Apr 7, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) bats during the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Good news! After opening the season against the Reds, Rangers and A’s—three teams that all made the playoffs last season and are off to good starts in 2013, the Angels finally get a break in the schedule as the Houston Astros roll into town for a three-game weekend set at the Big A.
The first game gets underway tonight at 7:05pm on all the usual broadcast outlets. The pitching matchup will feature Tommy Hanson for the Angels against Bud Norris—who was hilariously the Opening Day starter for the Astros. Hanson looked okay in his first start for the Halos on the weekend when he went six innings, walking none and striking out four. He gave up three runs on six hits.
Norris, meanwhile, has looked good in his first two starts, allowing only four earned runs in 11 1/3 innings while striking out nine.
For Saturday’s game, the Angels will send out Garrett Richards for his first start of the 2013 season. He’ll replace Jered Weaver for now and although his stuff plays well out of the bullpen, he’s yet to show any real consistency as a starter. Saturday will be a big test for him. He’ll go up against an Astros lineup that is striking out at an historic pace so far this year so that should help. He’ll go up against Lucas Harrell.
On Sunday, it’ll be C.J. Wilson, making his third start of the year against Mr. Perfect, Philip Humber.
The Angels infield depth will be tested in this series as both Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo will be out for at least tonight’s game with heel and calf injuries respectively. As of yet, neither has been placed on the DL and it doesn’t look they’ll need to be so the Angels might be forced into another move.
If they leave the roster as is, Andrew Romine will be starting at short and Brendan Harris at third with no one on the roster to back up anywhere on the infield. They may be able to get away with that for one game, but it’s hard to see them going longer than that with that situation.