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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Astros, Monday 6/11, 7:05 CT

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Two notes from my flight home from Atlanta:

  • TSA decided that the souvenir bat (you know, the 18" kind with a team logo on it, that look like this) that I had bought for Mark was a "weapon" and thus forbidden in carry-on luggage. Mark has a collection of these and I've brought several of them back on planes, all since 9/11, with no trouble -- until today. TSA does forbid sporting goods including baseball bats, but that's not a bat, it's a souvenir. My option was to go back outside the 30-minute-wait security line and check my bag, or to leave the bat with TSA. I left it, but I am filing a claim with them to reimburse me.
  • Bruce Miles was on my flight; he agreed with the rest of us that given the current climate with HBP's, umpires are expected to be "mindreaders" as to intent, and thus the ejection of Lilly, which he agrees was totally wrong. He also said that had the game gone into extra innings, Jason Marquis would have been able to throw a couple of innings.
Which somehow brings me to tonight's game, which in my opinion shouldn't even have been played tonight. The Cubs, even after having decided originally that the game vs. Houston postponed due to snow on April 11 was to be made up on July 12, changed their minds -- apparently, neither they nor the Astros wanted to give up that "extra" day off after the All-Star break.

Well, waah, waah, waah. Instead they agreed upon today, since the Astros were already in town this past weekend to play the White Sox. What they didn't figure on was ESPN asking for, and getting, yesterday's game for the Sunday night telecast. With the delay after the Ted Lilly ejection and a game that could have been timed with a calendar, I figure the Cubs' sleepy little heads (save Carlos Zambrano's, tonight's starter, who was sent back from Atlanta early to rest up) hit their pillows about 4 am today.

Lesson: be careful what you wish/ask for.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Woody Williams
W. Williams
Astros
6-5 W-L 2-7
5.38 ERA 5.79
60 SO 36
37 BB 25
14 HR 13
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs
Z has now thrown well in two of his last three starts (save the June 1 Barrett fight meltdown game), and showed real signs of the "old" Z last time out against the Brewers.

Meanwhile, Woody Williams may have reached the end of the line. He has allowed at least two runs in every one of his 13 starts this year; he did throw fairly well in a no-decision vs. the Cubs on Opening Day, April 9. Too bad, in a way, that Michael Barrett will sit tonight -- he's 8-for-17 (.471/.550/.765), with three doubles and a triple, lifetime vs. Williams. Derrek Lee also hits him well (.345/.406/.448 in 29 AB).

The game's relegated to CSN+, as the White Sox had first call on CSN today. The original game date, 4/11, was a WGN date, which means WGN might get another game later in the season. It'll be on Extra Innings, and at the Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

And for a quick visit to Astrofan-land, see our SB Nation site Crawfish Boxes.

Discuss amongst yourselves.