Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Astros 3, Cubs 0
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO – The Cubs’ 3-0 defeat to the Houston Astros on Tuesday was their 101st of the season and left them with one game remaining.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Chris Volstad gave up just one earned run over seven innings, but the Cubs' offense continued to struggle. The Cubs were shut out for a second consecutive night in the final series of the season and have been held scoreless in three of the last seven games. The Astros entered next to last in the National League with a 4.58 team ERA, while the Cubs were just one spot better at 4.54.
WHAT IT MEANS: At least Volstad will get to head into the offseason with a good taste in his mouth. The big right-hander, who ended a 24-start winless streak in August, and actually won three of four starts at one stretch, was just about at his best. He didn’t walk a batter over his seven innings, while striking out six and he probably won’t feel the slightest bit bad that he did it against the lowly Astros.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: The Cubs completed the night portion of the home schedule, going 10-20 under the Wrigley Field lights this season. Since lights were installed in 1988, the Cubs are 254-254 in their 508 night games. The 30 night games this season were a franchise high, passing the 29 played in each of the previous two season.
OFF BEAT: As of Tuesday evening there were still tickets available for as low as 95 cents at stubhub.com to gain admission to the Cubs’ season finale Wednesday afternoon. Tickets for games earlier in the series against the Astros were selling for as low as 50 cents. Cheap tickets or not, the Cubs will nearly draw 2.9 million fans, low for their standards but still impressive for a team that has lost 100 games.
UP NEXT: For the final game of the season Wednesday, the Cubs will send left-hander Travis Wood (6-13, 4.39 ERA) to the mound. The Astros will counter with right-hander Edgar Gonzalez (3-1, 4.15) in the 1:20 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.