JV's start vs. Twins could be coldest of career

Astros ace able to adjust to low temperatures after time with Tigers

April 8th, 2018

HOUSTON -- The unseasonably cooler temperatures that enveloped Minute Maid Park on Saturday and Sunday won't even come close to what the Astros will experience this week in Minneapolis. The Astros are scheduled to open a three-game series at frigid Target Field on Monday.

The Twins' game against the Mariners on Sunday was postponed because of inclement weather. Forecasts call for a high temperature of 37 degrees at first pitch Monday, then falling into the lower 30s. It will warm up slowly for Tuesday and Wednesday, but it certainly won't be warm.

"It's supposed to be rather cold and miserable," Astros manager AJ Hinch said.

The coldest game in Astros history was at Wrigley Field on April 20, 1993 (26 degrees), followed by April 21, 1993 at Wrigley (36 degrees), April 5, 2016 at Yankee Stadium (36 degrees) and April 9, 2007 at Wrigley (39 degrees).

, who starts Monday, pitched the first 10 years of his career in the American League Central, so he's no stranger to cold temperatures in April. Monday is lining up to be the coldest game he's had to pitch in his career.

"Throwing strikes is difficult, especially quality strikes," Verlander said. "You just have to remind yourself it's worse for the hitter. It always [stinks], but it's hard to feel the ball. It's like a cue ball. You just deal with it."

One thing Verlander hopes won't be an issue is the time between half-innings to throw warm-up pitches. Since 2016, during locally televised games, the time between half-innings has been limited to 2 minutes, 5 seconds.

"I think there needs to be a little bit of court awareness by everybody in the field," Verlander said. "I know we're under strict obligation to get them started by 2:05 or whatever it is, but I'm going to take as much time as I need. … I'm usually somebody that gets loose pretty quick, so that's kind of on my side."