14 lifetime against the Wizard. Prediction: Astros 3, Nats 1

Sunday's matinee pits Ryan Drese against Andy Pettitte. Drese has been bothered by the injury bug, and AP was beaten like a drum by the mighty Fish on Tuesday night. Look for Pettitte to bounce back in impressive fashion in a relatively easy Astros win. Jason Lane has five hits in six tries against Drese, while Berkman is 6-12. Christian Guzman will not be rushing to get off of the DL Sunday, as he is 4-27 against Pettitte with 13 K's.
Prediction: Astros 5, Nats 1

Monday's businessman's special has John Patterson facing Wandy Rodriguez. Patterson was flat-out nasty in 2005 and has a history of success against Houston. Wandy is inconsistent at best, and the Nats should take out 48 hours of frustration on him Monday afternoon. Patterson has had some trouble with a couple of Astros: Preston Wilson (4-7 with a HR) and Morgan Ensberg (3-5 with 2 HR).
Prediction: Nats 6, Astros 2


Blogger Tim said...

A split of the four game series wouldn't be disastrous, but you'd like to think the 'Stros can take three of four. Then you remember that Backe and Wandy are each pitching a game...

Fri Apr 07, 02:06:00 PM  

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