OAKLAND, Calif. -- Houston Astros right-hander Collin McHugh said he doesnt spend much time thinking about his pitching history, but maybe he should make an exception going into his start against the Oakland As on Wednesday afternoon.McHugh is 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA in eight career starts against Oakland. Then there is his history of September success. McHugh is 10-0 with a 3.08 ERA in his past 12 September starts since 2014 as an Astro. This season, he is 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA in September.McHugh (11-10, 4.66 ERA) is 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts against the As this year, beating them in his most recent meeting on Aug. 30 in Houston. He threw six shutout innings with five strikeouts and one walk in six innings during a 3-1 victory.I cant think too far back, McHugh said Tuesday. I know I faced them a few weeks back, three or four starts ago, threw the ball pretty well against them. But its a good lineup. Any lineup you face in the major leagues is a major league lineup.Even at this point in the season, even with the guys that theyre bringing up, whether youre in contention or not, every guy here is a major-leaguer, and any teams capable of beating any team on any given day. Thats the beauty of baseball.The Astros won the first two games in the series and will go for the sweep Wednesday. After beating the As 2-1 in 10 innings on Tuesday night, Houston moved to within two games of the Baltimore Orioles for the American Leagues second wild-card spot.McHugh, who has a four-game winning streak, is coming off of one of his best starts of the season. He held the Seattle Mariners scoreless on two hits over seven innings Friday in a 6-0 victory. He struck out six and walked two.I felt good, McHugh said. Command-wise, I probably felt as sharp as Ive felt all season the last month or so.As rookie right-hander Daniel Mengden (2-7, 5.68 ERA) will make his 13th start of the season and is coming off arguably his best outing of the year. He blanked the Kansas City Royals on a season-low three hits over seven innings Thursday in a 14-5 victory. Mengden struck out six and didnt walk a batter for the first time this season. Before that start, he had allowed two or more runs every outing.Thats been one of my biggest flaws since Ive been up here, the amount of walks Ive had, Mengden said. If you look at my stats in the minor leagues, my walks have been good compared to strikeouts. When I got up here, I think thats where I got into most of my trouble.Free passes are the worst. Theyll kill you as a pitcher. Im just trying to throw strikes. Getting ahead is the biggest thing.As manager Bob Melvin said Mengden attacked hitters at Kansas City.It was just pounding the strike zone, Melvin said. I think hed been getting behind in counts, maybe picking a little too much at the corners as opposed to throwing the ball over the plate and getting ahead. And he did that really effectively, so hopefully the confidence goes into his next start because I think he understands when he throws the ball over the plate, hes got a good chance to get hitters out and stay in the game a little bit longer.For a while there, he was getting behind and throwing a lot of pitches. They were making him work pretty hard and he was coming out of games early, (but) I think he got past that in his last outing. Jake Smolinski Jersey . LOUIS -- Alexander Steen scored a power-play goal with 59. Tony Phillips Jersey . Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille scored 20 seconds apart a few minutes after Stamkos was taken off the ice on a stretcher with a broken right leg, and the Bruins beat the Lightning 3-0 on Monday afternoon. http://www.athleticsrookiestore.com/Athletics-Sean-Manaea-Kids-Jersey/ . That left plenty of energy for pitching books and swatting away free agency questions. Anthony had 24 points and nine rebounds, and the Knicks avenged an embarrassing home loss with a rout of their own, beating the Boston Celtics 114-88 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory. Marcus Semien Jersey . The giant slalom world champion slipped during her first run in the morning, landing on her back and then twisting forward before getting her leg caught in the protective material on the side of the slope. Santiago Casilla Jersey . In what the team had called a retirement, Ryan said Thursday that he is resigning as chief executive of the Rangers in a move effective at the end of this month. CHASKA, Minn. -- At first, I was going to write a column proposing 10 questions entering this weeks Ryder Cup.Then I thought about maybe turning it into 10 predictions instead.Like a golf fan with dual citizenship, I didnt know which way to lean.So I opted for both. Here are 10 questions AND predictions going into this weeks matches.1. Question: Lets start with an easy one: Who are the most important players for each team? Theres a reason why the U.S. team has adopted the slogan 12 Strong and not 1 Stronger than the Other 11. Everybodys points count the same this week. That said, there are a few guys who could spark some momentum a little bit more than their fellow teammates.Prediction: Hes no longer the best player on the U.S. team, and he might not play more than three matches, but if Phil Mickelson gets it going, his counterparts will feed off that. For the Europeans, its all about Rory McIlroy. Hes their compass; as Rory goes, so goes the team. Unless he completely stinks up the joint, expect five matches this week.2. Question: Related follow-up -- Who will be the best players for each team? Maybe these first two questions are the same thing, maybe there are some nuanced differences between them. Its my column; Ill opt for the latter.Prediction: Lets not overthink this on the U.S. side. Dustin Johnson has been the worlds best player this