Like I said, all that about needing Hampton to go deep? Well, it was the Cubs who went deep on the Astros, and Hampton was in the showers early. But all that was overshadowed for us as the ball was handed off, literally and perhaps figuratively, to Bud Norris, making his major league debut. But first let's look at Hampton's piss-poor outing that led to the Cubs' 12-0 victory.
Hampton: 4IP, 8H/9ER, 1K:4BB, 2HR, 15/24 first-pitch strikes, 12/46 non-contact strikes (8 called:4 swinging).
Hampton last gave up 9ER on July 1, 2003 - also on 4IP - in a 20-1 loss to the Marlins. The first inning was brutal. Here's how it went:
Reed Johnson: single to right
Ryan Theriot: double to left
Derrek Lee: sac fly to right (1-0)
Aramis Ramirez: single to left (2-0)
Milton Bradley: walk
Alfonso Soriano: homer to left (5-0)
Jeff Baker: walk, advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch
Koyie Hill: single to center (6-0)
Randy Wells: sac bunt to pitcher
Johnson: flyout to center
Recap: 1IP, 10 batters faced, 6H/6ER, 0K:2BB, 1HR, 1WP
Here's the thing for the other pitchers, oh yes, Bud Norris.
Norris: 3IP, 3H/1ER, 4K:1BB, 8/13 FPS, 14/33 NCS (8c:6s)
Norris threw 13 straight fastballs to open the game. McTaggart said his fastball touched 96, but stayed in the 94-95 range with a slider moving from 84-86mph.
Brocail, making his first appearance since ripping his hamstring from the bone in Atlanta back on May 4: 1IP, 3H/2ER, 0K:1BB.
Brocail gave up Andres Blanco's first career home run, and followed that up by allowing Micah Hoffpauir's first career triple. So we were in a giving mood.
The offense wasn't as bad as the pitching, but it wasn't much better. Randy Wells dominated the Astros, throwing 68 of his 110 pitches for strikes, and getting 25 non-contact strikes. Cubs' pitchers induced four Astros GIDPs. Kaz Matsui logged three of the Astros' six hits, and the Astros only had 2ABs with RISP. Clearly nothing happened with either at-bat.
Man of the Match: Bud Norris! Here's to a long career in the rotation...
Goat of the Game: Really? Mike Hampton and his game score of seven. Depressingly, that's not even the worst of the season - Felipe Paulino had a game score of five on July 3 against the Giants.