CHICAGO -- Astros general manager Ed Wade, who's making the final trip of the season along with president of baseball operations Tal Smith and assistant general manager David Gottfried, wasn't prepared to say on Saturday whether pitching coach Doug Brocail would return next year.
Brocail, who retired after the 2009 season, was working as a special assistant to Wade this year when he took over as pitching coach when Brad Arnsberg was let go in June.
"We're not in position to talk about it at this point," Wade said.
What's clear is the Astros are pleased with the job that Brocail has done, especially considering how young the Houston pitching staff is. The bullpen is comprised primarily of rookies, many of whom made their debut after Brocail had taken over for Arnsberg.
"I think he's been fantastic," Wade said. "I'm very pleased with the job he's done. As far as him making a commitment to do [next year], at this point, we still time to talk more about it."
Lee looking to extend 20-homer streak
CHICAGO -- One of the goals Carlos Lee set for himself this year was to reach 20 homers, something he moved substantially closer to achieving when he hit two homers in Friday's series opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Lee now has 18 homers this season.
Lee and Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees are the only two players to hit at least 20 home runs in each of the past 11 seasons. Lee is two away from extending his streak to 12 years, while Rodriguez remains a long shot to reach 20, entering play on Saturday with 15 home runs.
"It's something in your career that it would be nice to accomplish," said Lee, who entered Saturday hitting .279 with 86 RBIs. "Hopefully, I'll get there."
Lee has enjoyed a resurgent second half, as he entered Saturday hitting .298 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs since the All-Star break. The burly first baseman batted .268 with seven homers and 48 RBIs in the first half of the season.
"The one thing about me is I will never give up in the good or the bad," Lee said. "I will keep pushing to the end. They traded everybody [Jeff Keppinger, Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn] and I could have gone through the motions, but that's not me. We've got a lot of young guys who have to learn the game.
"I kind of took that role to push myself and go hard. I'm not saying I didn't do it before, but I just wanted to show them how to do it right up here. Like I said before, I have found a position where I feel comfortable, hitting-wise, and it's working."
Astros rookies impressed by Friendly Confines
CHICAGO -- Several of the Astros' substantial army of rookies got their first taste of the Wrigley Field experience on Friday, where the ivy-covered walls and the rich history of the 97-year-old ballpark offer a baseball experience like no other.
"It's a really cool experience," said rookie outfielder J.B. Shuck, who pinch-hit in Friday's game. "Just thinking of all the people that have played here and the history of the field and being on the field, it's just really neat. They've got good crowds that are pretty loud."
The Astros on Saturday were trying to avoid being victims of the Cubs' 4,000th win at Wrigley Field. Coming into Saturday's game, the Cubs held a slight 177-165 edge over the Astros at Wrigley Field, including a 4-3 mark this year.
While the Astros have already set a club record by losing 99 games, they managed to avoid posting their worst road record in franchise history. The 1963 Colt .45's lost 59 road games, a record even this year's team can't match.