The Detroit Tigers fell to the Houston Astros 8-1 on Monday in the first game of a three-game series in Detroit.
The Astros certainly proved why they are one of the best power hitting teams in the major leagues Monday night launching four deep balls into the Comerica Park stands. For Tuesday night’s second game of the series, recently called up starter Ryan Carpenter takes the mound for the Detroit Tigers and will face another tough test in Houston after a lackluster first start of 2019.
Carpenter made his first start of the season for Detroit last Thursday against the Angels and it was far from an ideal debut. The lefty lasted only five innings and surrendered six runs on eight hits including the solo HR that became Albert Pujols’ 2,000th RBI.
Having to go up against the Astros after a rough first start presents the potential for a second rocky start in a row for Carpenter. Against Los Angeles, Carpenter gave up two home runs, which could present an issue when facing an Astros squad that currently has the second-most homers as a team in the major leagues.
Being a left-hander doesn’t give Carpenter much of an advantage either against Houston. The Astros tend to have a lineup dominated by right-handed hitters and as a team, they have hit .287 against left-handed pitching this year along with a .892 OPS.
Generally, it is a major key for a pitcher to get ahead in the count, but that may not be the case for Carpenter. Last time out against the Angels, opponents hit .500 when Carpenter was actually ahead in the count as opposed to just .286 when the count favored the hitter.
The Astros boast one of the deepest and hardest hitting lineups in the MLB, so patience might be the key for Carpenter if he wants to rebound from his lackluster season debut. Try to be less aggressive when ahead in the count and maybe even try and test Houston’s resistance to chasing pitches out of the zone.
The Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros are two teams with completely different trajectories this season. Detroit is trying to keep things afloat in the midst of a rebuild while Houston is in the hunt for a second World Series title in three years. Carpenter may not be off to the best start his 2019 season, but Wednesday night serves as an opportunity to see how the new pitcher can fare against one of the MLB’s elite clubs.
First pitch between the Tigers and Astros is set for 7:10 pm Wednesday night from Comerica Park in Detroit.