Looking For That Elusive Series Win: Cubs vs. Astros Preview, Wednesday 7/28, 1:05 CT

This afternoon's game should end around 4 pm Central time.

And after that, the Cubs don't play until Friday night in Colorado, game time 8:10 Central time -- that would be 52 hours later. Even in a season that's been an extreme disappointment, that's a long time to go without Cubs baseball when July hasn't even closed up shop yet.

This likely means that the next two days will be filled with trade rumors, since the non-waiver deadline comes up at 3 pm CDT on Saturday. (And remember, just because you personally have not heard about a trade by precisely 3 pm doesn't mean one isn't happening right at that moment -- if the teams finish up a deal at that time, it could take a couple hours to announce it.)

With all the rumors swirling around the Cubs right now, I would not necessarily expect them to make a major (meaning: starting pitcher or starting position player) deal; more likely, a minor trade or two may happen.

In the meantime, regardless of what it means, I'd like to see the Cubs win this series.

Lineup via tweet from Carrie; it resembles a spring training lineup:

#cubs lineup for wed is 2b riot, ss castro, cf colvin, 3b ramy, lf nady, rf fuke, 1b baker, c hill, p wells
Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
Cubs
vs. Bud Norris
Bud Norris
Astros
5-7 W-L 2-7
4.07 ERA 6.08
95 SO 78
33 BB 36
8 HR 8
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Randy Wells 5-7 20 20 0 0 0 0 119.1 131 55 54 8 33 95 4.07 1.37


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Bud Norris 2-7 14 14 0 0 0 0 74.0 83 58 50 8 36 78 6.08 1.61

Bud Norris made his major league debut against the Cubs in a three-inning relief appearance on July 29, 2009 at Wrigley Field. The only two Cubs who have a hit off him are Jeff Baker and Koyie Hill. It is sobering to realize that of the 28 players who appeared in that game less than a year ago, 12 of them are no longer with the team they played for on that day.

In Randy Wells' last start vs. the Astros on June 6 in Houston, he gave up three runs in the first inning (including a HR to Carlos Lee), then settled down before giving up three more in the sixth and being pulled from the game. Fortunately, that Wells seems to have been left behind; he has a 1.30 ERA in his last three starts. In 2009, in three starts vs. Houston, he gave up no earned runs (and only one run total) in 20.2 innings. That's the Wells we want to see today.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Houston. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Astros site Crawfish Boxes.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2 pm, 3 pm and 3:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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