Jed Lowrie Trade Tree

Houston made a surprising trade last night, flipping Jed Lowrie (and Fernando Rodriguez) to Oakland for Brad Peacock, Chris Carter and Max Stassi. This continues the Astros’ trend of adding useful pieces to their rebuilding franchise.

When Houston decided to not extend the contract of aging franchise star Lance Berkman, they traded him to the Yankees for Jimmy Paredes and Mark Melancon. After a good season of relief they moved Melancon to the Red Sox for Kyle Weiland and Jed Lowrie. And now after one productive but injury filled season Lowrie is gone too. That’s a great series of deals, continually adding both big league players and minor leaguers that might add more value. (Click to embiggen)

Jed  Lowrie Astros

The trade tree for the Oakland side of this deal will have to wait a few days because it ended up containing Mark Mulder, Rich Harden, and the recent John Jaso trade among others and is a total mess can be seen right here.

Series Preview: The Cardinals

Current record: 65-53, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.0 games back

Up Next: St. Louis Cardinals, 64-54, 3rd place in NL Central, 7.0 games back

Season Series: 4-5 (1-2, 1-2, 2-1)

Notes: The Pirates’ poor play in August has allowed the Cardinals to catch up to them in the races for the division and the Wild Card. Pittsburgh is coming off of its first losing homestand (4-7) of the season. St. Louis’ only trade dealine pick up was RHP Edward Mujica for the bullpen. The Cards feature a great lineup, even with 1B Lance Berkman on the DL. Corner outfielders Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday have been their usual stellar selves while sophomore Allen Craig has been even better at 1B than Berkman.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH James McDonald (10-5, 141.0 IP, 126 K, 3.77 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
vs. RH Jake Westbrook (12-8, 146.2 IP, 92 K, 3.62 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Saturday: LH Erik Bedard (7-12, 116.1 IP, 111 K, 4.56 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
vs. RH Lance Lynn (13-5, 138.0 IP, 135 K, 3.65 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Monday: RH Jeff Karstens (4-3, 69.0 IP, 50 K, 3.91 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)
vs. RH Jaime Garcia (3-4, 66.1 IP, 51 K, 4.48 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

No lineup yet.

Tonight’s Lineup
Starling Marte LF
Travis Snider RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Garrett Jones 1B
Michael McKenry C
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Jordy Mercer 2B
James McDonald P

Series Preview: The Cardinals

Current record: 40-35, 2nd place in NL Central, 1.0 game back

Up Next: St. Louis Cardinals, 40-36, 3rd place in NL Central, 1.5 games back

Season Series: 2-4

Notes: Even with Lance Berkman on the DL, the Cardinals have plenty of big bats. Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig all sport an OPS+ of 141 or better. St. Louis’ +69 run differential is the best in the league and second best in the majors. The Bucs are ninth at -6. Lance Lynn has been outstanding this season, but allowed 11 ER in his last two starts.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Kevin Correia (3-6, 80.1 IP, 31 K, 4.03 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)
vs. RH Adam Wainwright (6-7, 91.2 IP, 84 K, 4.32 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)

Saturday: RH Jeff Karstens (0-2, 17.0 IP, 9 K, 6.35 ERA, 1.65 WHIP)
vs. RH Lance Lynn (10-3, 92.0 IP, 92 K, 3.23 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Sunday: LH Erik Bedard (4-8, 78.0 IP, 72 K, 4.27 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
vs. RH Jake Westbrook (6-6, 93.0 IP, 59 K, 3.77 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

No lineups yet.

Cardinals On Deck

The Pirates emerged from their nine game west coast trip with a 5-7 record; good for third place in the Central and a game better than I feared they would be after all the tough pitchers they’ve faced so far this year. This weekend, the first place (and Albert Pujols-less) Cardinals bring their 9-4 record to Pittsburgh for a three game set.

Pitching matchups:
Friday: Lance Lynn (2-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (0-0, 5.40 ERA)
Saturday: Jake Westbrook (2-0, 0.64 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Sunday: Kyle Lohse (2-0, 0.89 ERA) vs. Erik Bedard (0-3, 2.65 ERA)

Lance Berkman will miss the series with an injury and Jon Jay was recently injured as well. The real key for the Pirates will be, as always, trying to score some runs against pitchers who have been very effective this season. Hopefully a little home cooking will help.

Tonight’s lineup:
Alex Presley LF
Jose Tabata RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Rod Barajas C
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Charlie Morton P

I’d rather see Casey McGehee at 3B, but Pedro’s gotta play to get better I guess.

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