Game 147 Thread / Cubs @ Astros (kinda), (1 of 2)
[Updated 10:40 by ruz]: Whoooooooo!!!!!!!
|SP||Carlos Zambrano||SP||*Randy Wolf|
|13-5, 3.58, 117 K, 64 BB, 173.1 IP||10-11, 4.45, 146 K, 67 BB, 174 IP|
|LF||Alfonso Soriano||LF||*Darin Erstad|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||CF||*Michael Bourn|
|1B||Derrek Lee||SS||Miguel Tejada|
|3B||Aramis Ramirez||1B||#Lance Berkman|
|C||Geovany Soto||3B||#Geoff Blum|
|RF||Mark DeRosa||RF||Hunter Pence|
|CF||Reed Johnson||2B||*David Newhan|
|2B||Ronny Cedeno||C||Humberto Quintero|
|P||#Carlos Zambrano||P||*Randy Wolf|
About 72 hours and one hurricane ago, the Cubs held on to beat the Cardinals, 3-2, and extend their NL Central lead over the Brewers to 5 1/2 games. As the Cubs and Astros take the field tonight at Miller Park, where they have been driven by Hurricane Ike, the Cubs' lead is 6 1/2, and the Brewers are desperately trying to hold off the Phillies and Astros for the Wild Card lead.
The Astros, who must surely have many other things on their minds right now besides baseball, have won six in a row and 14 of their last 15 to claw back into post-season contention. (They were 11 games behind the Brewers as recently as 8/27.) One of the highlights of the hot streak, and one of the lowlights of the Cubs season, was the three-game sweep the Astros pulled off at Wrigley, beginning on Labor Day. Randy Wolf, tonight's Houston starter, was the winning pitcher in the series finale, throwing a complete game shutout in one of the better efforts of his career.
Carlos Zambrano returns to action tonight, having been sent to the sidelines 12 days ago with shoulder tendinitis. Z's last start, against this same Houston club in that same nasty series at Wrigley Field, only lasted five innings before he asked to come out.
Funny pre-game note via Gordon Wittenmyer's Twitter feed:
Astros sticking it to Cubs by every means possible -- including forcing the less familiar, bigger, nicer home clubhouse on them.
Rob G. Update: Apologies for the server crash or whatever it was this afternoon...should be fixed now.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.
I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.
Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.
The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.
That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.