HOUSTON, TX - Former Houston Astros pitcher Brandon Backe will be the guest on Astroline this Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. CT at Pluckers Wing Bar for the 12th installment of the offseason radio program. Astros radio color commentator Steve Sparks will serve as the host. Sparks and fellow radio broadcaster Robert Ford alternate hosting duties for Astroline.
Wednesday's Astroline, which is presented by Karbach Brewing Co., will air on KTRH 740 AM and will stream online at Astros.com/Astroline. With the exception of this week, all shows are scheduled to broadcast on KBME SportsTalk 790, but are subject to change due to scheduling conflicts. Astroline broadcasts live, weekly from 7-8 p.m. CT during the offseason. For the third consecutive season, Astroline airs from Pluckers Wing Bar, which is located at 1400 Shepherd Dr., Houston, Texas, 77007.
Starting next Friday, March 4, Astroline will return to the ESPN Club at Disney's BoardWalk for the final four broadcasts from Florida during Spring Training. Astroline runs through March (five remaining segments). On-site locations for Astroline are open to the public with no admission charge.
Fans can submit questions to the show via Twitter using the hashtag #Astroline, before and during the show. As always, fans will also have the option to call the show with questions at 713-212-5874.
Backe spent parts of six seasons of his eight-year Major League career with the Houston Astros (2004-09) and went 30-28 in 79 starts with the Astros. The Galveston native found a lot of his success at Minute Maid Park, going 19-10 with a 4.43 ERA (113ER/229.1IP) in 51 games (35 starts). His .655 winning percentage at Minute Maid Park ranks sixth-highest all time (min. 25 decisions), trailing only Roger Clemens, Roy Oswalt, Collin McHugh, Dallas Keuchel and Wade Miller. The right-hander owned a 2.95 ERA (12ER/36.2IP) in seven postseason games, and is best known for his starts in Game 5 of the 2004 NLCS and Game 4 of the 2005 World Series when he threw 8.0 and 7.0 shutout innings, respectively. In Game 4 of the '05 World Series, Backe fanned five consecutive White Sox hitters between the 4th and 5th innings, falling one strikeout shy of the Fall Classic record.
Sparks enters his fourth season as the Astros radio color commentator after being named to the post on Feb. 13, 2013. Prior to joining the Astros radio broadcast team, Sparks served as a pre- and postgame analyst for Astros television games over several seasons following a 17-year playing career. A knuckleballer in his playing days, Sparks pitched in the Major Leagues in parts of nine seasons (1995-2004) for the Brewers, Angels, Tigers, A's and Diamondbacks. His best season came in 2001 for Detroit when he went 14-9 with a 3.65 ERA and a Major League-best eight complete games while tallying 232.0 innings pitched.
*Media Note- Media wishing to interview Brandon Backe must do so immediately before or after the show.
Astroline preliminary schedule (subject to change).
Day Date Station
Wed. Feb. 24 KTRH
Fri. Mar. 4 KBME
Tue. Mar. 8 KBME
Tue. Mar. 15 KBME
Mon. Mar. 21 KBME