In a battle of lefties, the Cubs marched sometimes-promising rookie Sean Marshall to the hill Tuesday night against Andy Pettitte, a marquee veteran who’s been struggling all season. Pettitte emerged the easy victor as the Houston Astros beat the Cubs 9-2. Houston’s Chris Burke led the onslaught, going four-for-four with a whopping five runs scored.

Despite the blowout final score, the Cubs actually had a chance to make some noise in the eighth. Down 6-1, Chicago loaded the bases with just one out. Unfortunately for the 40,563 fans who for some reason bought laughably overpriced tickets to see the contest, a “Cub rally” ensued when Phil Nevin struck out and rookie Matt Murton jumped all over the first pitch, grounding out sharply to third.

“He hit the ball hard,” TV man Len Kasper said of Murton, hoping to find some solace in another letdown at Wrigley. At a different point during Tuesday’s broadcast, Kasper had a rare but damning criticism of the Cubs, saying “The truth is, this club has played a lot of mediocre baseball the last two years.”

Lefty reliever Will Ohman struggled mightily in the ninth—his only inning pitched—giving up three earned runs. While the Cubs got no relief from Ohman, fans at the game did because he enabled them the chance to cut out a little early and get a head start on the drive back to Naperville.

Number of the day: 4
Appearances during which Ohman’s ERA was below five. It now sits north of five where it belongs, at 5.14.

heckler editorial staff