Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 07/19/06

Game Ninety-Three: Cubs (36-56) vs. Astros (45-49)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. WGN, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Greg Maddux (7-10, 4.99) vs. Roger Clemens (1-3, 2.96)

Updated – 5:32pm C.T. – Maddux has ERA Lowered to 4.60

Let the battle begin!!! The battle of 300 winners, the battle of future Hall of Famers and the battle between the Cubs and the Astros, Tonight’s game is very special and one that we saw last season, tonight’s match-up features two of the best pitchers to ever take the mound and while both are on the downside of their career, if they are both on it could be a very good game to watch. Maddux beat Clemens last April in Houston 3-2, it would be great to see history repeat itself.

Roger Clemens has posted only one victory all season and it just happens to be against the Cubs. Clemens beat the Cubs on July 3rd and held them to 2 runs on 4 hits, Carlos Marmol could not beat the Rocket that day. Clemens, like Oswalt, has received little to no run support this season and has allowed more than 2 runs only once in his 5 starts. Clemens is throwing a lot of pitches in a short time, he is averaging nearly 18 pitches per inning and over 98 per start and has only pitched into the 7th inning once. The Cubs must make Clemens work, he will throw strikes but to this point of the season he has struggled to do so on a consistent basis.

Greg Maddux has been a victim of either no run support of bad defense all season long. Maddux has made a career out of pinpoint control with a solid defense behind him and he has not had either since April. His last outing against the Mets he allowed 6 runs, 5 earned on 8 hits in 7 innings of work but a missed double play and throwing error cost him 2 runs and the Cubs a shot at starting the second half with a win.

The Cubs offense must give Maddux some run support and an early lead. This could be the last time that Maddux steps to the mound at Wrigley in Cubbie Blue and it would be gat to see him walk off a winner.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….

Update – According to a report from the Associated Press on Wednesday, Greg Maddux’s ERA was lowered from 4.99 to 4.60 after scorer Ron Jernick changed the ruling on a base hit against the Marlins on May 24th. The play in question happened in the 5th inning when Ronny Cedeno’s throwing error (a one hop throw) allowed Florida’s Hanley Ramirez to reach 1st base safely with 2 outs. The Marlins went on to score 6 runs that inning. Maddux has now been charged with just 1 earned run instead of 6 which dropped his ERA more than a third of a point. The hit was taken away from Ramirez and an error was given to Cedeno on the throw. The Cubs appealed the scoring decision 8 weeks ago.

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt