Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros preview
After a winning month (15-10, .600) in July, the Chicago Cubs (45-70) have gone downhill since then and lost 12 of their 15 games in August. Taking the rubber game this afternoon against the Houston Astros (39-79) will snap the Cubs’ losing streak of four series. Their last series win came on July 27-29 taking two games out of three against the St. Louis Cardinals at home.
Last night, the Cubs could not solve the Astros starter Lucas Harrell who gave up only one run and scattered six hits over eight innings. The Cubs’ only run was scored by Starlin Castro on Darwin Barney’s ground ball. In total, they were struck out eight times and walked three times.
The pitching did not help Chicago to win neither. Chris Volstad only lasted five innings handing four runs to the visitors. Lendy Castillo was responsible for five runs (three earned) in his first relieve appearance after being activated from the disabled list last Saturday. Volstad, Castillo, and Michael Bowden all surrendered home runs to Brett Wallace, Fernando Martinez, and Steve Moore respectively.
Justin Germano (1-2, 3.28), starting for the Cubs today, will look for his second win in 2012 this afternoon. His only and last win this year was dated July 30.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in the month of August; he lost his last start against the Cincinnati Reds allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Having made two starts facing the Astros in his career, he lost both tossing 9 1/3 innings in total and recorded a high ERA of 12.54.
His counterpart will be Bud Norris. Today is the righty’s third outing against the home team this season; he is 1-1 with an ERA of 2.77 in the first two games. On June 29, the Cubs cashed in four runs against him in six innings and beat the Astros 4-0.
Patrick Au Yeung