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News » Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-04-14

Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-04-14

Houston Astros Inside Pitch 2009-04-14
Brian Moehler's hold on the No. 3 spot in the Astros rotation likely faded Monday, when he had his second consecutive poor start to begin the season.

One start after giving up seven runs over 1 2/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs, Moehler lasted only 2 1/3 innings while giving up five runs and seven hits in a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Astros claimed Moehler exited his start because of a strained right knee, but it's impossible to imagine Cecil Cooper could have afforded to stick with the veteran right-hander much longer.

Moehler was a pleasant surprise last year while working his way from a non-roster invitee who earned the long reliever's spot on opening day to an eventual starter. However, he is 0-2 with a 27.00 ERA this season.

The Astros already have plucked a pitcher out of Class AAA Round Rock, calling up Jeff Fulchino on Sunday to take the spot vacated when Doug Brocail went on the disabled list.

If Moehler's knee forces him to the DL, there aren't many quality options at Round Rock.

Jose Capellan, who lost the fifth spot in the rotation, doesn't seem like an option to come up right now because he finished camp on a bad streak and gave up five runs over five innings while losing his first start of the season for Round Rock. Felipe Paulino, one of the Astros' top pitching prospects, threw five scoreless innings in his first start at Round Rock and could be an option if he continues to show good signs.

PIRATES 7, ASTROS 0: For the second consecutive start, RHP Brian Moehler didn't give the Astros much of a chance. He gave up five runs over 2 1/3 innings, and it was essentially over from there. The Astros' cause wasn't helped by another awful day on offense, as they managed only four hits and were shut out for the second time in as many days.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 14, 2009

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