2016 Game 96: Angels at Astros

7-22-16

Los Angeles Angels (43-52, 4th AL West) at Houston Astros (51-44, 2nd AL West)

Minute Maid Park – Houston, TX

Minute Maid Park-night

Weather Forecast @ 1st Pitch: Sunny, 93F, Wind SSE 8mph

Pitching Matchup

Matt Shoemaker (5-9, 4.08 ERA)

Matt Shoemaker delivers a pitch during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on July 8, 2016 (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Matt Shoemaker delivers a pitch during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on July 8, 2016 (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

While Shoemaker got his July off to a bit of a rough start leading into the All-Star break (he gave up 8 earned runs over 9 2/3 innings in Boston & Baltimore on July 3 & 8 respectively), he came out of the break absolutely on fire his last time out. His last start was Saturday against the White Sox and in that game he threw his first career complete game shutout giving up 6 hits and striking out a career-high 13 – including the final two batters of the game – to earn a thrilling 1-0 victory that earned him AL Player of the Week honors.

~VS~

Lance McCullers (4-4, 3.61 ERA)

Lance McCullers, wearing a July 4 celebratory uniform, delivers a pitch during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on July 4, 2016 (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Lance McCullers, wearing a July 4 celebratory uniform, delivers a pitch during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on July 4, 2016 (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

After putting together a fine 8-start stretch from May 20 – July 4 that saw him post a 4-2 record and 2.98 ERA, McCullers has run into a bit of trouble with pitch efficiency over his last couple of starts. Two starts ago against Oakland he gave up just 3 runs, but threw 92 pitches to get through 4 innings and was removed for the 5th. His last time out in Seattle he ran into a similar issue where he gave up just 1 run, but was pulled after 97 pitches with 1 out in the 6th. He was ultimately charged with losses in both games as the Astros dropped the Oakland game 3-2 and the Seattle game 1-0.

Game Notes

  • The Astros have gone 18-6 at home since May 24 and have the best record in baseball overall in that span. Houston is 28-19 at home overall this year.
  • Albert Pujols, who blasted a pair of three-run homers on Tuesday to beat the Rangers, has hit 58 career homers against the Astros, including 52 in the regular season. That is his most against a team in his career.
  • Astros second baseman Jose Altuve leads the Major Leagues in batting average and hits and is riding a four-game multihit streak. He is hitting .290 at home this year, but he is batting .500 (18-for-36) against the Angels this season.

Starting Lineups

Angels

  1. 3B-Yunel Escobar – .317
  2. RF-Kole Calhoun – .284
  3. CF-Mike Trout – .320
  4. DH-Albert Pujols – .255
  5. LF-Daniel Nava – .240
  6. SS-Andrelton Simmons – .271
  7. 1B-Ji-Man Choi – .171
  8. C-Jett Bandy – .272
  9. 2B-Gregorio Petit – .281

Houston

  1. RF-George Springer – .257
  2. 1B-Marwin Gonzalez – .254
  3. 2B-Jose Altuve.357
  4. SS-Carlos Correa – .266
  5. 3B-Luis Valbuena – .257
  6. LF-Colby Rasmus – .232
  7. CF-Carlos Gomez – .208
  8. DH-Preston Tucker – .176
  9. C-Jason Castro – .219

2017 First-Year Player Draft Order

  1. Atlanta: 33-63 (.344)
  2. Minnesota: 35-60 (.368)
  3. Cincinnati: 36-59 (.379)
  4. Tampa Bay: 38-57 (.400)
  5. Arizona: 40-55 (.421)
  6. San Diego: 41-55 (.427)
  7. Milwaukee: 40-53 (.430)
  8. Oakland: 42-54 (.438)
  9. Angels: 43-52 (.453)
  10. Philadelphia: 44-53 (.454)

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