For years, outfielder Carlos Lee has killed the Cubs. He killed them when he was with the White Sox. He killed them when he was with the Brewers. And he still kills them now that he's with the Astros.
The question is, why do the Cubs continue to pitch to Lee when he's good for one clutch home run per series against the North Siders?
Take Tuesday's game, for instance. Here's the situation: Cubs lead 6-5 in the top of the seventh, two outs, tying run at second, Lee at the plate, Geoff Blum on-deck.
Manager Lou Piniella goes to the mound to visit Bob "The Gas Can" Howry, and they apparently decide to pitch to Lee, instead of walking him intentionally to get to the .230-hitting Blum.
Howry challenges Lee with a first-pitch fastball, and Lee hits a two-run bomb to give the Astros a 7-6 lead. With the damage already done, Howry strikes out Blum on four pitches.
Too bad the Cubs came back to beat Houston 11-7. Howry, unfortunately, got the win after blowing the lead. What he really deserved was a swift kick to the groin. Howry stunk years ago when he was with the Sox. It's comforting to know that some things never change.