You know I have absolutely nothing against orange juice, however “Minute Maid” just isn’t a good “sports name” for a baseball park and yet that is where the Chicago Cubs will be for their second-to-last game of the season against the Houston Astros. Things seem to be in their favor as they go for their third win in a row.
John Barone has written an article at the Chicago Cubs’ website titled “Zambrano looks to finish strong against Astros.” Carlos Zambrano is 7-0 in his last 10 starts.
Zambrano was out during July this year on the restricted list after having a meltdown in the dugout. His temper had been getting worse and worse and finally the Cubs made him get anger management treatment. Since returning to the team in early August he has gone 7-0 in 10 starts with an ERA of 1.27.
Currently Zambrano’s stats read as 10-6 overall with an ERA of 3.36. Against the Houston Astros Zambrano is 13-8 with an ERA of 2.63. However in his last three games he is 2-0 with an ERA of a very stingy .47 with 16 strikeouts.
Starting for the Houston Astros will be J.A. Happ. Happ’s overall record is 6-3 with an ERA of 2.77. Against the Cubs he has not recorded a win or a loss but has an ERA of 3.00. In Happ’s last three starts, he has not recorded a victory or a loss but has an ERA of 3.44 and 24 strikeouts. That leads me to believe considering the strikeouts he has been giving up long balls.
It would seem that the Cubs have the edge with the pitching and also their hitting has been a little more on target. However the thing the Cubs have going for them right now is momentum. They expect to win.
I am happy about the way the Cubs have ended the season. It has been fun to watch a group of young players enjoy their time in the sun and watch a manager who didn’t expect to get a chance to manage do a great job.
At the same time I am somewhat perplexed, frustrated and even a little annoyed as a Cubs’ fan. Lou Piniella thought he was doing the club a favor by trying to work with a major personal problem going on the side. The Cubs’ organization should have been more in touch with that. Piniella should have been gone much earlier as should have some of the “old wood” like Derrek Lee. The good teams make changes even when it is not comfortable.
The Cubs will win tonight.
Chicago Cubs’ Website, John Barone, “Zambrano looks to finish strong against Astros”