Posted: 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013
The Astros looked like they could take on the world in game one against Boston. In game two, the Red Sox bats humbled young Joran Lyles. Game three, the Astros' new toy faces off against a old face from NL Central days gone by.
Former Cubbie Ryan Dempster takes the mound in his 27th start against Houston in his career, and 15th start at the Juice Box. Dempster has failed to record a quality start in his last four outings. He has a 3.60 ERA over those four starts. In his most recent start, he gave up seven runs over six innings - on seven hit and five walks in Seattle.
Back on April 26, Dempster got the start against Houston in Beantown. The Astros were held to two runs over six innings with Dempster on the mound. The Astros' two runs came off sacrifices by Jose Altuve and Robbie Grossman. Matt Dominguez is 2-for-2 against Dempster with two doubles. Jason Castro checks in with another double off the right-hander in six career at-bats. Brett Wallace has a double in four at-bats and two walks. Jose Altuve and Castro are a collective 2-11 against Dempster.
Probably the brightest spot thus far for Astros fans this season, Jarred Cosart makes his second home start this season. In his first go-around in Minute Maid, he held Oakland to one earned run over seven innings, striking out four, and walking three. Cosart has been as excellent in his two most recent starts, both were quality one run outings.
Cosart will be dealing with offenses that failed to crack or barely cracked the top in the American League in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging. Boston is a different kind of animal, either the first or second in all three categories in the AL. Not to mention the fact that the Red Sox roster is on a role. Dustin Pedroia has broken out of his slump with 4 hits over his last two games. David Ortiz was 2-for-4 last night with two runs batted in. Jacoby Ellsbury scored four times and drove in three runs yesterday. Jonnny Gomes has hit a dinger and drove in four against Houston this series. Shane Victorino is batting .357 (15-42) over his last 10 starts. Stephen Drew is batting .353 (12-34) over his last ten, and he collected three walks last night.
It will be a tough test for Cosart tonight, I'm certain he is ready for the task.