The Cubs’ losing streak has reached seven, and Dale Sveum is hoping a righty-heavy lineup will fix things against lefty J.A. Happ. The Cubs counter with a lefty of their own, Travis Wood, who’s making his second start of the season. This is his first start with a real chance to hold onto a rotation spot.

Blake Lalli gets his first start in the Koyie Hill era (that is to say, the era in which Koyie Hill rules the roost).

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (15-27) at Houston Astros (19-23), 7:05pm CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.000 WHIP)


J.A. Happ (3-3, 4.96 ERA, 1.522 WHIP)

Houston Astros Lineup

1. Jose Altuve, 2B

2. Jed Lowrie, SS

3. Jason Maxwell, RF

4. Carlos Lee, 1B

5. J.D. Martinez, LF

6. Chris Johnson, 3B

7. Chris Snyder, C

8. Jordan Schafer, CF

9. J.A. Happ, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Reed Johnson, CF

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Joe Mather, 3B

6. Jeff Baker, 1B

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Blake Lalli, C

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Spencer

    Happ’s WHIP is AWFUL

    • TWC

      Which means he’ll throw a perfect game tonight…

      • Dave H

        Against our line-up anything possible…..

    • ry34

      which means he will pitch like cy young tonight, 1 walk max.

    • Tonycampanathebasethief

      Rizzo today went 3 for 5 with a hr , 3 RBI, 5 runs.
      Valbuena went 3-4 with a HR, and 4 RBI (he’s tearing it up call up soon?

      • Tonycampanathebasethief

        P.J. Fracescon-Daytona
        Eric jockish-Tennesse
        Brooks Raley-Iowa!

        • Tonycampanathebasethief

          Fracescon threw 6 innings in Daytona other 2 runs(1ER) on 6 hits with 5 k’s
          Junior lake led off the game for tennesse with a HR(2)

  • Puma0821

    Oh boy! This lineup is a winner!!!

  • HoustonTransplant

    Ha, the only thing about that line up that makes me feel slightly okay is Mather playing…the rest sucks.

    And it doesn’t matter WHO the pitcher is when the Cubs face him; the chances of said pitcher having a career day is high.

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    Just saw MLB Network showing Aramis’s numbers so far this season and it made me wonder how it compared to Stewarts. Though Stewart isn’t starting tonight, here’s an interesting comparison of a former 3rd baseman and our current 3rd baseman so far this season:

    Aramis Ramirez:
    BA: .219
    OBP: .294
    HR: 3
    SO: 25
    BB: 16
    Errors: 5

    Ian Stewart:
    BA: .197
    OBP: .286
    HR: 4
    SO: 29
    BB: 15
    Errors: 3

    I know, I know. Aramis always starts slow and will be hitting by August. Either way, I thought Stewart wouldn’t be able to fill Ramirez’s shoes, but the numbers show that he is so far. If Aramis keeps it up at this pace, I’ll be even more happy we didn’t spend the money to bring him back. Plus, Stewart’s superior glove is nice at 3rd.

    • FromFenwayPahk

      Thanks for the stats.

    • hardtop

      Aramis: 22
      Ian: 13

      but yeah, they both suck. with the way braun is playing, Ramirez will get to see more and more good pitches. that coupled with his notoriously slow starts, I kind of expect him to eclipse Stewart. i am glad they didn’t re-sign Aramis, although his deal is somewhat manageable… but there is little about Stewart makes me “happy”.

      • Jimmy james

        Got to have people on base to get rbis lol

        • Mrp

          Yeah, I’m pretty sure that Captain Herps gets on base an awful lot in front of Aramis. Lucroy is tearing it up too which also helps.

        • hardtop

          yeah well the cubs rank 14th with 14.19 men left of base per game, and Milwaukee is 7th with 13.XX. Does that mean the brewers knock more guys in and therefore leave fewer? Probably, in part. it also means the cubs are worse about driving in runs with “people on base”. Milwaukee’s team OBP is .310 and the cubs is .306… you’re telling the reason Ramirez has 9 more RBI is because of the .4% more base runners? Ok, whatever rolls your socks up and down.

          • Mrp

            Uh, those numbers mean nothing to what I’m saying but whatever tickles your pickle.

            My point was that Aramis has guys like Braun and Lucroy hitting in front of him, they have pretty high OBPs. Ian generally has had Soriano ahead of him. Do I really need to look up those numbers for you?

  • hardtop

    is sveum kidding? talk about over compensating for a left handed pitcher. if you arent going to attempt to win the game might as well give starlin the day off, or see what happens when you bat him second. also, lahair is slumping a bit… might as well see what he can do against a lefty with an era approaching 5 and a horrible WHIP, you know, cause he has more HR’s than the rest of the team combined (ok not quite, but more than double second place).
    …again, considering you have no intention of winning the game.

    prove me wrong dale… and get those damn jailhouse tats covered up for fucks sake.

    • TWC

      “lahair is slumping a bit”

      The key:  March/April BABIP .600   May BABIP .256.  I was actually shocked to see that his K rate was way down (35.7% to 25%) compared to the first month of the season.  I expected the opposite.

      • hardtop

        yeah, i should say “lahair is coming back to earth”

      • DocPeterWimsey

        I was always sort of aware of how fickle the “single average” was (which is a key part of BABiP), but a lot of this makes me wonder if the “adjustments” are less pitchers and more the positioning of fielders, and if the effects of LaHair’s upcoming adjustments will be where his grounders go rather than how frequently he hits grounders.  That being said, the Goddess of BABiP will never be that nice to him again…..

  • #1lahairfan

    I hope Travis Wood has a great start.

  • #1lahairfan

    Hope Blake has a good game too.

  • rcleven

    Line up consists of three major starters, a catcher who should be coaching, a pretty worn out center field B/U,a third rate B/U infielder/1st baseman, and 3 three AAA players.

    Not betting the house on this one.

    • Mrp

      Wait, which team are you describing?

  • Barry

    From Sports Network:

    “Happ gets a third chance this season to win a second straight decision. He was a 4-0 winner over Milwaukee in this most recent start on May 17…lowering his ERA from 5.72 to 4.96.

    “Happ is 0-1 in two lifetime start against the Cubs.”

    So…to recap:
    1. He’s looking for consecutive wins for the first time in 2012.
    2. His ERA is nearly 5.00.
    3. He has yet to beat the Cubs in his career.

    We’re screwed.

  • Carew

    has anyone else noticed that the cubs struggle hard against very average pitchers but do alright against studs?

    …well not lately but earlier they did.

    or is that what yall are essentially saying haha

  • Bret Epic

    If Travis Wood doesn’t end up a starter over Volstead/Wells somehow, can we find a position for him in the field so he can hit?

  • njriv

    Easy to see, Castro needs a day off.

  • grace17

    It’s gunna be a long season!