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Matchup/Diary Game # 162 vs. Cubs

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Greg Maddux   Roy Oswalt
13 - 14, 4.18    19 - 12, 2.86

Hey. I've got a real good way to lose some money today.

Bet against the Phillies.

Frank Robinson has turned long-time reliever (and long-ago Astro farmhand) Hector Carrasco into a starting pitcher recently, and while he's pitched well in the September role, I give him no shot vs. Jon Lieber.

Having come this far, Philadelphia is very unlikely to come up short.

So it will come down to what Roy can do, or more pointedly, what Biggio, Taveras, Berkman and Co. can do against this chump the Cubs've got going named Maddux. They say he's pitched in a few big games, too.

Three runs should win today, just as it won Saturday, and should have won Friday. After that odd slump he had in August, Oswalt is 4 - 1 with a 2.48 in September, and Maddux is 2 - 0 with a 2.08 this season at Minute Maid.

Brandon Backe gave up 2 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings to the Colorado Rockies 364 days ago, as the Astros clinched the 2004 Wild Card on the last day of last season. Harville, Gallo, Qualls, Springer, Miceli, and Lidge then finished up. While I would hope that Roy does not force Garner to use the bullpen to quite that extent, that remarkable game will be very much in my mind this afternoon as the Astros try to make it two playoff appearances in a row, and six in nine years.

While I was somewhat doubtful about yesterday, I think they will grab it today, and the Astros will therefore be able to skip all this nonsense about going to Philadelphia, and concentrate on doing what is truly important: beating the Atlanta Braves in October.

Wild Card Today
Teams Pitching
Matchups
W L ERA
Philadelphia Jon
Lieber
16 13 4.22
Washington Hector
Carrasco
5 3 1.73