Chicago Cubs vs. Houston Astros Preview, Wednesday 9/12, 7:05 CT

This is how boring Tuesday's game was: Houston, TX, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena waits for a pitch against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Stumped, that's what I am.

That is, about what to possibly write to preview this game between two awful teams. The first two games of this series were agonizingly long and filled with walks, wild pitches, errors of judgment and errors of field, and in general were two of the worst baseball games I have ever watched.

So that's something, I guess. Maybe we'll make it three in a row.

Here's a game you can play, and if PacificCub wants to make it the official game of the evening, feel free. Of the 18 starting players in tonight's game, how many of them will be on an Opening Day roster -- ANYONE's Opening Day roster -- in 2013?

Cubs lineup:

Mather CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Castillo C, Vitters 3B, Sappelt RF, Recker 1B, Wood P

Astros lineup:

Altuve 2B, Lowrie SS, J.D. Martinez LF, Maxwell CF, Dominguez 3B, Laird 1B, Snyder C, Barnes RF, Abad P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Travis Wood
Travis Wood
Cubs
vs. Fernando Abad
Fernando Abad
Astros
5-11 W-L 0-3
4.42 ERA 5.30
91 SO 28
42 BB 14
23 HR 6
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Travis Wood 5-11 23 21 0 0 0 0 126.1 111 67 62 23 42 91 4.42 1.21


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Fernando Abad 0-3 33 3 0 0 0 0 35.2 47 22 21 6 14 28 5.30 1.71

Travis Wood has started twice against Houston this year. July 1 at Wrigley Field, he was very good, throwing 7⅔ shutout innings. May 22 in Houston, still decent -- 5⅔ innings, two hits, two walks, two runs -- but the Cubs lost. Current Astros are hitting .182 (10-for-55) against him. Hmm. Maybe we're not doomed tonight.

Fernando Abad made 81 relief appearances for the Astros over the last three seasons, posting a 4.65 ERA and 1.435 WHIP, and 12 HR allowed in 62 innings. That isn't very good. As a reward, the Astros put him in their rotation, where he's been even worse in three starts: 8.03 ERA, 2.27 WHIP. Truth be told, the most interesting thing about Abad is that, on the all-time alphabetical list of MLB players, he is sixth (after David Aardsma, Hank Aaron, Tommie Aaron, Don Aase and Andy Abad).

Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (Check local cable/satellite system for channel.)

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.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 7:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 8:05, 9:05 and 9:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section. Also please note: due to some under-the-hood changes, the sidebar box with the game thread links is no longer available. It seems you've found them with no problems, but if you haven't been able to find the overflow threads, click the "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" link under "Sections" on the left sidebar. They're all in there.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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