year and he was 3-0-0 the last time this event was held stateside. Easy call. And Id love to go contrarian for the Europeans, but McIlroy is fresh off a win, hes happy and -- uh-oh -- happy learned how to putt.3. Question: Which relative unknown will emerge as a breakout American star this week? Oh, I love the idea of breaking up the U.S. and Europe into two separate questions, so we could stretch this thing out to a total of 10. Thats some crafty column configuring right there.Prediction: There really arent any unknowns on the U.S. team. The two rookies -- Brooks Koepka and Ryan Moore -- have each played high-level golf on the PGA Tour for a while. That said, keep an eye on Moore, the last man in. Nothing tends to rattle him and hes been playing great golf lately.4. Question: Same question, for the Europeans. At least there are some options here. Darren Clarkes side comes in with six rookies, although thats never been the right term for them. Even though hes never played in a Ryder Cup before, its difficult to call Masters champion Danny Willett a rookie. These guys have all played big-event golf before, obviously.Prediction: Thomas Pieters seems like Nicolas Colsaerts 2.0 -- an improved version of the Belgian Bomber who posted nine birdies on Friday afternoon four years ago before running out of gas on the weekend. Expect him to win a few matches this week, possibly paired with a calming veteran influence. Honorable mention: Rafa Cabrera Bello.5. Question: Wait a minute -- why doesnt this thing start on Thursday instead of making us wait until Friday? Ive never understood this. As much as the Ryder Cup is about competition and country, its also all about the Benjamins. Starting on Thursday, even with just one session, would mean an extra day of television revenue, not to mention an extra day of stoking fan interest levels. As is, Thursday at the Ryder Cup is one of the most brutal days in golf. Lets get this thing moving already.Prediction: Itll happen. Someday.6. Question: Will the captains really make a difference this week? And if so, whos better? Ive finally seen the light. I used to compare Ryder Cup captains to first-base coaches: Basically, pat guys on the butt, point em in the right direction and hope you win. I changed my mind when Paul Azingerr imparted strategic maneuvers to win in 2008, and my opinion was only reinforced two years ago, when Paul McGinley came prepared for every potential scenario.dddddddddddd.Prediction: Much like the matches themselves, captains often seem even until they start playing, then some weaknesses emerge. Davis Love III and Darren Clarke appear equally up to the task, though if you want to give a slight advantage, it might go to Love for having the experience from four years ago.7. Question: OK then, smart guy. Will the vice captains really make a difference? Just because I need to hit my word count in this piece, here are all the vice captains for each side: Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Tom Lehman and, yes, Bubba Watson for the U.S.; Padraig Harrington, Ian Poulter, Thomas Bjorn and Paul Lawrie for Europe.Prediction: Actually? Yeah, they will make a difference. Thats because each of these captains is using his assistants much like the president leans on his cabinet. Neither Love nor Clarke is ruling with an iron fist this week. In some ways, the American vice captains might even wield greater power, as Love seems inclined to listen to their decisions -- especially those of Tiger.8. Question: Which pre-tournament controversy will most affect the competition? Mickelson dredged up old memories by criticizing 2004 captain Hal Sutton for pairing him with Woods; he later apologized. Pete Willett, brother of Danny, wrote a column calling American fans a baying mob of imbeciles among other things; Danny later apologized on his behalf.Prediction: This is the kind of stuff that makes headlines when theres so much lead time before the event and no golf being played. Neither controversy should have much of an effect on the outcome, though dont be surprised if Willett -- apology or not -- hears more than his share of jeers from the home crowd, especially during afternoon matches when the gallery has, uh, partaken in the refreshments.9. Question: What will be the key stat this week? Conventional wisdom says putting wins these things. Conventional wisdom is also the kind of thing which we took for granted before analytics showed us what really mattered. Love and his vice captains have taken a deep dive into the numbers of the last few Ryder Cups and have spent the last few months crunching the numbers.Prediction: Sure, putting matters. Putting always matters. But keep a close eye on this one: Four years ago, the U.S. played the par-5 holes in a collective 52-28-94 and nearly -- maybe shouldve -- won. Two years ago, the team played these holes in 27-51-58 and got clobbered. On a long golf course (7,628 yards) with the traditional four par-5 layout, expect performance on these holes to be a great determining factor in the overall result.10. Question: Forget all that other stuff. Whos gonna win this thing? Youre excused if you skipped everything above and scrolled straight to here. This is what you want to know; this is what everyone wants to know. Can the U.S. team, after losing the past three Ryder Cups and six of the past seven, finally win again?Prediction: Playing on home soil, with a team ranked higher collectively and -- most importantly -- inspired by the spirit of Arnold Palmer, it feels like everything is set up for a U.S. victory. Ill put it this way: If they dont win this week, with all of those factors at play, it could be a long time before they do. But itll happen. After years of in-fighting, blame-deflecting and task-forcing, the U.S. will win this week ... finally. 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