James Russell will be starting for the first time in the major leagues today, filling in for Andrew Cashner on the Cubs' injury laden rotation. Previously this season the lefthander has worked solely out of the bullpen, sporting a 0.00 ERA and 1.0 WHIP over just 2.0 innings pitched. His most recent appearance, on April 5th, resulted in a win and a blown save.
Russell has pitched in five games against Houston before, with a 0.00 ERA and 0.00 WHIP in 3.1 innings of work. No Astros have hits against Russell, but few have faced him in more than one at-bat. Only Michael Bourn and Clint Barmes have seen him multiple times, in three at-bats and two at-bats, respectively.
Going for Houston will be Brett Myers. Myers is 0-0 on the season across two starts. He has a 2.03 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Against the Cubs over his career, he's 10-3 with a 2.21 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Myers has handled most of the current Cubs well, including Aramis Ramirez and Alfonoso Soriano, who have .216 and .200 averages against him, respectively. The only Cub who hits Myers at all is Geovany Soto, who is 3-for-8.
Kosuke Fukudome is still day-to-day, after suffering a hamstring strain on Sunday. His status is questionable for tonight's game.
Tonight's weather is expected to be clear, with a low in the mid-50's. First pitch is at 7:05 P.M. CDT, and the game will be televised on CSN.