[Updated 10:40 by ruz]: Whoooooooo!!!!!!!
Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview
||13-5, 3.58, 117 K, 64 BB, 173.1 IP
|10-11, 4.45, 146 K, 67 BB, 174 IP
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.