Game One Hundred Forty-Six: Cubs (74-71) vs. Astros (63-82)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston
Steve Trachsel (6-10, 4.78/1.58) vs. Woody Williams (8-14, 4.93/1.39)
The Cubs face the Astros tonight for the last time this season in the rubber game of the series. The Cubs and Astros have split the first 14 of the year and the Cubs will leave Houston either leading the Central or trailing the Brewers by a half game.
The Cubs will face Craig Biggio for the last time tonight. The future Hall of Famer announced he will retire after the season. Tonight will be Biggio’s 246th career game against the Cubs…. .275/.363/.416 – 262-for-953 with 176 runs, 61 doubles, 7 triples, 34 home runs and 109 RBI’s.
Lou Piniella needs a solid outing from Steve Trachsel and according to a report on Cubs.com, tonight could be Trachsel’s last start of the season. With every game being more important than the last, the offense must do their part against Woody Williams and give Trachsel every opportunity to put a win on the board. Steve Trachsel is pitching today on short rest after his 2-inning outing on Sunday in Pittsburgh. Trachsel barely made it through the 2nd and is 0-2 as a Cub with a 10.13 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP. Trachsel must give Lou Piniella a better effort tonight.
Trachsel had a quality start in his first Cub outing of the year. He held the Dodgers to 3 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings but in his last start against the Pirates, Trachsel gave up 6 runs on 6 hits in 2 innings. Trachsel has not been able to retire the opposing pitcher in either of his outings. Brad Penny’s 2-out double started the Dodgers rally and Matt Morris’ 2-out single kept the Pirates’ inning alive.
Trachsel should be well rested, despite pitching on 3 days rest. He threw just 47 pitches on Sunday.
Trachsel is 7-7 in 18 career starts against the Astros with 2 complete games, a shutout, a 4.80 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Trachsel has not faced the Astros since 2004. He was 2-0 in 2 starts with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP….in 3 career starts at Minute Maid, Trachsel is 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.
- Brad Ausmus – 10-21, with a double, 2 home runs and 7 RBI’s
- Lance Berkman – 3-10, with 2 home runs and 2 RBI’s
- Craig Biggio – 16-54, with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs, 8 RBI’s and 5 walks
- Woody Williams – 2-3
The Cubs will get their 5th look of the season at Woody Williams. The “crafty righty” has been at his best every time he has faced the Cubs this year. Williams’ numbers against the Cubs are his best against any other team in the league, with at least 2 starts. Williams is 1-1 in 4 starts with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP while holding Lou Piniella’s team to a .207 batting average. Williams has a 2.75 ERA against the Pirates and has held the Mets to a .200 batting average.
Williams received a no-decision the last time he faced the Cubs at Wrigley on September 2nd. The Cubs managed just 1 run on 4 hits in 5 innings. Williams threw 96 pitches, 61 for strikes. They must be patient against Williams once again and make him work.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….