Cubs acting like Cubs
Scrapping and clawing their way through 9 solid innings on the back of Maddux, the Cubs squeezed a win from the tightly-gripped talons of Andy Pettitte and the Astros in a 4-1 game.
Houston wasted no time in getting started - a lead-off triple from Willy Taveras and a ground-out RBI for Craig Biggio in the 1st - but the Cubs weren't about to let fielder's choices dictate this game. Maddux hit a bases-loaded, 2-out RBI single in the 2nd, A-Ram doubled to score MVLee after his single/steal in the 3rd, Rammy blasted a solo jack over the short left field porch in the 6th, and Korey rounded out the scoring with an RBI single in the 8th.
Greg pitched a superb game - 7 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K - and Kerry pitched a solid 8th (H, 2 K) before Dempster notched his 17th save of the year.
A less generic post to follow today on the Wild Card situation as I see it.
Starting Pitchers for Tonight
HOU: RHP Roy Oswalt • 14-9, 2.57 ERA in 2005 • 1-0, 3.60 ERA vs. CHC in 2005
CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano • 9-5, 3.17 ERA in 2005 • 0-2, 4.86 ERA vs. HOU in 2004
Corey is 12-39 lifetime against Royo with 2 home runs, and Carlos is feeling fiery of late, so look for a pitcher's duel. Or look for a high-scoring game where both starters are chased after 3 innings. Or, look for a blowout win for one side or the other. I predict the 1st option, and maybe the rough Astros run support for Oswalt will continue - how a guy can have 9 losses with an ERA around 2.50 is just mind-blowing.