Astros' Brett Myers Dominates; Cubs Shut Out For 10th Time In 2010

Sometimes, you just give credit to the other guy.

Brett Myers has been dominant over the Cubs all season long -- and in fact, for his entire career; he's now 10-3, 2.21 against them in 17 appearances (13 starts).

Last night was no exception, as Myers didn't allow a hit until Alfonso Soriano singled with two out in the fifth. The rest of the Cubs also went down meekly against Myers and two Houston relievers and the Cubs ended their homestand with a 4-0 loss to the Astros in front of a crowd announced as 33,623.

There were probably fewer than half that number in Wrigley Field last night on an evening with definite fall-like chill in the air. The wind was blowing off the lake, which didn't stop Hunter Pence's drive deep into the left field bleachers in the third inning. That gave the Astros one more run than they needed; they had scored in the second inning off Randy Wells.

Once again, Wells managed to finish six innings. That's the 18th time in 29 starts that he's been able to do that, but once again, he just kept getting hit; two of the four runs were scored after two were out. Wells is going to have to step up his game next year to be anything more than a fifth starter.

There isn't a whole lot more to say about this game, which finished up a homestand for the Cubs at 5-4. That doesn't sound great, and it isn't, but it is the first time the Cubs had a winning homestand since they went 6-4 against the Phillies, Astros and Cardinals right after the All-Star break.

On second thought, there are a few more things to say about last night's game. After they finally broke through with Soriano's hit, the Cubs did have some chances to score, particularly in the seventh inning when Tyler Colvin doubled with one out. Geovany Soto lined a single to left -- and Colvin stopped at third. I didn't see whether 3B coach Ivan DeJesus held him up, but Carlos Lee in left field was conceding the run with Houston up 4-0; Lee nonchalantly fielded the ball and seemed surprised that Colvin stopped at third. The Cubs have had terrible trouble getting runners home from third with less than two out, and that inning was no exception. Soriano popped up and Micah Hoffpauir, batting for Darwin Barney, struck out.

There's a bone to pick with new manager Mike Quade. Hoffpauir isn't going to be on next year's team. Barney is. Why not give the kid a chance to hit in that situation and drive in a run against a tough starting pitcher who was just about at his pitch limit? That PH appearance made no sense. Neither did the three mid-inning pitching changes that Houston manager Brad Mills made, and the change that Quade made to bring in Sean Marshall to face Anderson Hernandez after Marcos Mateo had retired the first two hitters in the eighth inning.

Sometimes the parade of relievers for platoon advantage is silly. Last night was one of those times.

Enough. My night was capped off on returning to my car and finding a flat tire. Enjoy the off day.

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