Dallas Keuchel (1-4, 5.60) started off his major league career on the right foot, but then he tripped on a rock and fell into a pit. Things were so promising: He made three starts and allowed just three earned runs, including a complete game against the Indians. Unfortunately for him, that good string didn't last--as soon as July rolled around, Keuchel blew up.
During Keuchel's first July start he allowed four earned runs in 5.2 innings to the Pirates. He was then optioned back to Triple-A before returning a couple of weeks later following the Astros' trade of J.A. Happ. His return start didn't go well as he allowed six earned runs in 3.1 innings of work against the Diamondbacks. He then gave up five more earned runs to the Pirates in six innings before allowing seven earned runs to the Brewers in four innings.
During that Brewers start he walked six batters while giving up six hits. He struck out just one batter. Overall in July, his ERA was 10.42. With an opponent OPS of 1.119. 1.119. 1.119. His latest start he allowed just three earned runs but gave up twelve hits in just six innings.
Keuchel has a 6.41 FIP thanks to a miniscule 3.20 K/9 and a 5.20 BB/9. He also has an elevated 1.60 HR/9. He also didn't show a whole lot of promise in the minors after being drafted in seventh round of the 2009 draft. Who knows, maybe he'll improve. But right now, he may be blowing his opportunity.
Keuchel throws five pitches predominately: An 88 MPH two-seamer (34%), an 88 MPH four-seamer (22%), a 76 MPH changeup (17%), a 72 MPH curveball (15%), and an 85 MPH cutter (11%). Keuchel has yet to face a Brewers hitter at least ten times.
For the Brewers, Marco Estrada (0-5, 4.13) will be taking the mound. Estrada had a nice start his last outing, going six innings and allowing seven hits. He struck out just two hitters but, more importantly for him, he did not give up any home runs. Around 2/3 of his earned runs have come via the longball this year, so an outing without one can be expected to go well. And it did as he gave up just one run.
Estrada has not yet faced an Astros hitter at least ten times.
The lineup wasn't out yet as of this writing. If you've seen it, feel free to post it in the comments.
In the bullpen:
Jim Henderson pitched one inning (18 pitches) Wednesday, and also pitched on Tuesday.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (15 pitches) Wednesday.
Kameron Loe last pitched on Sunday.
Livan Hernandez last pitched on Saturday.
Mike McClendon last pitched a week ago.
Manny Parra last pitched on July 24.