- Tuesday May 20th – Minute Maid Park
- Astros 4 – Cubs 2
- Record (28-18) – 1st place in the NL Central
The skinny: What a tremendous break for the Chicago Bulls this evening, winning the first overall-pick in the June NBA Draft.
Amazingly, the Bulls beat the minuscule odds of a 1.7 % chance at winning the league’s draft lottery.
Repeat that again please, I said a 1.7% chance. Even Sir Charles wouldn’t bet against those odds.
In turn, Chicago was right at an 81% chance of staying put in the ninth spot.
Now, they’re in position to potential compete for an NBA title next year.
How ya feelin’ Mike D’Antoni?
I don’t think anyone could have been more surprised than the Bulls’ representative, Executive Vice President, Business Operations Steve Schanwald.
“I thought it was a waste of time [attending],” said Schanwald. He later added “I was just hoping to have a good meal.”
I love Schanwald’s response, pure honesty!
So, now the million dollar (literally) question is, who should the Bulls pick?
I’d take point guard Derrick Rose. The NBA is a guard’s game now and Rose is the best available version of Chris Paul.
With the Draft set for June 26th we’ll know soon enough who the Bulls will take.
As for the Cubs, odds are tomorrow’s game at Houston will be another close one.
At least that’s the trend versus Houston dating back to last season: since Sept. 1, eight of the last 10 games have been decided by two or fewer runs, tonight’s final included.
The bright side is Chicago has much better odds of winning the rubber-match tomorrow than the Bulls had for winning the lottery tonight – not that it turned out badly for the registered Angus.
The Cubs just missed at the plate on a couple of breaks that would have swung the game their way.
Most notable, in the first inning Fukudome laced a liner just foul down the right field line, had it hit fair Derek Lee would have scored the game’s first run.
Instead, Fukudome combined with Soriano to strand six total runners (three apiece); big Geo fanned during the second inning after Chris Sampson lead him off with a 3-0 count, and Jim Edmonds killed a no-out rally in the seventh by hitting into a twin killing – and added a fourth inning throwing error as well.
Although, I’d say the larger issue is Soriano and Theriot combining for an 0-for-8 effort in front of the hot bats of Lee (3-for-5) and Ramirez (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs).
Outside one bad inning from Ryan Dempster (6 IP, 4-R, 6-H, 2-BB and 5-K) – allowing Hunter Pence’s grand slam in the fourth – the pitching was good. After all, those were the only runs the Astros scored.
Really, the Cubs just looked flat tonight, which, is disturbing considering Astros’ starter Chris Sampson is typically the type of pitcher Chicago takes to the cleaners: Sampson has allowed 62 hits in 47 innings pitched including a 6.46 ERA entering tonight’s game.
And worse, the lack of run production comes just days after the Cubs flopped against another very hittable starter, Phil Dumatrait shut down the lineup Sunday.
Besides the importance of winning the series tomorrow, Chicago needs a nice rebound game before Thursday’s travel day to Pittsburgh.
Not to mention, the way the team swings the sticks against the Peg Legs, a win tomorrow night could be the beginning of a four game winning streak.
And, the odds of that happening have to better than 1.7%, right?
W: Sampson (3-3) – Valverde (13)
L: Dempster (5-2)
- Notes: Ryan Dempster has dropped two of his past four outings.
- Prior to Aramis connecting for home runs in the last two games (HR No. 7, 8), the third baseman had gone 20 contests since his last round tripper.
- Mark DeRosa extended his hitting streak to 11-games by leading off the fifth with a single; the streak matches a career high for the utility man.