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Matchup/Game Thread Houston Astros @ Chicago Cubs, 1:20 CDT

Woody Williams Rich Hill
8 - 13 5.04 8 - 7, 3.68

Still trying to get my craw around yesterday's loss, most specifically the use of Chris Sampson there in his second inning. I know Chris is normally a starter, used to going 5 or 6 or more, but it was also his first game back in the majors after only a perfunctory rehab assignment.

Get his feet wet, and get him out of there.

This was a one-run game with the Cubs' heart coming up, and then if we were able to circumnavigate that, the Astros' had the meat of their order coming up.

It was not just a winnable game, it was VERY winnable. Neither D Lee nor A-Ram had put up eyepopping numbers against Sampson, but both had hit him before in small sample sizes.

After the strong start from Wandy and offensive support on Friday, Qualls and Lidge should both have been available, and why not bring in Qualls there in the bottom of the eighth? If you're gonna lose, go down fighting, you know what I mean?

Although I would insist that Qualls was a better option there, a quick look-see shows that Lee is 4 for 10 all singles off Qualls. But if that was unacceptable to Coop, he might have gone with Lidge, against whom Lee is 0 for 8.

My point is, anyone but Sampson (or Borkwoski or Miller, who'd pitched Friday). Even a schmendrick like myself could see a difficult second inning on the horizon for Sampson there.

It's September, Mr. Cooper; you do not have to worry about bullpen fatigue anymore.

Cooper has talked about his hitters needing to be aggressive while staying smart. I'd suggest that our new manager needs to do the same. It's a lost season, sure, but there are still ballgames to be won.