Astros drop series finale to the Cubs

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 2-1 loss

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Despite injuries starting to pile up for the Astros, they still had the chance for a series sweep of the Cubs with a victory on Wednesday night. Here is a recap of the series finale:

Final Score: Cubs 2, Astros 1.

Record: 37-20, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Kyle Hendricks (5-4, 3.09 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Wade Miley (5-3, 3.25 ERA).

1) Miley allows two runs in another solid start 

Wade Miley looked to be in trouble early in the game after allowing a solo home run to Kyle Schwarber in the very first at-bat of the game then another to Kris Bryant in the top of the third to put the Cubs up 2-0 early. However, he'd rebound from those early runs and lock in over the rest of his start, completing seven strong innings, including a season-high in strikeouts and innings pitched — Miley's final line: 7 IP, 6H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.

Chris Devenksi took over in the eighth and despite loading the bases with a single and two walks was able to get a strikeout to leave them all stranded. Will Harris had the ninth and would give the offense a chance for a walk-off by keeping it a one-run game after a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. Unfortunately, a walk-off would not come to fruition.

2) One run not enough

The Astros were able to trim the lead to one run after putting runners on the corners with no outs in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff double by Alex Bregman and single by Michael Brantley. They'd score the run on a one-out sacrifice fly by Josh Reddick but would get stopped there as the Cubs maintained the lead at 2-1.

They'd go scoreless the rest of the way, dropping the series finale despite taking the series with the two wins on Monday and Tuesday.

Up Next: The Astros will get a day off tomorrow as they travel to Oakland for a three-game series over the weekend. The first game of the series will get started at 9:07 PM on Friday and will feature Brad Peacock (5-2, 3.19 ERA) on the mound for Houston going against former-Astro Mike Fiers (4-3, 5.05 ERA) for the A's.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Keep an eye on Alex Bowman this weekend. Image via: Wiki Commons.

For the first time since July 1984, NASCAR returns to one of its most popular cities in Nashville, Tennessee for the inaugural Ally 400 at Nashville Super Speedway. This track is a 1 1/3rd mile concrete oval that was dormant for nearly ten years and was only used as a testing facility. So it came as a bit of a surprise last season when it was announced that this track would be getting a date. For a lot of drivers, this will be a brand new racetrack, but we will see practice and qualifying, so that will be a huge help for the newcomers that haven't raced here before. Back when the Xfinity and Trucks ran here, this track featured a lot of first time winners. Back in 2008, future NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski shocked the world by jumping in Dale Jr's car and capturing his first win here. There will be a lot of veterans like Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick who have plenty of experience at this track, but it will be tough to compare. It should be fun with everyone coming into this race with minimal knowledge.

Last week, Kyle Larson continued his hot streak by winning the All-Star Race. Overall, while Larson and his Hendrick teammates probably enjoyed the race, the feedback from crews and fans was less than positive. As I was walking through the garage area and talking to a few crew members, a lot of them were very critical of the 450 horsepower motor and the tall spoiler to try and keep the cars bunched up. When I asked one of the crew-members what he thought about the package he told me, "Oh it's awful. The track is terrible, the package makes it impossible to pass and it's super hot out here." On green flag runs, it was the same as it ever was as the lead car would pretty much take off and the only time there was really any "pack racing" it came after there were restarts. The whole race was well-intentioned and the fans showed up as it was nearly a capacity crowd, but the whole thing just didn't make any sense. From the start time being in the nearly 100 degree heat to the wacky full-field invert at the end of each stage. Let's hope that next season's All-Star Race is a lot more concise.

In Silly Season news this week, Truck Series regulars GMS racing announced that they would be fielding a full-time cup series team. The team is currently owned by Allegiant Airlines CEO Maurice Gallagher and his son, Spencer, who used to drive for them in the Xfinity Series. This move seemed to come from out of nowhere as there was never any indication that this was a move they were exploring anytime soon after they turned down the opportunity to purchase Furniture Row Racing in 2019. This is certainly a great sight for the sport as there will be more new teams on the track and with their close relationship with Chevy, it wouldn't be a surprise if they step in and help this team become competitive. The favorite to drive their car has to be 2020 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed. He has easily been their best driver in trucks, and it would make the most sense for him to get the promotion.

This week at Nashville, the driver that I have winning is Alex Bowman. Now while this is a brand new racetrack and he has a grand total of zero starts here, this track suits his driving style perfectly. With the inclusion of this track, there are now four tracks with a concrete surface. Nashville, Bristol, Dover and Martinsville. At the three of the tracks they have run at, he has shown a lot of speed, including a victory at Dover this season and a top ten finish at Bristol. This is also a track where crew-chief Greg Ives said Bowman has gravitated towards during testing. In an interview with Sirius XM Ives was quoted as saying "we used to have a lot of fun testing there," so this is clearly a track that they both enjoy going to. Another big factor going into Sunday will be just how fast these Hendrick Motorsports cars are, they have finished 1-2 over the last four points races. He has watched his teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott have immense success, and now this week I think he is due for a third win of the season. Look for the bright purple #48 Chevy to go to victory lane this week at Nashville.

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