Astros 94, Cubs 92, Cardinals 91

added 9/5/2001 by Steve Cutchen

With ten series remaining for the Astros, Cubs and Cardinals, each had five home and home series left. As these series go by, I'm comparing the results against my prediction for what would be needed for a 3-way tie at 92 wins at season's end. This Knuckleball shows the results through 3 of 10 series; Houston at Cincinnati, predicted at 1-2, Chicago at Florida, predicted at 2-1 and St. Louis at San Diego, predicted at 2-1.

On Monday, St. Louis' Bud Smith stole the baseball headlines with a no hitter against the Padres. The Cards win 4-0. Meanwhile in Cincinnati, Houston's Ron Villone pitched well. But the Reds broke a 2-2 tie in the 8th on a rare Houston bullpen failure. Dotel gets the loss, 3-2. And in Miami, the Cubs broke out the whoopin' stick and clobbered the Fish in a 10-2 runaway.

Tuesday? Oswalt: 'Nuf 'Ced. R.O.Y. Oswalt set a team record for wins by a rookie, sitting now with a 13-2 record. And the Astros bats woke up for a 7-1 Houston win on Tuesday. The Cubs were attempting to deal with their own young pitching phenom opponent. Houston area native Josh Beckett gave up just 1 hit in 6 innings as the Marlins blow out the Cubs 8-1 to even the series. And masterpiece pitching continued to be the order of the day for the Cardinals, with Matt Morris dominating. St. Louis wins 7-1.

On Wednesday the Astros bats continued hot. Castilla had 4 hits for the second game in a row. And Mlicki continued to lead a charmed life as an Astro as Houston cruised 10-3 and took the series 2-1. A heartbreaker in Florida as the Chicago Nationals bullpen collapses. Bully studs Farnsworth and Gordon give up 3 runs each in the 8th and 9th innings, and the Marlins stunned the Cubs 7-6, taking that series 2-1. And out in San Diego, the Cardinals pitching staff looked like the Braves in their prime. Woody Williams had a second complete game, and the St. Louis club got a third great start against the Padres. Woody pitched a no hitter through 7.1 innings. He finished with a 2 hitter as the Cards blank the Holy Fathers 2-0, and sweep the three game series.

Up next for the Cubs is a homestand against Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Houston finishes its last series against losing teams, facing the Brewers at Enron for a 4 gamer. The Cardinals get one game of home cooking, against Los Angeles. I predict the Cubs and Cards go 2-1 and Houston goes 3-1.

Below are the predictions and outcomes through the first 3 of the last 10 series.

That's my Knuckleball. Try to hit it.

ASTROS

Opponent
Prediction
Actual
+ / -
Cincinnati
2-1
3-0
+ 1
@ Milwaukee
2-1
2-1
+ 1
@ Cincinnati
1-2
2-1
+ 2
Milwaukee
3-1
San Francisco
1-2
@ St. Louis
1-2
@ San Francisco
1-2
Chicago
2-1
St. Louis
2-1
@ Chicago
2-2

Cubs

Opponent
Prediction
Actual
+ / -
Florida
2-1
2-1
even
@ Atlanta
1-2
2-1
+ 1
@ Florida
2-1
1-2
even
Atlanta
2-1
Cincinnati
3-1
Pittsburgh
3-0
@ Cincinnati
2-1
@ Houston
1-2
@ Pittsburgh
2-1
Houston
2-2

Cardinals

Opponent
Prediction
Actual
+ / -
San Diego
3-0
2-1
- 1
@ Los Angeles
2-1
1-2
- 2
@ San Diego
2-1
3-0
- 1
Los Angeles
2-1
@ Milwaukee
2-2
Houston
2-1
Milwaukee
3-0
@ Pittsburgh
2-2
@ Houston
1-2
Pittsburgh
3-0

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