MLB

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 - 8:05 PM ET
 

Cubs-Astros Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Justin Germano doesn't need any reminders of how poorly he's pitched lately for the Chicago Cubs. Facing the team he last beat may help take his mind off those tough outings.

He'll try to avoid a fifth consecutive loss while the visiting Cubs seek their first five-game winning streak of the season Tuesday night against the Houston Astros.

Germano (2-6, 6.95 ERA) has a dismal 11.09 ERA over his last four starts after giving up seven runs in four innings of Thursday's 9-2 loss at Washington, his shortest start of the season. He's allowed at least five runs in each outing during his slump as opponents have hit .369.

His last victory came against Houston on Aug. 15, when he allowed two runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-2 win. Germano's only lifetime start in Houston was the worst of his career, though, as he gave up a career-high 10 runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings while pitching for San Diego on April 21, 2008.

Chicago (55-86) hopes this outing goes much better as it seeks to win five straight for the first time since a seven-game run July 31-Aug. 6, 2011.

The Cubs swept Pittsburgh over the weekend, then beat the Astros 4-1 in Monday's series opener. Dave Sappelt doubled twice and finished with three RBIs as Chicago ended a five-game losing streak in Houston.

Manager Dale Sveum said the Cubs are conscious of their record and are hoping to avoid losing 100 games for the first time since the 1966 team went 59-103.

"Those guys are starting to understand how close that 100 losses is,'' Sveum said. "That's the goal. That's the talk now and obviously they're responding now.''

The Astros (44-97), meanwhile, have lost 10 of their last 11 at home and are inching closer to their second consecutive 100-loss campaign. Houston interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said his young players need to start capitalizing on opportunities.

Justin Maxwell and Fernando Martinez each went 2 for 4 on Monday.

"I'm glad the guys are getting opportunities to prove they are major league hitters, but at some point, the guys have to be accountable for their at-bats and try to grind them out,'' DeFrancesco said.

Houston will look to bounce back with help from Jordan Lyles, though it has lost 18 of his 21 starts.

Lyles (3-11, 5.55) had another rough outing last Tuesday, giving up five runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh.

"I think it comes down to delivery," Lyles said. "I've got to work on being better out of the stretch, and (Tuesday) it wasn't there.''

The right-hander, though, has been better at home, going 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA in 10 outings compared to 1-7 with a 6.95 ERA in 11 road starts. Both of Lyles' career outings versus the Cubs were in Chicago last season, as he delivered two quality starts without earning a decision.

The teams combined for 14 walks, two hit batters, three wild pitches and 24 left on base in Monday's series opener.

Tagged: Cubs, Astros, Justin Germano

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..