The Astros Are The New Pirates: Cubs vs. Astros, Friday 5/15, 1:20 CT

NOTE: This is auto-posting at 11:30 am CDT while I am busy at work. If the game has been postponed by 12:30 I will post a rainout thread at that time.

Certain people at this site who have too much time on their hands spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what might have happened if Wednesday's game had been rained out -- which it wasn't.

I'm going to save you a lot of time. Today, the weather forecast is even less promising and radars don't look good. Unlike the situation with Wednesday's game where the opponent, the Padres, wasn't scheduled to return to Wrigley in 2009 after yesterday, this is the first of three Houston visits to Chicago this season. The teams have common off days on July 30 and September 3, and a makeup game on either of those days could be done -- both are adjacent to already-scheduled Cubs-Astros series, are feasible travel-wise, and neither date would violate MLB's 20-consecutive-days rule.

Thus, I wouldn't be surprised to see an early postponement this afternoon.

So, you might be asking, why are the Astros "the new Pirates"? Last year, the Cubs played Pittsburgh 12 times by early June. By the end of this series, presuming all three are played, eight of the Cubs' first 37 games will have been against Houston, and there is another three-game series between the two teams in Houston in less than three weeks, making 11 of the first 58 against Houston. Let's hope the results are the same as the Cubs vs. Pirates in 2008 -- the Cubs won 9 of those 12, and might have won two more if not for some shoddy defense and relief pitching. So far this year, the Cubs have won four of five vs. Houston.

The Cubs' four-game winning streak has moved them from sixth to fourth in Yahoo's new power rankings.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
Cubs
vs. Brian Moehler
Brian Moehler
Astros
0-0 W-L 0-2
0.00 ERA 8.44
5 SO 12
2 BB 5
0 HR 1
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Randy Wells 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 5 0 0 0 2 5 0.00 1.40


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Brian Moehler 0-2 4 4 0 0 0 0 16.0 28 15 15 1 5 12 8.44 2.06

Brian Moehler's ERA is 8.44. That's really bad, but the good news for him is that it has actually come down steadily with each of his starts. He threw seven good innings in his last start -- against the Padres, who as we just saw, have trouble hitting. His previous start vs. Washington, decent results, same thing, bad-hitting club. He started against the Cubs on April 8 in Houston and they drilled him for eight hits and seven runs and he used 37 pitches to get five outs. Moehler is 37 and when he was a September callup for the Tigers in 1996, one of his teammates was... Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell. If that isn't a signal to retire, I don't know what is.

Randy Wells threw well in his first major league start last Friday. He'll be facing the Astros for the first time and has never faced anyone on their current roster.

Today's game is on WGN, for the first time in a few days, and on EI via FSN Houston. For today's other games see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Overflow comment threads will post today at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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