Here Come the Astros

By Michael Hllywa

Who are we playing?

The last time the Angels went up against the Houston Astros, they came into the series scuffling. They went to Houston to start a road trip with a record of 11-20. The skedaddled out of Houston with a 12-22 record. All of this was part of a free-fall that would see the Angels plummet to a season worst (so far) 12 games under .500. Three weeks later, the Astros are coming back to Anaheim, and since that series in the beginning of May the Angels have gone 13-7 and have won 10 of their last 12, bringing their record on the season to 25-29. It is safe to say that this is the not the same Angels team that was in Houston.

The Matchups

Tommy Hanson makes his return from the restricted list in Game One of this four game set. He’ll be lining up opposite Dallas Keuchel. Dallas will be trying to thwart the ginger powers the Hanson possesses, but I feel his attempts will be futile.

Jerome Williams gets the ball in Game Two against the Astros Ace Bud Norris. Williams, at home, sports a 2-1 record with a nifty 2.63 ERA. Conversely, Norris has been downright bad away from Minute Maid Park with a 1-3 record and 7.71 ERA.

The Astros?

Game Three pits Mr. 100% Handsome, C.J. Wilson, against Jordan Lyles. C.J. will be trying to shake off what was a disastrous start against the Dodgers in which he let a 6-1 lead slip through his shampoo/conditioner soaked fingers.

The series finale will be a “Last Man Standing” cage match between Joe Blanton and Erik Bedard. Hopefully, this is Blanton’s last start before he gets jettisoned to the bullpen for the remainder of his contract. Bedard, on the other hand, is simply happy to be playing based ball.

Numbers to Keep in Mind

54 – That’s how many games have been played so far in 2013.

108 – That’s how many games remain in 2013. Say it with me now, “This team has plenty of time.”

.310/.401/.562 – That would be Albert Pujols‘ career slash line against the Houston Astros. They were probably very happy to see him leave the NL Central last year. And he was probably very happy to see them join the AL West this year.


The Angels have been playing steady, fantastic baseball. It also helps that they are in the middle of the “sweetheart” portion of their schedule. Of course, when this stretch of games against sub-.500 teams started, I’m sure those other teams were saying the same thing about the Halos. It is conceivable that after this series the Angels will be at the .500 mark on the season for the first time since the second game of the season. Which needs to happen because, I’m pretty sure that the amount of Mylanta, Tums and bleach that I ingested earlier in the season, is well above the amount suggested by the FDA. First game is tonight at 7:05 PM PST. Let’s do this.