In a battle between the two worst teams in baseball Friday, the Cubs (40-60) found a way to get past the Houston Astros (33-66) 4-2. Things started slowly for the Cubs as Houston jumped out to a 2-0 lead after four innings thanks to solo tallies in the second and fourth innings. The Cubs would fight back though and score four times in the fifth inning thanks to homeruns by Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez. Neither team would score again, and the Cubs held on for the victory.
Carlos Zambrano struggled early but was able to pitch out of jams and keep his team in the game. Houston loaded the bases in both the second and third innings with no outs, but were only able to score one run. Zambrano went six innings and allowed two runs on nine hits. The Cubs righty improved to 7-5 on the season. Sean Marshall pitched a perfect ninth to earn his third save on the season.
Bud Norris took the loss for Houston. Norris pitched well with the exception of the fifth inning when the Cubs scored four times. The Astros righty went six and a third innings and allowed four runs on nine hits. Norris fell to 5-7 on the season.
The Cubs and Astros will face off again on Saturday at 12:05 CST.
With as bad as the Cubs have played this season, surprisingly there is a team that has actually played worse. The Houston Astros. Houston comes in to Wrigley this weekend with only 33 victories this season which is six less than the Cubs. Before you get too excited though, the Astros are 4-2 against the Cubs this season including a three-game sweep at Wrigley in late May. Houston has won nine of the last eleven meetings at Wrigley Field.
Carlos Zambrano will start the series opener for the Cubs Friday. Zambrano is 6-5 on the season with an ERA of 4.78. Big Z is coming off a terrible start against the Marlins in which he allowed eight runs in just four and two-thirds innings. Zambrano has however pitched well against the Astros in his career. The Cubs righty is 15-8 with an ERA of 2.72 ERA in his career against Houston.
The Astros will send Bud Norris to the mound Friday. Norris is 5-6 with an impressive 3.59 ERA and has been one of the few bright spots for Houston this season. In his career against the Cubs, Norris is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three games.
The forecast at the time of first pitch is temps near 90 degrees with a chance of storms. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 CST. The game can be seen on CSN.