Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 07/04/06

Game Eighty-Three: Cubs (30-52) vs. Astros (41-42)
Game Time – 1:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston

Mark Prior (0-3, 9.00) vs. Andy Pettitte (6-9, 5.58)

Happy 4th of July!!! Let’s all take time today to remember what this holiday is about, our Independence and give thanks to all of those that gave their lives and are still giving their lives today for our freedom.

The Cubs try to end their 6-game losing streak against the Astros and Andy Pettitte today. Pettitte had never beaten the Cubs before his last start on June 13 when he went 7 innings and gave up only 1 run on 5 hits, one of his best starts of the season. Mark Prior is looking for his first win on the season and although he has shown improvement in each of his starts, he is nowhere near the Mark Prior of old.

The Cubs are just 9-19 against lefties this season and like the last time they faced Pettitte he is coming off a string of winless and unproductive starts in fact the last time he won a game was against the Cubs four starts ago. Pettitte is 0-2 with a 8.31 ERA in his last 3 starts, surrendering 16 runs on 22 hits in 17 1/3 innings of work while only recording 12 strike outs and giving up 7 walks against the Royals, White Sox and Tigers. Pettitte is in the middle of one of his worst seasons and hopefully the Cubs can take advantage today.

Mark Prior on the other hand has yet to pitch a complete 6 innings of work in any of his starts this season. In his last 2 starts he has pitched into the 6th but has been unable to get the third out and last week against the Brewers was a good example of how the Cubs season has gone. Prior loaded the bases with no-outs, struck out the next two batters he faced before giving up a bloop single to left by the Brewers pinch hitter Gabe Gross. Gross chased Prior from the game and that was the difference in the game. Prior did a better job with his command and location of his fast ball his last time out, today he must keep the Astros in the park, in 15 innings this season he has surrendered 5 home runs and with that homer friendly porch in left field the Astros could run up the score quickly and cause Dusty to go to the pen early. Prior is 4-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 12 games against the Astros, it would be nice to see the Cubs put up a win today….on Independence Day.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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