Someone had to win the series between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, the two worst teams in Major League Baseball. It turned out to be the next-to-worst Cubs over the Astros in two out of three games. Houston managed to score just a single run in all three games, win or lose.
The series opener was a loss for the Astros. Dave Sappelt had three RBIs in the Cubs' 4-1 victory and the Stros' only run came on a Jason Castro RBI single that brought in Justin Maxwell, who'd tripled.
Dallas Keuchel was mediocre in his performance, but the issue was one that it's been for a while with the Astros. There wasn't enough hitting, much less timely hitting.
The Stros and Cubs combined for six errors, with Houston committing four of them but still winning the game behind an unearned run and bullpen that pitched well enough for the team to escape with a 1-0 victory. As the saying goes, a win is a win, but a couple of bad teams are still a couple of bad teams, and one beating the other doesn't confuse that at all.
Then there was Wednesday night's rubber match with Cubs taking a 5-1 win in their last game at Minute Maid Park as league or divisional opponents.
A scary moment came when Houston reliever Mickey Storey was hit in his right jaw by a line drive off the bat of Sappelt. It was a hit for Sappelt but Storey went down immediately and the attention quickly turned to him. The young pitcher was able to walk to the dugout under his own power and after the game told the media he would be fine, but swelling was already becoming noticeable before Storey left the field.
Houston had been shut out until the eighth inning when a run finally scored on Fernando Martinez's single. In that same inning, the Stros loaded the bases but left all three runners stranded. That's half the number of runners the Astros left on base the entire game (they didn't have many baserunners).
It was another missed opportunity for the Stros, but again, someone had to win this series. What turned out to be most important is that the liner that hit Storey in the face didn't turn out to be more serious.
"The best thing I can take from this is that it didn't hit somewhere worse," Storey said. "Initially, it was a shock and it hurt and stuff, but I think I'll be alright. Hopefully, I can be back there soon."
Oakland A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy suffered a more serious injury resulting in brain surgery when he was struck in the head earlier this month.
"We were lucky," interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "What happened with McCarthy in Oakland, it's very sensitive right now to the players and the coaching staffs. We don't want to see anybody get hurt. I know it's part of the game, but you feel bad for the kid."