9/29 Extra bases – early edition

Some notes heading into Wednesday’s game vs. Padres:

* Since 1901, there have been only three 20-year-old shortstops with a higher batting average than Starlin Castro, who was hitting .301. The list includes:

Alex Rodriguez, .358 in 1996
Arky Vaughn, .319 in 1932
Travis Jackson, .302 in 1924

* Carlos Marmol picked up his 36th save Tuesday and now has saved exactly half of the Cubs’ 72 wins this season. The last time a Cubs closer saved at least half was 1998 when Rod Beck had 51 saves in a 90-win season.

* James Russell and Andrew Cashner have appeared in 56 and 51 games, respectively. They are the first Cubs rookie duo to pitch in at least 50 games since 1991 when Chuck McElroy (71) and Heathcliff Slocumb (52) did so.

* Pitching probables for the final series in Houston will be Casey Coleman, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster. The Cubs are two games behind the Astros in the Central Division.

— Carrie Muskat

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