Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 04/23/06

Game Seventeen: Cubs (9-7) vs. Cardinals (11-6)
Game Time – 1:15pm C.T. on WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Greg Maddux (3-0, 1.33) vs. Jason Marquis (3-0, 2.79)
Updated – 1:05pm C.T. with Roster Moves - Guzman Called Up – Williams sent to Iowa

When the season started, if someone said the Cubs have a starting pitcher that is leading the league in ERA, the obvious answer would have been Carlos Zambrano….but in reality it is Greg Maddux. Maddux takes his undefeated record and league leading ERA into St. Louis today to try to put an end to the Cubs 2 game losing streak….by the way Tom Glavine is second in the league in ERA….Maddux has been unbelievable to this point of the season and is facing former teammate Jason Marquis, who is 3-0 as well on the season. Saturday was the first time the Cubs had dropped back-to-back games and need a win today to finish the road trip 5-4 and head back to Wrigley to face the Marlins and Brewers 3 games above .500.

The Cubs’ offense was staked to an early hole on Friday that they could never come back from, but on Saturday they tried to much to compensate for the loss of Lee and that cost them the game. They need to just play a smart game today….no mental errors and not give the Cardinals any extra outs and with Maddux on the hill the confidence level of the entire team should be improved.

The Cubs look to good ole Maddog for the win today, but his youthful resurgence is the key to success for the Cubs. Maddux must not allow Pujols to beat him today. Pujols is responsible for 6 of the 13 runs the Cardinals scored in the first two games of the series and would have had more if not for the great defensive play on Saturday by Jacque Jones. Pujols has 3 lifetime home runs against Maddux but went 0-4 the last time the two faced off in Chicago. The Cardinals’ offense goes through Pujols and a couple of free passes and allowing an aging Jim Edmonds or Scott Rolen to beat you might be a good game plan for today. They are a combined 1 for 13 in the series with 2 walks and the only hit was a 2-run home run on Friday by Jim Edmonds. Rolen is hitting .263 on the season and Edmonds is struggling at .180.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….

Update - The Cubs sent Jerome Williams to Iowa on Sunday and called up Angel Guzman. Guzman is in St. Louis and is available for today’s game out of the bullpen and could start Wednesday’s game against the Marlins. Jim Hendry just said that Guzman was going to make the club out of Mesa, but Marshall pushed past him in the spring and made the club.