The Cubs took the series 2-1, and it was a closely-contested affair, though not entirely attractive. Nevertheless, Wrigley Field is not the simplest place to wander into and walk away with a victory. Chicago fans are stern, and their downtown representatives did them proud.
Houston came into this Illinois visit having won their last two series, going 6-3 in their last nine games. The Cubs are not the fiercest opponents the Astros have faced lately or, indeed, will be facing. The Astros are in the middle of an examination phase, seeing exactly who fits in where. The outfielders are battling for positions, and Bo Porter has the tricky task of placing value in the correct place. Some of the boys are defending very well and some are putting up good numbers at the plate. Houston’s coaching staff and scouts will be doing some intense homework to determine just when and how they should play their cards.
The Astros have not been scoring too many runs lately, emerging victorious in a number of one-run contests. A win is a win, but there are some feisty hitters coming into their crosshairs. Los Angeles Angels are hinting at getting some value for their money, and are likely embarrassed to be so low down in the AL West. Losing out to bottom-rung companions Houston would be beyond consideration. The St Louis Cardinals are also in Houston’s immediate future, and the former National League rivals will be keen to show the Astros that there is no love lost.
Pitching will be key, as it has been, and so too will the air of confidence that the Astros are so close to adopting. The starting pitchers can not forgive many more errors from their support crew.