The Astros defeated the Cubs 2-1 on Wednesday night, as the Cubs bats wasted a 3rd straight gem by Carlos Zambrano. After their 16-hit, 7 runs barrage on Tuesday night, the Cubs scored only 1 run on a solo home run by Geovany Soto in the 2nd inning. The Cubs managed only 7 hits and 2 walks against Wandy Rodriguez and Chris Sampson. Ryan Theriot was the only Cubs player with more than 1 hit. The Cubs had more than 1 batter reach base in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings, but only scored 1 run in that span. They didn’t have another serioues threat until the 8th inning when Ryan Theriot and Derrek Lee singled, but Reed Johnson struck out to end the inning.
Zambrano needed only 104 pitches to work through 8 innings. Zambrano gave up only 1 earned run on 3 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 3 batters. His only mistake was issuing a lead off walk to Hunter Pence in the 7th inning. Pence advanced to 3rd base on Carlos Lee’s single to center field and then scored on a weak groundball by Geoff Blum. In his last 3 starts, Zambrano has pitched 21 innings, giving up just 2 earned runs (3 total) on 12 hits and 10 walks. He has 16 K’s along the way, but only a 1-0 record to show for it.
Angel Guzman had been the Cubs most reliable reliever until last night. Guzman gave up a leadoff single to Miguel Tejada and then walked Hunter Pence. Carlos Lee’s flyout to right field moved Tejada to 3rd base with only 1 out. Manager Lou Pinella opted to walk Lance Berkman to load the bases to set up a force play at every base, but Geoff Blum’s soft single to center field won the game for the Astros.
The two teams play an afternoon finale on Thursday in Houston. Ryan Dempster will face off against Roy Oswalt.