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Matchup/Game Thread Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros 7:05 CDT

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Rich Hill Wandy Rodriguez
6 - 6, 3.67 7 - 10, 4.72

The Cubs wave may have crested. In first place by a single percentage point on August 2nd, the Cubs have dropped to a game off the pace as both they and the Brewers team they are chasing begin a long intra-divisional stretch.

Both teams are four games over vs. the Central, but the Cubs are going to have to play that stretch without their leader in both home runs and runs scored, as Alfonso Soriano was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday with a strained quadriceps.

Aramis Ramirez now becomes the team's active leader in home runs this season with 16, and Derrek Lee becomes the team's run scored leader with 65.

Don't wanna burst their bubble, but suddenly the Cubs are ordinary offensively without King Alfonso: the Astros have two guys with more than 16 homers, and despite being a fourth place team that's tenth in the league in runs scored, the 'Stros can match that 65 number too.

Plus, there are bad omens about the Cubs these days. Ravens circling, stormclouds pregnant, ugly, dangerous-looking. Don't they realize that Kerry Wood coming back is not something in which to take any amount of solace? Bad things happen, seasons die, when he's around, or had they forgotten?

Oh, and Wade Miller was given his unconditional release by the Northsiders. I could have told those poor deluded Cubbie fans it wasn't gonna work out.

In fact, I did.