Angels' Harvey, Astros' Verlander clash in Mexico
According to STATSAccording to STATS
Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/4/2019 thru 5/5/2019
(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Matt Harvey will start on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday against the Houston Astros in Monterrey, Mexico, having appeared to turn around his season after a slow start.
Harvey, who signed a one-year, $11 million contract with the Angels in the offseason, finally earned his first victory with his new club in his last start last Sunday in Kansas City, when he held the Royals to one run and two hits in a season-best seven innings.
Overall, Harvey is 1-2 with a 6.54 ERA in six starts, but his last two have been good. Against the Yankees on April 22, Harvey gave up two runs and three hits in six innings, but got a no-decision.
"I think the big thing was putting together a decent start the last outing, and you try to go out and keep that going," Harvey said.
He will have his work cut out for him on Sunday, considering the only other time he's faced the Astros, he was knocked out quickly. While pitching for the Mets, Harvey gave up seven runs and eight hits in just two innings on Sept. 2, 2017.
In that game, Jose Altuve went 2-for-2 against Harvey and George Springer hit a home run.
Making it even more challenging for Harvey is that he'll oppose Astros starter Justin Verlander, who is off to a fantastic start to the season. Verlander was the losing pitcher on Monday, but he allowed just one run and two hits in six innings of a 1-0 defeat to Minnesota.
Overall, Verlander is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in seven starts this season. Against the Angels, he is 12-9 with a 3.01 ERA and two shutouts in 25 career starts.
He has been especially good against Mike Trout, holding the Angels center fielder to a .139 average (5-for-36) in 44 plate appearances against him. Trout does have two home runs off Verlander, but he has also struck out 10 times.
Albert Pujols has had some success against Verlander, hitting .300 (12-for-40) with three home runs and three doubles.
A 15th-year veteran, Verlander has pitched in 30 major league ballparks and 25 postseason games, including the World Series with Detroit in 2012 and Houston in 2017. So getting the opportunity to do something different -- like pitch in Mexico -- isn't lost on him.
"This is a new experience for me," he said."There aren't a lot of new experiences in this game, like completely new, for me after 14 years, so this is fun.
"It's exciting. I think the atmosphere is going to be great. I think we have a bunch of Houston Astros fans here in Monterrey, and the ballpark is nice, the facilities are great and everyone has been taking great care of us."
Saturday's game between the Astros and Angels was their first meeting of the season. With their 14-2 victory, the Astros have now beaten the Angels in six consecutive games, including their final five last season. Overall in 2018, Houston won 13 of 19.
Trout failed to reach base safely on Saturday for the first time all season, ending a club-record 29-game streak to start the season.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 5, 2019