Cubs Flattened In Houston

Houston Astros starting pitcher Brett Myers dominated the Chicago Cubs Tuesday night with a seven inning, one earned run, no walk performance and the Astros clobbered the Cubs 11-2.

Myers has pitched some of the best games of his career against the Cubs. Going into Tuesday’s game, Myers was 10-3 lifetime against the Cubs with a 2.21 ERA in 17 games. Myers’ only mistake of the night was a seventh inning Tyler Colvin solo home run.

“[Myers] was outstanding.” said Astros bench coach Al Pedrique. Pedrique managed the team in place of Astros manager Brad Mills, who was serving a one game suspension. “He had an early lead and he kept going after the hitters and moved the ball around the plate and changed speeds and used his breaking ball when he needed to. The key for him today was working ahead in the count. He went right after the hitters, and working with that kind of lead he felt comfortable on the mound.”

Cubs manager Mike Quade gave much of the credit to Myers for the Astros’ victory over the Cubs last night.

“He seems he’s found a home over here. When his curveball is on, he’s real good. He pitched real well tonight.” Quade said.

Things weren’t so pretty for Cubs starter James Russell, who made his first career start in place of the injured Andrew Cashner. He was roughed up in the first inning by giving up two bunt singles to start the game and a Hunter Pence single that drove in a run before striking out the next batter Carlos Lee.

Later in the inning, he gave up one more run on a Bill Hall RBI single that should have been caught by outfielder Alfonso Soriano and the Astros scored a third run because of a Darwin Barney fielding error. Soriano was also charged with an error for mishandling the catch.

Russell pitched 1 2/3 innings before Quade went to his bullpen. Jeff Samardzija relieved Russell and pitched three innings, giving up two earned runs.

After getting solid pitching performances from Jeff Stevens and Marcos Mateo in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, John Grabow came into the game in the bottom of eighth inning and gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits, putting away any hope for a Cubs rally.

Outside of the Colvin blast, the only other bright spots that mattered for the Cubs offensively were outfielder Marlon Byrd and shortstop Starlin Castro. Byrd had three hits in three at-bats and Castro, who had two hits in five at-bats, grounded out in the top of the ninth inning to drive in the team’s second and final run of the game.

The Cubs will look to rebound in the rubber match Wednesday night when Carlos Zambrano takes the mound against Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez.

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