I love when the Cubs come to Minute Maid Park. There’s a few things that I adore about it. First, the Cubs fans come out in droves. Generally that annoys me at a game, but this year in particular, the opportunity to watch Cubs fans cry at MMP is more than I can resist smiling at. Yep, I know, I’m a bit evil.
But the Cubs are the “Astros of last season” sitting in the bottom of the NL Central standings and that’s just a whole lot of fun for an Astros fan, right? Admit it…you love it too.
The match-ups for this series aren’t too shabby either. The timing in the starting rotations means we’ll see some fun baseball. But when push comes to shove, I expect the Astros to take 2 of these 3 games and really in my heart of hearts I think they should sweep this team of baby bears.
JA Happ’s coming in with momentum after his last start, the same for Cudly Studly Budly Norris and Wandy Rodriguez has to want to come out and prove that the hit parade by the Rangers last Friday was a fluke and he’s still the pitcher we all know he is. After all, at home, Wandy’s ERA is a very impressive 1.52. Come on, Wandy, we know you want to kick some ass this week.
Jordan Schafer will still be sitting out and isn’t expected to play on Monday thanks to that lower leg strain, but Jose Altuve once again proved Sunday he can hit in any spot you stick him and did a fine job as the leadoff hitter. If Schafer was missed anywhere it was in centerfield where Justin Maxwell isn’t quite as quick (or used to Tal’s hill) defensively. That should only affect Monday and possibly Tuesday.
But on the other hand….let me tell ya’ story ’bout a man named Jed…yep, that SS is finding a nice groove at the plate (.273/.354/.461) and I look for him to continue to hit well and make the plays down the middle.
In the meantime, I’ll be waiting on JD Martinez to lose the “lost” look he’s been sporting at the plate and find his swing again. And I’ll be waiting for Brian Bogusevic to fix the little things that seem to be keeping him off-balance from time to time at the plate as well. If the Astros can get those two kicking it old school, I think the Astros will continue to be the scrappy little brother who just won’t give up.
Terri Schlather (AGirlintheSouth) is the tortured Senior Houston Astros Writer for Aerys Sports. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her ridiculous ramblings on sports, vodka and the weeone on twitter @agirlinthesouth.