Armando Galarraga (0-2, 4.70) vs Jeff Samardzija (7-10, 4.21)
A return to the road and to the old (new) uniforms felt like a return to the 2012 Astros we've come to expect the last two months. The slumping Cubs beat the Astros 7-1, dropping Houston to 38-79 on the season.
*Armando Galarraga is going to come in handy for Houston late in the season as the team looks to limit the innings on some of their younger arms. That's a good thing for his job security, because he certainly hasn't pitched very well for the Astros yet. Victimized by a pair of two-run homers, Galarraga's line: 5 IP / 7 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 2 BB / 2 K. The bullpen didn't do terribly much better, as Rhiner Cruz and Xavier Cedeno each allowed a run as they combined for the final three innings of work.
*After averaging 7.6 hits per game over the just-completed homestand, the Astros only scratched out four hits tonight against Cubs pitching.
*Brandon Barnes made his first appearance in a game since Thursday, pinch hitting for Galarraga in the 6th, but he made it a memorable one, launching his first big league home run into the Wrigley bleachers in left.
*Jason Castro returned from the DL, playing in his first Astros game since July 7, going 1 for 4 with three strikeouts.
*Tyler Greene started again and went 1 for 4 with 2 K.
*Justin Maxwell singled and stole a base to go 1 for 4 with 2 K.
*Jose Altuve went 0 for 3 with a strikeout, but he also walked once and stole his 25th base of the season.
Already down 3-0, Houston went to the bottom of the 5th still hoping to climb back into the game. After a lead-off ground out by Josh Vitters, Anthony Rizzo singled and Alfonso Soriano blasted Chicago's second two-run homer of the night, putting the Astros in a 5-0 hole. Having only managed two singles to that point themselves, it was unsurprising that the deficit would be insurmountable for Houston.
Man of the Match:
Brandon Barnes. He only got one at bat, but it was still a big game for the 26-year-old rookie.
Goat of the Game:
Armando Galarraga. He's yet to go more than 5.1 innings in an Astros uniform, and his ERA has risen with each start (now 5.75).