April 25, 2007

Pre-Game Notes - On Their Mound

HOUSTON ASTROS (9-10) vs. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (8-10)
APRIL 25, 2007 AT PNC PARK --- GAME #19, HOME #6
RHP MATT ALBERS (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. LHP ZACH DUKE (1-2, 9.00 ERA)


ABOUT ALBERS:

• 24-year-old right-hander is making his second start of the 2007 season
and fourth Major League start...recalled by the Astros on Monday, April
16, from Triple A Round Rock...made his first start of the season on
4/20 at MIL...limited the Brewers to two runs on six hits in 6.0 innings
in Astros 6-5 win...logged his first Major League quality start...seeking
his first Major League win tonight.

• started the season at Round Rock where he was 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA
(9ER/13IP) in three games...he struck out 12 and walked three.

• made his last start at Triple A on 4/6 at Iowa...tossed 3.0 innings and
allowed four run on five hits, including two home runs...earned the
win on 4/11 vs. Omaha, allowing one run in 7.0 innings.

• vs. PIT: making his first career appearance vs. the Pirates.
ALBERS LAST SEASON:

• named the 2006 Texas League Pitcher of the Year with Double A Corpus
Christi after leading the Texas League in wins (10) and ERA (2.17)...
ranked third in the league with 95 strikeouts until being called up to
the big leagues in 2006.

• recalled from Triple A Round Rock on 9/16/06, following the PCL
Championship Series between the Express and Sidewinders (Tucson
swept the series in three games, 3-0)...Albers started two games in
the PCL playoffs, winning Game 3 in the first round vs. Albuquerque,
giving the Express a 2-1 advantage in the series...Albers appeared in
four regular season games for the Express from 8/11-26/06 and posted
a 2-1 record with a 3.96 ERA (11ER/25IP)...he struck out 26 and walked
10.

IN THE MAJORS:

• made his Major League debut on 7/25/06 vs. the Reds...
entered in the ninth and recorded one out (FC after allowing a double
to Hatteberg)...also tossed 5.0 scoreless innings (3rd-7th) out of the
bullpen on 7/27/06 vs. CIN...he threw 64 pitches and allowed two hits
and three walks while striking out three.

MINORS:

• was 10-2 with a 2.17 ERA (28ER/116.0IP) in 19 starts for the
Hooks last season...held right-handed batters to a .191 average
(54x283) and held all hitters to a .199 (39x196) average with runners
on base while with the Hooks...Corpus Christi had a record of 14-5 in
games started by Albers.

• Albers had two five-game winning streaks while with Corpus Christi in
2006 (4/18-5/9 and 6/6-7/2)...during his last winning streak, starting on
6/6/06, he was 5-0 with a 0.88 ERA, striking out 32 in 30.2 innings.

ALBERS CAREER NOTES:

• Astros 23rd round selection of the June 2001 draft...in five minor league
seasons from 2002-06, he was 35-25 with a 3.60 ERA (219ER/547.0IP) in
101 games (98 starts)...has struck out 573 in his career vs. 239 walks.

• pitched for Sinlge A Salem in 2005, and was 8-12 with a 4.66 ERA
(77ER/148.2IP)...he led the Avalanche and ranked fourth in the Carolina
League with 146 strikeouts...finished the season 5-1 in his last seven
starts.

• named a South Atlantic League All-Star in 2004 with Lexington, posting
an 8-3 record with a 3.31 ERA (41ER/111.1IP)...led the SAL in ERA
in 2004 (3.31), and led the New York-Penn League in strikeouts in 2003
(94).

• Houston, TX native and Sugar Land, TX resident played baseball at San
Jacinto (TX) Junior College.

Player Images from Pressbox on MLB.com
Complete Game Notes can be found at Presspass on MLB.com


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