Cubs 4, Astros 3
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- Darwin Barney worked a 1st inning walk against Astros starter Henry Sosa. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single, sending Barney to 3B. Carlos Pena plated them both with a double to deep CF.
- Geo Soto gave the Cubs some breathing room with a two-run double in the 6th. He ended the night with three hits.
- James Russell put out a fire in the 6th and preserved the Cubs advantage. The rest of the bullpen followed his lead and blanked the Astros.
- Reed Johnson made a great diving catch in LF to keep a run off the board.
- Marlon Byrd walked twice in one game. The end of the world must be near!
- Denny Walling, Bill Doran, and Jose Cruz didn’t suit up for Houston. Instead, Brad Mills ran out a AAA lineup vs. Lopez and the Cubs. I know this year has been disappointing for us, but at least we’re not Astros fans. Who are these guys anyway? Is Jose Altuve even five feet tall? Will they call up Frodo Baggins next? Oh well. Maybe the Texans will be decent this year.
- Not related to tonight’s Cub game, but congrats to Jim Thome on home run number 600.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- Tyler Colvin continues to swing the bat like a drunken lumberjack. He also threw the ball away to give the Astros their first run.
- Soto brain cramped on the bases and ran into an easy out in the 5th inning.
- Starlin Castro booted another ball at SS. That’s his 20th error if you’re scoring at home. His miscue and a Lopez walk opened the door to a pair of Astros runs.
- I had to listen to another “visit with Cubs legend Steve Trout” promo. Steve Trout is a legend? Really?
MR. SMITH GOES TO CHICAGO
On August 15, 1980, the Houston Astros battled for 20 innings to knock off the San Diego Padres. Rookie RHP Dave Smith pitched the final four innings and earned the victory. Yes, that Dave Smith.
For those of you who don’t remember, the Cubs signed the Astros closer on December 17, 1990. Smith was completely awful for the Cubs in 1991, to the tune of a 6.00 ERA in 33 innings. One year later, his career was over.
Smith had a nice run in Houston, racking up 199 saves and an ERA in the mid two’s over 10 seasons. Unfortunately, the Cubs picked him up at the end of his career when the tank was empty. Sound familiar?
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Micah Downs (.299 WPA)
2nd Star – Geovany Soto (.274 WPA)
3rd Star – Kerry Wood (.176 WPA)