Cubs vs. Astros Preview, Wednesday 9/8, 7:05 CT: Summer's End

This is the last game of the second-longest homestand of the year; the Cubs will play 16 of their final 22 games on the road (and that would be a tough schedule for a good team; perhaps we should be grateful that these games don't mean anything), and when they return, we will be only 24 hours away from the autumnal equinox, which occurs this year on September 22 at 10:09 CDT. That's just about the time when the second game of the series with the Giants will be over.

So let's bid farewell to another summer at Wrigley with a win tonight. Last night's loss clinched a losing home season for the Cubs (33-41 with seven games left). Since 1996 -- the first 162-game season after the labor-interrupted years of '94 and '95 -- the Cubs have had losing seasons at home which matched their under-.500 seasons in general: 1999 (34-47), 2000 (38-43), 2002 (36-45), 2005 (38-43) and 2006 (36-45). There's still time to better some of those records. Oddly, the awful 1997 Cubs (Ryne Sandberg's last year as a player), who went 68-94, were 42-39 at Wrigley Field.

A win tonight would also make a 6-3 homestand, three consecutive series wins, and a 10-5 record under Mike Quade. Oh, and if you're keeping track, going into tonight's action the Cubs' elimination number, for both the division and wild card, is 5.

Tonight's lineup via tweet from CubsInsider:

#Cubs lineup vs. #Astros (9/8): DeWitt 2B, Castro SS, Byrd CF, Nady 1B, Colvin RF, Soto C, Soriano LF, Barney 3B, Wells P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
Cubs
vs. Brett Myers
Brett Myers
Astros
6-12 W-L 10-7
4.56 ERA 3.02
128 SO 149
56 BB 55
18 HR 15
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Randy Wells 6-12 28 28 0 0 0 0 165.2 183 89 84 18 56 128 4.56 1.44


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Brett Myers 10-7 28 28 2 0 0 0 191.0 181 73 64 15 55 149 3.02 1.24

Brett Myers was one of the better free-agent signings of the past offseason, even though the Astros went nowhere. He is 2-0 vs. the Cubs this season with a 1.59 ERA in three starts. Marlon Byrd is the Cub who hits him best (7-for-16, .353, one HR). Current Cubs have hit eight HR off Myers, but the only one who has one this year is Tyler Colvin, whose home run accounted for the only run in this 6-1 loss on July 27 in Houston.

Randy Wells has two starts, both losses, vs. Houston this year with a 7.36 ERA. That's not good. Carlos Lee has two career HR against Randy, but after being a Cub-killer his entire career, Lee is hitting only .259/.295/.483 in 61 PA against them this year (lifetime vs. the Cubs: .298/.349/.573). After having 20 HR in his career at Wrigley Field, Lee has none this year.

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 7 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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