August 13 – 15, 2012; vs. Astros – Series Preview
If you are a fan of well-played baseball you might want to avoid turning on the Cubs the next three days as they welcome to lowly Astros to town. The two teams are a combined 65 games under .500, the Astros being 40 under and the Cubs being 25 under. If you are interested in watching a race for who gets the number one pick in next years draft then this one is for you. The Cubs bats have gone silent, they were already pretty quiet to begin with by they are in full on mute mode right now. They were shut out on Sunday by the Reds, it was their 11th time being shut out this season. It was also the Cubs 11th loss in their last 12 games, and I would venture to say that this stretch of baseball is even worse than the 12 game losing streak earlier in the season. The Astros might be exactly what the Cubs need to get back on track, although they are coming off a series win over the Brewers. The good news is that the Cubs pitching staff won’t have to worry about Carlos Lee this time around as the Astros are much like the Cubs, full of guys trying to make a name for themselves heading into next year.
August 13, 2012 – August 15, 2012: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
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Here are the pitching matchups for the three game series.
Monday August 13, 2012
Houston: Armando Galarraga (0-2, 4.70 ERA)
Cubs: Jeff Samardzija (7-10, 4.21ERA)
No one has really heard much from Armando Galarraga since his perfect game that wasn’t while he was with the Tigers. That’s because he has been living in the minor leagues since then aside from a handful of starts with the D-Backs last year. He is now getting a shot to see what he can do at the major league level with the Astros. Galarraga has some experience against the Cubs, making three career starts going 2-1 with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.050 WHIP. Jeff Samardzija is coming off a stellar seven inning start against the Padres and has seen a lot of the Astros, out of the bullpen. He has only made one career start against the Astros, it came this year as Shark allowed two runs over six innings in a loss in Houston in May.
Tuesday August 14, 2012
Houston: Lucas Harrell (9-8, 3.97 ERA)
Cubs: Chris Volstad (0-8, 6.94 ERA)
One of the very few bright spots for the Astros this year has been the performance of Lucas Harrell. Harrell is above .500 this year, that is saying something considering the team his pitches for is 40 games under. Harrell has very limited experience against the Cubs in his career, he only has two appearances out of the pen and has not given up a run. Chris Volstad is coming off his best performance of the year, unfortunately it did not result in a win as Volstad is still searching for one of those, has been since July of last year. In his career, Volstad has been decent against the Astros, he has a 3-0 record with a 4.40 ERA in five career starts. He will win this game.
Wednesday August 15, 2012
Houston: Bud Norris (5-9, 4.93 ERA)
Cubs: Justin Germano (1-2, 4.26 ERA)
For as surprising as Harrell has been, Bud Norris has been equally as disappointing this season. His ERA is hovering around five and he is four games under .500, however Norris has been much better as of late. He has also been outstanding against the Cubs in his career. Norris has had seven career appearances against the Cubs (6 starts), and is 3-3 with a 2.52 ERA. Justin Germano came back to Earth in his last start and the last team he probably wants to see is the Astros. In two career starts Germano is 0-2 with a 12.54 ERA, that’s really all that has to be said about that.
Season Series: Series tied 3-3
Prediction: Cubs win series, 2-1
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!