MLB Game Preview - Houston at St. Louis
Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:15 PM EDT

ATL
4
PHI
9
F
TB
10
TOR
9
F
ARI
1
MIA
5
F
PIT
7
NYM
8
F
COL
2
CIN
3
F
LAD
4
WAS
11
F
CHC
11
MIL
4
F
MIN
11
CHW
1
F
HOU
6
STL
2
F
CLE
6
KC
9
F
TEX
5
OAK
6
F
BAL
4
LAA
5
F
SF
7
SD
6
F
DET
2
SEA
3
F(10)
NYY
9
BOS
6
F
Astros' bullpen seeks help in series finale at Cards
Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:47 AM

As the trade deadline approaches, and the Houston Astros continue to consider adding another starting pitcher to their top-heavy rotation, injury issues within their bullpen could make pursuing a reliever a viable endeavor.

With right-handed reliever Josh James already on the 10-day injured list with shoulder soreness, the Astros appear set to avoid using right-hander Ryan Pressly in Sunday's series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals. Pressly continues to deal with a bothersome right knee that has been problematic since he was struck by a batted ball on July 18 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Pressly was given five days off before his subsequent appearance, and in the series opener Friday, he allowed three runs without recording an out in a 5-3 loss. It was the fifth blown save and second loss for Pressly, who was named to his first All-Star team this season after going 2-1 with a 1.36 ERA and 47 strikeouts over 39 2/3 innings in the first half.

"Everybody's got to work through something," Pressly said. "I'm in the training room getting treatment, and I've got all the faith in the training staff to get me right, so we're just taking it day by day.

"If it affected me or didn't affect me, it's my job to get my body ready to compete. Simple fact is I didn't go out there and do my job."

Left-hander Wade Miley (8-4, 3.18 ERA) will start the rubber match for the Astros on Sunday. He is 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA over his last six starts, allowing opposing hitters a paltry .159/.236/.295 slash line during that stretch.

He carried a shutout into the ninth inning of his last start before being saddled with a pair of runs in his ninth no-decision Tuesday against Oakland. Miley, who logged a season-high eight innings in that outing, is 2-3 with a 4.41 ERA in six career starts against the Cardinals and 13-9 with a 5.51 ERA in 35 career interleague starts.

Right-hander Dakota Hudson (10-4, 3.61 ERA) will start for the Cardinals in the series finale. He has won his last four starts pitching to a 4.43 ERA, and eight of nine decisions overall, with St. Louis winning 11 of his 13 starts and Hudson producing a 3.13 ERA over that span.

Hudson is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in four career appearances (two starts) against the American League. Sunday will mark his first career appearance against Houston, which is 7-8 against the National League in 2019.

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt was non-committal when asked if he was considering a change in his starting rotation following the pitching performances of right-handers Daniel Ponce de Leon and Michael Wacha on Saturday, with Ponce de Leon recording just seven outs while surrendering five runs on the 8-2 loss.

With four walks on his ledger against the Astros, Ponce de Leon has issued 18 walks over 30 2/3 innings in seven starts this season.

Wacha, meanwhile, made his fifth relief appearance and allowed just one run on six hits with five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. He has produced a 5.05 ERA over 14 starts this season. Of significance was Wacha completing his stint without issuing a free pass, a sharp contrast to the issues Ponce de Leon has struggled with during his time in the rotation.

"Wach was fabulous," Shildt said. "Good tempo, good plane, good life to his ball, good changeup, cutter looked like it was working. Obviously kept us in the game and did his part for sure. Saved the bullpen."

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

Team Standings GB W-L Aw/Hm Stk L10
Houston            
St. Louis            

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Wade Miley - HOU
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. St. Louis
Dakota Hudson - STL
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Houston

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report