Wandy Rodriguez (6-5, 3.52) vs Travis Wood (2-3, 3.54)
The Astros start July they way they ended too many games in June - no runs, only 4 hits, and another solid pitching performance wasted. Astros lose, 3-0, and head off to face 2nd-place Pittsburgh after being swept by the MLB-worst Cubs. Houston's 2012 record is now 32-47.
*Wandy did a far sight better than in his last outing on Monday, but he escaped the loss then and got tagged with it today. His line: 7 IP / 5 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 1 BB / 3 K. David Carpenter and Wesley Wright combined for a perfect 8th, but, y'know.... no Astros runs. Houston has a 2.63 team ERA over their last 12 games, but they only have a 4-8 record to show for it.
*Altuve is back! He celebrated his return to the lineup and his selection as Houston's final NL All-Star by going 1 for 4.
*J.D. Martinez stroked a 5th-inning double, and Carlos Lee (who's still here... for now) added a double of his own with two outs in the 9th, giving Houston mulitple XBHs in a game for the first time since Tuesday.
*Houston's only other hit was an 8th inning single by Brian Bixler.
*Jed Lowrie still deserves to be an All-Star, but his recent slump may have killed his chances. He went 0 for 4 today, and he's hitting only .138 since his average peaked at .297 on June 9.
*No Astro took a base on balls today, but six Astros struck out, including Jason Castro and Altuve twice each.
It was a scoreless game with two hits to a side going to the bottom of the 6th, when Cubs pitcher Travis Wood led off the inning with a double against Wandy. A groundout and an IBB later, then it was Anthony Rizzo's turn to be the hero again, driving home Wood on a single to right for the only run the Cubs would need.
Man of the Match:
Wandy. He delivered the Astros' 12th quality start in their last 14 games (plus Dallas Keuchel allowed only 1 R over 5 IP the game before that). The starters have been lights out lately.
Goat of the Game:
Everyone wearing a Houston jersey who picked up a bat today.