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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Astros, Saturday 4/5, 12:05 CT

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Seriously. You'd think the last four games were playoff games and the Cubs were down in a series 3 games to 1. It's April. Yesterday, there was some bad play that probably cost the Cubs the game. But I remind you: it's April. Relax. Unless this sort of thing persists for the next couple of weeks, this team will be just fine.

Bruce Miles quotes Lou on lineups:"I've never really had this many questions about lineups," Piniella joked with reporters prior to the series opener against Houston. "I think you all fantasize about lineups at night, I really do."And:"It's not the most difficult thing to do in the world," Piniella said. "It's not as hard as doing the crossword puzzle of the New York Times, I can tell you that."Lou discusses the new mandate for base coaches to stay in the coaches' box, and the suspension of Larry Bowa for violating this directive:The rule requires that a coach, "until being passed by a batted ball, must position himself no closer to home plate than the front edge of the coach's box and no closer to fair territory than the edge of the coach's box closest to the field."Piniella said the rule wasn't enforced during spring training.

"Maybe that's what happened with Larry," he said. "I liked having Larry on my staff because he was feistier than me."

The rule makes sense because of the death of Tulsa Drillers coach Mike Coolbaugh when he was hit in the head with a batted ball last year. Base coaches also now have to wear helmets (and many of them hate that). But I think the suspension of Bowa was a bit over the top.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Marquis
J. Marquis
Cubs
vs. Roy Oswalt
R. Oswalt
Astros
12-9 W-L 14-7
4.60 ERA 3.18
109 SO 154
76 BB 60
22 HR 14
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

Stats are 2007 season stats

Lance Berkman absolutely kills Marquis: .514/.625/.784 with 5 doubles, a triple, a HR and 13 RBI in 37 AB. Better to walk him every time (already 11 of those, too). Mark DeRosa hits Oswalt well: .529/.500/.765 (that's not a misprint -- he has one sac fly and no walks, 9-for-17). Aramis Ramirez has 3 doubles and 3 HR in 54 AB, also no walks. In fact, of Cubs who will hit today, only Derrek Lee has walked (five times) against Oswalt.

Today's game is once again on CSN Chicago and FSN Houston, on the usual radio stations (thanks to XM for keeping the game on the same channel all week!) and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.