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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Astros, Monday 5/19, 6:05 CT

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Chicago Cubs
@ Houston Astros

Monday, May 19, 2008, 6:05 PM CDT
Minute Maid Park

Ted Lilly vs Brian Moehler

Clear. Winds blowing out to right field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Near 95.

Complete Coverage >

For ESPN purposes, today's game starts an hour earlier than it usually would in Houston, 6:05 Central time. The preview box above says it'll be 95 degrees in Houston at game time (pretty hot for this time of year), and with temps that high, the roof is likely to be closed at the Juice Box.

The Cubs stand this morning one game behind Arizona for the best record in baseball. Now, you could say that the Cubs are 27-17, but that includes an 8-1 record against the Pirates, so they're "only" 19-16 against everyone else. But the Diamondbacks have piled up wins against the three bad teams in their own division; vs. the Giants, Padres and Rockies, who are a combined 50-84 so far, the D'backs are 16-4, so against "everyone else", Arizona is 12-12. This is, of course, one way to win a championship: beat the heck out of the bad teams and play .500 against everyone else. Works for me.

You probably won't be surprised to learn that Alfonso Soriano was named NL Player of the Week for his monster hitting last week.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
vs. Brian Moehler
B. Moehler
4-4 W-L 1-0
5.33 ERA 4.58
50 SO 10
17 BB 4
7 HR 2
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

Brought back from the scrap heap and put into Houston's rotation, Brian Moehler wasn't that good even ten and eleven years ago, when he was a kid pitcher trying to make it with the Tigers. One of his "last five starts vs. the Cubs", as listed on the preview page linked below, was ten years ago in Tiger Stadium, a 6-4 Detroit win. His opponent that night? Kerry Wood. Maybe Kerry can get payback tonight by saving the game. Expect to see Jim Edmonds starting tonight; he is .344/.417/.938 vs. Moehler (11-for-32, 4 doubles, 5 HR).

Ted Lilly, now ranking 11th in the NL with 50 strikeouts, is 4-1, 3.09 in his last five starts and 1-1, 3.60 in three career starts vs. Houston.

Today's game is on the usual cable outlets in the Chicago and Houston areas, and also nationally on ESPN. Most of the time, the Monday ESPN feeds are not blacked out in the usual blackout areas. For more see the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2008 version) game preview

Today's overflow comment thread will post at 7:30 pm CT -- this time for sure!

Discuss amongst yourselves.