Ortiz, (3-2, 4.91)
Pettitte (2-4, 3.29)
We again welcome guest previewer, Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "I believe Jim is hoping for a game that's as quick and well-pitched (Koplove obviously excepted) as last night's, so that come 8pm, we can safely turn over and watch the season finale of Alias without concern. More cynical bloggers would use that as an excuse for a scantily-clad picture of Jennifer Garner, but of course we're above such shallow tactics here.
Otherwise, we should actually get to see almost all the game, which will be the first such occasion in almost three weeks. Expect the comments to fly, at least until the novelty wears off, Alias starts, and/or Ortiz collapses into a whimpering heap as another ball whizzes past him on the way to the fence. Sadly, I think the only hope for the game being over by 8pm is if MLB have instituted a mercy rule after our 18-3 loss in Colorado.
That may sound pessimistic - though I always say that pessimism now is the best way to avoid disappointment later on. But Ortiz is our worst starter by almost any statistical measure; ERA, WHIP, BB/9, K/9, etc. His K/BB ratio is below one: everyone else is from 2.0 (Estes), all the way up to 7.0 (Vazquez). His last three starts have lasted a total of just 14 innings, and have led to 25 hits, 12 walks and twelve earned runs. His best start was at Coors Field, f'heavens sake.
I trust you now see why this one has "road defeat" written all over it like a carelessly left-unlocked LA subway car.
He goes up against Andy "no, four T's" Pettitte, who has pitched better than his 2-4 record would indicate. Despite leaving early last time because of a sore elbow, he will likely be 3-4 by the end of tonight - providing he doesn't trip on his way to the dugout after another 1-2-3 innings. The Astros have now gone 24 innings without conceding a run, and if we play as badly as we did last night, 33 is not inconceivable.
I hope you enjoy tonight's game. I know I won't..."