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If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Houston: Cubs vs. Astros, Tuesday 6/9, 7:05 CT

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Ten BCB points for the movie reference.

This is the Cubs' third visit to Houston already in 2009. By Thursday -- the 57th game of the year -- they will have played the Astros 10 times. It would have been 11, if not for the May 15 rainout. The first seven games have resulted in five Cub wins. A series win would make for a successful road trip. While this kind of schedule-making is ridiculous (and MLB should really give the contract back to the two college professors who did it on their kitchen table -- they did a better job), at least the two teams are scheduled for a rare (for Houston) weekday afternoon game on Thursday, so the Cubs can get back at a reasonable time Thursday evening to get ready for Friday's day game against the Twins. (It's also getaway day for the Astros, the more likely reason they did this.)

Here's a type of All-Star voting we can all agree is beneficial: MLB is sponsoring the All-Stars Among Us campaign, to highlight people who have given back to their communities. Each of the 30 clubs will have one representative who will be honored July 14 in St. Louis; click on the link to vote for one of the three finalists to choose one to represent the Cubs.

Bruce Miles has more on Mark DeRosa. Before you groan, he has a good step-by-step analysis of what that deal set in motion and how it has both hurt and helped the team.

More evidence that individual pitcher wins mean nothing: Look who's leading the National League in wins.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
Ted Lilly
Cubs
vs. Brian Moehler
Brian Moehler
Astros
6-4 W-L 2-3
3.28 ERA 6.37
59 SO 26
18 BB 10
11 HR 6
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ted Lilly 6-4 11 11 0 0 0 0 71.1 59 28 26 11 18 59 3.28 1.08


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Brian Moehler 2-3 8 8 1 0 0 0 41.0 56 29 29 6 10 26 6.37 1.61

This is the fourth series between these two teams this year. As such, it's not surprising that Brian Moehler and Ted Lilly have faced each other already this year, on April 8 in Houston. Lilly allowed four homers that day, but won because the Cubs hit Moehler really, really hard. The good news for Ted is that in the ten starts since then, he's allowed only seven homers. He has been the Cubs' most consistent starter all year, not to mention the fact that he could open the roof at the Juice Box with his bare hands. If he wanted to.

Lilly also defeated the Astros in Houston on May 7, and Moehler got the win at Wrigley on May 17, a game the Cubs would have won if Geovany Soto's line drive had been about two feet higher. Derrek Lee is 6-for-16 with two doubles and three HR off Moehler; the four homers off Lilly on April 8 were hit by Kaz Matsui, Ivan Rodriguez, Lance Berkman and ... Jeff Keppinger?

Cable only tonight in Chicago and Houston, on EI and MLB.TV. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Overflow comment threads will post today at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.