Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros Preview, Tuesday 10/2, 7:05 CT

David Banks - Getty Images

The Cubs and Astros are setting a little bit of baseball history Tuesday night at Wrigley Field -- not the kind we might have wanted, but history nonetheless.

The matchup tonight at Wrigley Field is historic. We don't have much this year, but this is a little slice of baseball history, even if it's negative.

This will be just the fourth time, comprising the 10th game in all, that two teams that have already posted 100 losses in a season will play each other. Here are the other three:

1905, Brooklyn Superbas at Boston Beaneaters. This one happened so long ago that the Brooklyn NL team was not yet called the Dodgers, nor the Boston NL team the Braves. Brooklyn entered a season-ending five-game series at 44-103; Boston began it 50-99. Brooklyn won the first game to give Boston its 100th loss, then won three of the remaining four.

1923, Philadelphia Phillies at Boston Braves. Yes, the Boston NL team again. The Phillies came into this season-ending series 49-102; the Braves were 52-99. Philadelphia won the first game to make the Braves 52-100, then Boston won the final two games.

1962, New York Mets at Chicago Cubs. This is the only matchup of this group where both teams had lost 100 games before their series began. The Mets had actually given the Cubs their 100th loss a few days earlier in New York; the Cubs entered the set at 58-102. The Mets, who still hold the mark for worst record in the last 50 years, were 39-118 when they came to Wrigley Field for a season-ending weekend series. The Cubs won two of three; total attendance for the series (in an era when turnstile count was announced) was 7,425, including a colossal throng of 595 people for the first game of the set, a 3-2 Cubs win on Friday, September 28.

And now there's another such matchup, two games' worth, today and tomorrow. It's interesting, but let us hope we do not pass this way again.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Jackson CF, Volstad P

Astros lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Astros lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Chris Volstad
Chris Volstad
Cubs
vs. Bud Norris
Bud Norris
Astros
3-11 W-L 6-13
6.64 ERA 4.82
55 SO 161
43 BB 64
15 HR 23
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Chris Volstad 3-11 20 20 0 0 0 0 104.1 132 79 77 15 43 55 6.64 1.68


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Bud Norris 6-13 29 28 0 0 0 0 162.1 161 90 87 23 64 161 4.82 1.39

Chris Volstad posted a 3.72 ERA in six starts in August, giving some hope that he could be a decent back-end starter. However, in his other 14 starts this season -- and the Cubs were 3-11 in those starts -- he has an ERA of 8.21 and 11 home runs allowed in 68 innings. We've talked here before about how Volstad's marks are among the worst two or three in Cubs history for anyone who's thrown as many innings as he has (104⅓). In all of major-league history going back to 1901 -- that's 112 seasons -- there have been just 50 in which a pitcher has thrown as many innings as Volstad and had an ERA of 6.64 or higher. That's less than one of those every two years. Congratulations, Chris, for having a season for the ages. (And it could get worse tonight.)

Bud Norris against the Cubs this year: three starts, 16⅓ innings, 20 hits allowed (seven home runs). Those home runs were hit by: David DeJesus (two), Alfonso Soriano (two), Starlin Castro, Steve Clevenger (to date, Clevenger's only MLB home run) and Luis Valbuena (one each). Overall, current Cubs are hitting .326 (28-for-86) against Norris with a 1.025 OPS. Perhaps we are not doomed tonight after all.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

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 The Crawfish Boxes.

Based on some feedback from all of you, I'm going to adjust the way I'm doing game threads -- hopefully, this method will work, starting tonight and for the rest of this season.

You'll see the game preview -- like this one -- as usual, two hours before game time (this one's up a little earlier due to the somewhat-late start, the last late start of the year).

Then, the other discussion threads will post on time schedules as they always have, first pitch thread at game time, overflows at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time. I will create a StoryStream™ for each game where you can find all the discussion threads. For today's game go to this GameStream (as I'm calling them); you'll find the First Pitch Thread there at 7:05 p.m. CDT and the others will post in that stream at 8:05, 9:05 and 9:50 p.m. CDT.

Once the game is over and I write a recap, it will post as a separate story on the front page; I'll have the preview and recap up there as individual stories, but they will also reside in the stream. Hope that makes more sense and makes things easier to find. The game threads can all also be found in the section titled Chicago Cubs Game Threads, which you can find at that link or in the drop-down menu under "Sections" in the middle of the site.

Let me know if this works, or if you have other suggestions.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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