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Can Astros Avoid Strikeout Issues Against Ubaldo Jimenez?

It's not enough that the Astros have only scored one run in their last two games. The lack of run production is just the larger point in what we see on the scoreboard, but it could go a lot deeper than that facing Ubaldo Jimenez in the first game of this weekend series against the Cleveland Indians.

Jimenez has to be looking forward to this matchup, considering he's only faced three of the current players on Houston's roster, and the Astros have managed to reach double figure strikeouts in 13 out of 18 games this month. That's at least two strikeouts more than the average strikeout rate in the National League (7.7 per nine innings).

Can the Astros avoid strikeout issues on Friday? Is hitting coach Mike Barnett worried about this?

Barnett had this to say to the Houston Chronicle:

"The strikeouts do bother me. When you're piling up 10-12 strikeouts, you're basically taking three or four innings off your chance to be productive."

"I think every club gets in funks like this at some point during the year, and the confidence gets rattled a little bit. We've got to maintain and be positive."

Ubaldo has 13 strikeouts in his last two outings, against the Pirates and Cardinals.

Read more about the Astros at The Crawfish Boxes, then head over to Baseball Nation for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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