Eric Karros: Houston pitchers are great at making hitters uncomfortable

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Eric Karros and Frank Thomas join Kevin Burkhardt to discuss whether the Astros' rotation will go down as one of the best of all time.

- So historically, I mean, are we talking about one of the all time great staffs here, do you think?

- Well, I think you're talking about-- it's a nice start, right. And you know, Frank and I, we were discussing this earlier. It's-- they're uncomfortable. That's what they are.

As a hitter-- look, and it's way too early to say they're an all time great staff. And you want to compare them to maybe some of those staffs of the Braves in the mid '90s.

But the difference is, when you're looking at this Houston staff, especially is a right handed hitter, you know, you're trying to find out like, where am I going to get my hits? What game am I going to be able to, you know, do OK? There's nothing comfortable there.

I mean, the most comfortable at bat for one of those right handed pitchers is probably against McCullers, and that's a nasty curveball and a 93, 94 mile an hour fastball. Like, there's nothing fun about playing those guys at all.

- It's amazing, Frank. I mean, I'm just thinking about yesterday when Verlander seemed a little off, and his ERA, went to 1.08. And then Morton was, you know-- he still has other weapons. He allowed a ground ball get through.

- He's a little off, but he's 7 and 0 right now.

- Yeah.

- But the bottom line, like he said, this is an uncomfortable staff to face. These guys are power pitchers. They strike you out.

It's not like they give you a comfortable 0 for 3. I mean, you're up there fighting for your life on every pitch with these guys, because that's how vicious their repertoire pitches are. So I can see a lot of guys in a weekend, oh, we got Verlander, Cole, and Morton. Oh, my hamstring's a little sore.

- But your hamstring hasn't been sore for four or five days. You can't go like, I just got one-- I mean--

- That hamstring's a little sore [INAUDIBLE]

HOST: The whole series.

- That's rough.

- Well, it's like, you know, when you go back to that Atlanta staff-- and now that's a Hall of Fame staff, right-- you've got Smoltz, and Maddux and Glavine. But with Glavine and with Maddux, I mean, they're not intimidating, right. They're going to get you out, but you didn't feel like, oh man. And Smoltz was going to throw, you know, fastballs and sliders away every single time.

So it wasn't anything where you just went-- you may not have had success, but it wasn't, oh man, I just don't know what I'm going to do up here. I'm going to be battling. I got to be loose on my feet. These guys, the Verlander and the Cole and Morton--

HOST: Comfortable 0 for 3.

- Well, not these guys.

- Not these guys, the Atlanta guys.

- Those other guys, you're just like, golly.

HOST: They're trying to make contact here.

- Well, you can't-- and it's like Frank said. You know, you may go with like, ah, my hamstring's a little sore. I was, you know, whatever. But you're going to have to do that for four days, right.

That's just not happening. Just go take your lumps.

- And then you're facing Dallas Keuchel on the fifth day.

- Right, like, then you're facing Cy Young Award winner on the fifth day. Like, ah, man.

- Just to put it in perspective right now-- and we showed you the ERA. So they've got the best ERA. They've got the best strikeout rate, and they also have the top three ground ball producers as starters in the league.

That's pretty good. That's what the Astros are doing right now. Historic stuff with their starting rotation.