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Matchup Game # 85 vs. Cubs

Enough with the fucking 
towel already Be the bat, Roy; BE the bat.
Sean Marshall Roy Oswalt
4 - 7, 5.19 6 - 4, 3.27

Hard to believe the Astros have yet to put together a five game win streak in 2006, but such is the case. Tonight and the lowly Cubs, however, are the Astros' best opportunity to change that. After taking the first game of the season series one month ago today, the Northsiders have lost seven straight to Houston, being outscored 36 - 13 in the process. And the most mysterious thing about the 2006 Cubs: if losing Derrek Lee for nearly 60 games was such a damaging blow, how come they've lost seven of nine since he got back?

They throw Sean Marshall at us again, and he looks at first like a nice wide target, carrying as he does that 0 - 2 record with a .491 ERA. .282 BAA and .833 OPS against, as well. But Marshall was very good in his first outing against us (you might remember it as The Chris Sampson Game), giving up four hits and only one run in seven innings of work.

Still, if Houston solved some of the puzzle in Marshall's second start against us (when he went only 4 IP, and gave up 5 runs), what might we accomplish tonight, the third time around?

You might say I'm foolishly confident.

Ausmus has a jack off Marshall. Fat chance of a replay there, but maybe Berkman can duplicate his double, or possibly Burke, if given the opportunity, can repeat the tater he hit off the Cubs' rookie starter.

I keep waiting for Roy to get going on one of his streaks, where he wins 9 of ten starts or something like that, but as well as he's pitched (top ten in ERA, top 15 in WHIP), he's really never gotten any momentum going. He'll have the chance to start a new win-streak tonight as he faces the Cubs for the second time this year. Roy gave up 8 hits and 3 runs over six to the Cubs on June 14, the day after Marshall's second start. Phil Nevin has a personal 1.091 OPS against Oswalt and Michael Barrett, despite the tantrums and the crying and the whining, has a .985.

Go Astros, go Brewers, go Braves.