Hello, Astros fans!
Remember us? We used to be your division mates, before you got shifted to the American League.
A lot has happened since then! Since 2013 both our teams have suffered bad last-place seasons... and both have won a World Series. (Congratulations on yours, incidentally, and thanks for beating the Dodgers!)
The Cubs are coming off a series where they got beat up pretty bad by the Reds, losing two of three, and the team used so many relievers that they had to use Tyler Chatwood as a closer. No, seriously! And he did pretty well, nailing down his first save since 2017 on Saturday. You might even see that happen again in this series.
You’re probably familiar with Cole Hamels, who goes Monday, from his time in the A.L. with the Rangers. Jon Lester, who starts Tuesday, threw seven shutout innings against the Astros in 2016, the last time the Cubs played in Houston. And Kyle Hendricks, the third Cubs starter in this series, is facing Wade Miley, so you’ll forgive me if I have some Cubs/Brewers flashbacks.
Right now we’re a bit concerned about Kris Bryant, who was injured in a collision with Jason Heyward on Sunday. (Incidentally, thanks again to the Astros for drafting Mark Appel instead of Bryant. Sorry if that’s a sore spot.)
Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras are all having fine offensive seasons, and hopefully they can hit some home runs in Minute Maid Park.
Seriously, even six years later I’m still having trouble not thinking of the Astros as a N.L. Central team. Nice to see you, even if it’s only for three games. Maybe we’ll meet again in October.