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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Astros, Saturday 9/1, 12:05 CT

For all of you who are concerned about this playoff race after yesterday's flat performance (and I didn't much like yesterday's game, either), remember this:

The Cubs are in first place on September 1 for the first time since 1989. Yes, they need to start winning more consistently. Winning the next two games and the series would be a good start on that.

Roster reinforcements should begin to arrive today, including Ronny Cedeno (who will probably start today's game, giving Ryan Theriot a breather), Geovany Soto, and Will Ohman.

Incidentally, here's one very good reason for the Steve Trachsel acquisition:

If Trachsel starts Monday against the Dodgers and the Cubs use a six-man rotation for the time being, Zambrano can pitch Tuesday against the Dodgers and Sept. 10 in the makeup game against St. Louis at Wrigley. That would put Zambrano on track to pitch in the Sept. 15 double-header in St. Louis, along with Trachsel. Otherwise, Zambrano will miss St. Louis both times.
Works for me.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Marquis
J. Marquis
vs. Troy Patton
T. Patton
10-8 W-L 0-1
4.26 ERA 4.76
88 SO 4
67 BB 2
20 HR 2
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs
Hey, Jason: next time the team gives you a three-run lead in the first inning, could you please hang on to it??? And steer clear of Lance Berkman today, willya? Berkman is .613/.714/.935 against Marquis, and no, that's not a misprint. He's 19-for-31 with 5 doubles, a triple, a HR, 13 RBI and 11 walks.

Troy Patton. Let's see. Young? Check. (Turns 22 on Monday.) Lefthanded? Yup. Hardly made any major league appearances? Mmm-hmm (it's his second). Never faced the Cubs before? Correct. Those four are usually a lethal combination for Cubs hitters. We're doomed.

Today's game is on CSN; because of the Fox Saturday blackout rules, I do not believe there is any EI coverage. Instead, try the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version)

Both the Brewers and Cardinals are playing tonight; I'll put Gameday links for their games in this afternoon's recap.

Discuss amongst yourselves.