Cubs vs. Astros Preview, Saturday 6/22, 3:05 CT: News And Notes

Brian Kersey

Clever and interesting things are supposed to go here. But this is a random June game between two pretty bad teams, and I don't have anything clever and interesting to say. So, read on for useful information.

A couple of quick notes before the Cubs take on the Astros Saturday afternoon:

  • ICYMI, the Cubs traded Brent Lillibridge to the Yankees Friday for a PTBNL. This cannot be seen as anything but a huge win for the Cubs; Lillibridge put up a -77 (yes, minus-77) OPS+ for the Cubs and had -0.6 WAR. Thus, pretty much anything the Cubs get in return will be an improvement. Incidentally, to make room for Lillibridge, the Yankees DFA'd Reid Brignac. Brignac was a Top-100 prospect four straight years in the Rays organization (2007-10), although he has never done much at the big-league level. Like Lillibridge, he can play multiple positions, and is two years younger. Wouldn't be bad to take a flyer on him, stash him at Iowa for possible injury replacement/September callup.
  • The same link has some news about Jorge Soler:
    Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, eligible to come off the disabled list Friday after being sidelined with a sore left shin, was still experiencing some discomfort, and he is not expected to return to the Class A Daytona lineup for a few more days.
    
    "He was sore there, and that's why he didn't play in the [Florida State League] All-Star Game, and we thought it would be best to rest him for a few days, and hopefully it'll be another day or two," said Jason McLeod, vice president, scouting and player development for the Cubs.
    Doesn't sound like anything too serious, and hopefully Soler will be back at full strength soon.

Here's your Cool Cubs Fact Of The Day:

And here's your Interesting Wrigley Field Fact Of The Day:

And here's your Fascinating Astros Fact Of The Day:

And four more runs than the Cubs, too. Let's see if the Cubs can do something about that today.

Cubs lineup:

Valbuena 3B, Castro SS, Schierholtz RF, Soriano LF, Rizzo 1B, Sweeney CF, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Wood P

Starlin Castro held hostage in the starting lineup, Day 73. Now batting second for added... something.

The 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

Travis Wood

Travis Wood


Cubs

vs. Bud Norris

Bud Norris


Astros

vs. Hou

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Travis Wood 5-6 17 14 0 0 0 0 92.0 64 30 28 6 28 64 2.74 1.00


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Bud Norris 5-7 15 15 0 0 0 0 89.0 98 41 36 6 28 61 3.64 1.42

Travis Wood posted a 1.32 ERA and 0.732 WHIP in four starts vs. Houston last year, with just one home run allowed in 27⅓ innings. This year, as you know, Wood has been the Cubs' most consistent starter and is the team's likely All-Star representative. Current Astros are hitting .200 (14-for-70) against Wood with one home run (Jose Altuve).

Bud Norris, having been an Astro for several seasons, has faced the Cubs quite a bit over the years. Last year he made four starts against them and threw 22⅓ innings with a 4.03 ERA and 1.478 WHIP, and the Cubs hit six home runs off him. Current Cubs are hitting .292 (31-for-106) with eight home runs, two of them by Alfonso Soriano, who is 6-for-17 against Norris, who also has a 4.50 ERA in his last three starts. Maybe we're not doomed today.

Today's game is on WGN.

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.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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