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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Astros, Sunday 9/2, 1:20 CT

A few notes... Alec Drews, the 21-year-old man who was seriously injured when the car wash next to Wrigley Field collapsed during last week's storm, died late last night:

"It's been a pretty tough week," Michael Drews [his brother] said. "He never looked that good in the hospital. The week . . . he was in the hospital trying to fight, we were all preparing ourselves for the worst. The doctors have been really nice. We've talked to the Cubs organization a couple of times and they've been really nice. [Chicago Cubs President] John McDonough has stopped by a couple of times to see my brother and my parents."
My condolences to Alec Drews' family.

Some of you were concerned about Ron Santo; I got a couple of emails asking me if I knew why he left the broadcast booth during the game. Here's what happened:

Cubs broadcaster Ron Santo has a crack in the socket of his left prosthesis and was forced to leave Saturday's game in the sixth inning.

Santo, who has two artificial legs, said he doesn't feel any pain. But he said the crack prevented him from having any movement in the leg.

Santo said he would return to his suburban home and be fitted for a new prosthesis. He said he hopes to be able to return on Sunday to broadcast the finale of the Cubs-Astros series for WGN-AM 720.

A note for the upcoming series vs. the Dodgers: David Wells, whose career appeared to be over when the Padres let him go, is going to wind up serving a seven-game suspension he got for a vehement argument he had with umpire Ed Hickox on July 7. He was supposed to start Wednesday's game. Instead, another young lefthander the Cubs have never seen -- Eric Stults -- will make that start.

So much for Rocky Cherry -- in last night's Red Sox-Orioles game, a bit better-known for Clay Buchholz' no-hitter, Cherry made his Orioles debut. He threw 27 pitches, 15 for strikes. In facing five hitters, he walked one, gave up three hits and allowed four runs (capped by a Kevin Youkilis HR), for an AL ERA of 108.00.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Hill
R. Hill
vs. Woody Williams
W. Williams
8-7 W-L 8-13
3.68 ERA 5.04
154 SO 92
51 BB 45
24 HR 29
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs
In Rich Hill's last three starts, he is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA and three (!) walks and 26 strikeouts in 21 IP. Keep up the good work. In his only appearance vs. Houston this year, he allowed three hits and one run in seven innings in a 2-1 loss in Houston on August 6. His 154 K's rank sixth in the NL; with three today he'll pass Cole Hamels, who is out for a while, and possibly John Smoltz, who is one ahead of him and who also starts today.

Just as Lance Berkman hits Jason Marquis hard (and Marquis did a good job of holding him down yesterday), Jason Kendall seems to have Woody Williams' number (18-for-37, 2 doubles, a HR, .486/.537/.622). Also look for Cliff Floyd to have a good day today (11-for-29, a double, 2 HR, .379/.419/.621 vs Williams). But perhaps the Cub to watch most closely today is Aramis Ramirez, who also hits Williams (13-for-43, .302/.333/.488) and who is 7 for his last 10. Lifetime Williams is 4-9, 4.26 in 19 games (18 starts) vs. the Cubs, but a bit better this year, 1-1, 2.37, including this win last month in Houston.

Today's WGN game is also available online at the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version) Gameday for the Pirates/Brewers game (1:05 CT start) Gameday for the Reds/Cardinals game (1:15 CT start)

Discuss amongst yourselves.