Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros Preview, Friday 7/22, 1:20 CT: Losing

Write your own caption. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

You will witness something at Wrigley Field today (whether you're there or watching on TV) that has not happened in 49 years.

The Cubs are 21 games under .500. The Astros are the only MLB team currently worse; they sit at 32 games under. 500. (For one thing, that means that even if the Astros sweep the series, they will still be in last place.)

Anyway, the last time a Cubs team was at least 20 games under .500 in July, and hosted a team that was also at least 20 games under .500, was on Sunday, July 29, 1962. Going into that date, the Cubs were 38-65. Guess who the visitors were? That's right -- Houston, then known as the Colt 45s, in their first season. They were 36-64. The teams had been rained out on July 28, so they played a doubleheader -- naturally, they split the two games, which were played in front of a sparse gathering of 10,334.

There will be more people at Wrigley Field this afternoon. But the teams they'll watch will be just about as bad.

Thunderstorms are passing through Chicago this morning, but they are expected to clear by game time.

Cubs lineup:

Fukudome RF, Castro SS, Ramirez 3B, Peña 1B, Byrd CF, Soto C, Soriano LF, Barney 2B, Zambrano P

Astros lineup:

Bourn CF, Altuve 2B, Pence RF, Lee LF, Wallace 1B, Johnson 3B, Barmes SS, Quintero C, Norris P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Bud Norris
Bud Norris
Astros
6-5 W-L 5-6
4.78 ERA 3.59
81 SO 118
46 BB 46
11 HR 14
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Carlos Zambrano 6-5 20 19 0 0 0 0 116.2 118 64 62 11 46 81 4.78 1.41


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Bud Norris 5-6 19 19 0 0 0 0 117.2 105 55 47 14 46 118 3.59 1.28

Carlos Zambrano threw a really nice game against the Astros on May 31 at Wrigley Field. Pay no attention to the ninth inning of that game; this is about Z. Carlos Lee has hit him hard during his career -- .369 in 65 at-bats, including six doubles and five home runs. Lee isn't the player he used to be, but he's always loved hitting at Wrigley Field.

Bud Norris has started two career games against the Cubs, both in 2010. He's got a career ERA of 1.50 vs. the Cubs, and 13 strikeouts in 12 innings. Current Cubs are hitting just .176 (6-for-34) against him with no home runs. Clearly, we are doomed.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and My-20 in 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 1:20 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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