Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros Preview, Wednesday 8/17, 1:05 CT: Worst Of The Worst

Aftermath: Tyler Colvin and Marlon Byrd of the Chicago Cubs walk to the clubhouse after Brian Bogusevic of the Houston Astros hit a walk-off grand slam off pitcher Carlos Marmol of the Chicago Cubs at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Houston won 6-5. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

I just really don't know what to say after last night's loss, so here are some random facts about the two teams in this afternoon's game:

  • The magic number for eliminating the Astros from the postseason (both division and wild card) is seven.
  • Speaking of which, that number for the Cubs is 22.
  • The Astros have won five games against two teams: the Cubs and Reds. They have a winning record against two teams: the Blue Jays and Nationals (with one series left vs. Washington).
  • Since June 3, the Astros are 16-50. Over a full season, that percentage would translate to 39 wins.
  • The Astros are one of six teams against whom the Cubs have a winning record (the other five: Diamondbacks, Pirates, Braves, Mets and Padres; Cubs have series remaining against the last four of those).
  • Cubs are third in the NL in BA but 10th in OBP. Result: ninth in runs scored. Second in most runs allowed (first: Astros).

I think that's enough. Onward.

Cubs lineup:

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

Astros lineup:

Shuck cf, Altuve 2b, Martinez lf, Downs 1b, Paredes 3b, Bogusevic 3b, Barmes ss, Corporan c, Norris p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Casey Coleman
Casey Coleman
Cubs
vs. Bud Norris
Bud Norris
Astros
2-4 W-L 5-8
7.23 ERA 3.55
31 SO 140
28 BB 56
5 HR 17
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Casey Coleman 2-4 11 9 0 0 0 0 42.1 54 35 34 5 28 31 7.23 1.94


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Bud Norris 5-8 24 24 0 0 0 0 147.0 137 70 58 17 56 140 3.55 1.31

Casey Coleman last faced the Astros on October 1, 2010 in Houston; he threw seven shutout innings and the Cubs won. A repeat of that would be nice. Coleman faced the Astros twice last year, but Houston has turned over its roster to the point that current Astros have only 22 at-bats against him, with just three hits (two from Jason Michaels, one from Matt Downs).

The Cubs defeated Bud Norris at Wrigley Field on July 22 mainly because a Jose Altuve error led to three unearned runs. Sounds pretty Cub-like, actually. Two current Cubs have homered off Norris: Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano. Apropos of nothing, Norris' actual first name is David.

Today's game is on WGN and my20 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 1:05 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 2 pm, 3 pm and 3:45 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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