Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 07/31/06

Game One Hundred Five: Cubs (43-61) vs. Diamondbacks (53-51)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 187/190
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Mark Prior (0-4, 6.60) vs. Brandon Webb (11-4, 2.64)

The Trade Deadline has come and gone (3:00pm C.T.) and everyone by now knows what happened. The Cubs traded Todd Walker to the Padres for 19 year-old pitcher Jose Ceda but most importantly they traded Greg Maddux to the Dodgers for infielder Cesar Izturis. Izturis has already been added to the Cubs Active Roster but a roster move to replace Todd Walker has not been announced and the Cubs have not announced who will pitch against the Diamondbacks on Thursday and replace Greg Maddux in the rotation.

From everyone here at the CCO….Thank you Greg and Todd!!!

Mark Prior is coming off his best start of the season against the Mets when he did not allow a hit in 5 2/3 innings of work. Prior left after 103 pitches and the Cubs lost the game to the Mets 1-0 in 10 innings….probably the most promising loss of the season for the Cubs.

Prior has not won a game in almost 11 months (September 10, 2005 against the Giants) and has received consecutive no-decisions. Prior has had admitted command problems and cannot locate his breaking ball consistently. Prior did give up 5 walks against the Mets but he was “effectively wild” and pitched his way in and out of trouble. Regardless of tonight’s outcome the Cubs must see continued improvement from Mark Prior.

For the second game in a row the Cubs get their opponents best, tonight it is Brandon Webb. Webb has been spectacular this season for the D’Backs. After an 8-0 start to the season (with 4 no-decisions) in April and May his ERA was 2.00, he was 0-3 with a 5.08 ERA in June but got back on track in July despite losing his last outing against the Phillies on July 26th. Webb is 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 5 starts in July and held his opponents to 2 runs or less in 4 of those starts. Against the Phillies he allowed 6 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings of work but all of those runs came in the first 3 innings, Webb settled down but his team could not recover. Webb has thrown 3 complete games this season (the Cubs entire staff has yet to throw a complete game) and this will be his first game against the Cubs this season. Webb is not the same pitcher that Bob Brenly had during his time with the D’Backs. He has become a dominant pitcher and his strikeout to walk ratio is something to marvel at (121-28). Like Carpenter, the Cubs will have to be fundamentally sound to get the win against Webb. Webb is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA lifetime against the Cubs.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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