Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 07/18/06

Game Ninety-Two: Cubs (35-56) vs. Astros (45-48)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Carlos Marmol (2-3, 4.23) vs. Roy Oswalt (6-6, 3.06)

It has been 48 hours….will there be a hangover from Sunday night? The last time the Cubs faced Roy Oswalt they beat him 1-0 behind Sean Marshall. Oswalt has been a victim of no run support his last 5 outings and is 0-3 with a 2.30 ERA including a loss in relief just before the All-Star break against the Cardinals. Oswalt is 1-1 this season against the Cubs with a 2.40 ERA.

Carlos Marmol has been very impressive at times for the Cubs, but that “one bad inning” continues to follow him from start to start. Last time out against the Brewers he walked the bases loaded in the 1st inning, but calmed down and held the Brewers to just 1 run in 6 innings of work. Marmol needs to throw a complete game, not in innings pitched, but in location, command and effectiveness. He must throw strikes and not give the Astros any advantages. The last time out against the Astros, he walked 7 (2 were intentional) and could not make it through the 5th inning and it was his shortest and arguably his worst start of the season. Opponents are hitting .215 against Marmol but his walk to strikeout ratio is beyond alarming his last two starts….he has walked 12 and only struck out 5 in his last 10 1/3 innings.

The Cubs offense has not been a problem as of late but tonight will be a different story. Oswalt throws strikes and seldom makes mistakes but the Cubs must make Oswalt work and not give the All-Star any help. The Cubs have been extremely patient (at least for them) as of late and they must continue that against Oswalt tonight. The Astros have trouble scoring runs as well and the game could be decided by which starting pitching makes the first mistake. If Marmol is on, this could be a very good pitching match-up to watch.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne