Game Preview: Houston Astros (9-14) at Atlanta Braves (11-11)



Houston Astros (9-14) at Atlanta Braves (11-11)

Pitching matchup: Roy Oswalt (0-2, 3.94 ERA) vs. Jair Jurrjens (2-2, 1.72 ERA)

Time: 3:35 p.m. EDT

Location: Turner Field, Atlanta

TV: Fox (National GOTW) Radio: 640 WGST

Weather: Isolated T-Storms, 78 degrees

Twitter: Tomahawk Take

The Braves (11-11) bats were out in force on Friday night which paired well with another strong performance from an Atlanta starting pitcher — both feats culminating in an Atlanta victory.

However, as opposed to last night, this afternoon’s game two matchup should be quite the pitcher’s duel.

Toeing the rubber for the Braves will be Jair Jurrjens (2-2, 1.72 ERA), who, despite going 0-2 in his last three starts, has posted a minuscule 1.32 ERA.The biggest problem for Jurrjens, isn’t exactly his problem.

Atlanta’s offense has scored just three runs for him collectively in his last three outings. In his last start this past Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals, Jurrjens, who was recently named Tomahawk Take’s Brave of the Month for April, surrendered two runs — both coming in the second inning on a Rick Ankiel RBI single.

The 23-year old is 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA this season at Turner Field and will be facing Houston for the first time in his young career.

On the mound for the Astros will be Roy Oswalt (0-2, 3.94 ERA). The flame-throwing right-hander has recently come into a groove after a slow start to the 2009 season.  In his last start on April 27 against the Cincinnati Reds, Oswalt threw a season-high of seven innings while giving up six hits and one run. Despite pitching so well, he was pinned with the no-decision. In his last three starts (19 innings) he has allowed just five runs while striking out 12.

It’s hard to believe, but Oswalt hasn’t faced Atlanta in the regular season since 2005, where the Braves lit him up for seven runs on nine hits in five innings.

As mentioned, Oswalt’s fastball reaches the high 90s which meshes well with his pinpoint  control.

The Astros are just 3-11 at Turner Field in their last 14 games.