Game Ninety-Eight: Cubs (37-60) vs. Mets (59-39)
Game Time – 6:10pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet/ESPN, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 185
Location – Shea Stadium, New York
Greg Maddux (7-11, 4.56) vs. Steve Trachsel (9-4, 4.68)
Talking about two teams going in the opposite direction….one is the best in the National League and the other is among the worst. For those of you that missed the news, the Cubs placed Derrek Lee on the 15-day DL earlier on Monday and the disabled list has begun to eerily resemble the disabled list from the past two seasons. The rumor around Chicago is that the Cubs will shut Derrek Lee down for the rest of the season, this could be the first step in the right direction for next season. The Cubs are continually trying to win every game they play and that is what everyone expects is for the Cubs to win, but they have to showcase the guys they are looking to trade, hope they get hot and start preparing for next season and beyond. The philosophy that has been instilled on the Northside of Chicago must change, next year starts on August 1st and the question remains, does anyone in the front office realize this? Could this be the last start for Maddux in Cubbie blue? The trade wins are blowing and hopefully Maddux will get the win and tonight will leave the mound with a victory against one of the franchise’s oldest rivals.
Maddux has not pitched very well the last two months and the stats speak for themselves but has he pitched as badly as his stats indicate? Maddux has been a victim of prolonged innings due to incredibly poor defense. The Cubs will have their hands full tonight with the Mets but they must backup Maddux defensively and not make him throw unnecessary pitches. His last time out against Houston he made only one mistake but two mental errors cost him and the Cubs the game. On July 14th, Trachsel and the Mets beat Maddux and the Cubs, Maddux allowed 6 runs, 5 earned, on 8 hits in 7 innings, he walked 2 and struck out 6. Maddux, like his pupil Sean Marshall, has received very little run support and bad defense….Maddux has pitched better than his 0-3 record with a 4.85 ERA in July, extra opportunities have equaled losses for Maddux. The Cubs need to end their losing streak tonight as well as Maddux’s losing streak, the future Hall of Famer has not won since June 9th….that is unacceptable.
The Cubs could take a few power naps in between pitches from Steve Trachsel. The former Cub beat them back in July and Trachsel took advantage of what he called after the game “an aggressive offense”. Trachsel has rediscovered how to win ballgames this season and has not lost a game since May 17th against the Cardinals. Since June 4th he is 7-0 but in 51 innings he has allowed 55 hits and given up 28 walks. The Cubs had chances against Trachsel the last time they faced him but their lack of patience and inability to let a mediocre pitcher beat himself, cost them yet another game, hopefully that train ride from D.C. taught them a little bit of patience….they will need it tonight.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….