Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 08/01/06

Game One Hundred Six: Cubs (43-62) vs. Diamondbacks (54-51)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Rich Hill (0-4, 9.53) vs. Claudio Vargas (8-7, 5.04)

Roster Move – The Cubs Selected Pitcher Juan Mateo from Double-A West Tenn On Tuesday

Welcome to 70’s night….Can the Cubs rebound from Monday night’s embarrassing loss to the D’Backs? Can Rich Hill provide the Cubs with a quality start and possibly earn his first career Major League win? These are just a few of the questions that the Cubs must answer tonight under the lights at Wrigley. After winning 6 of 7 from the best in the National League the Cubs were whipped by the D’Backs and the long balls were the story. Rich Hill has not been able to keep Major League batters from hitting round trippers in his short career (6 home runs in 22 2/3 innings this season) and if he cannot show the D’Backs what he has shown the PCL this season it could be another long night for the Cubs and the bullpen.

Rich Hill has yet to show what all of the “fuss is about”. Hill has dominated at the Triple-A level and for one inning last week against the Cardinals he showed what he is capable of. Hill could not make it through the 4th inning but despite his poor outing (4 runs on 6 hits in 3 1/3 innings, 3 walks, 1 strikeout and a home run) the Cubs still won the game. This organization is in transition, Hill must step up and show why the Cubs have put so much faith in him and show every one that he has the ability to get Major League hitters out on a regular basis.

Claudio Vargas gives up a lot of hits and runs. In his last 19 2/3 innings he has allowed 17 runs on 26 hits while walking 6 and striking out 18. Vargas is coming off his best consecutive games of the season and although he is 1-1 in his last two, he has not allowed more than 2 earned runs in those starts. After a decent June (2-2, 4.00 in 6 starts) he has reverted back to his form from earlier in the season. With Vargas the D’Backs never know what they are going to get. In his 19 starts he has allowed fewer than 2 earned runs in 11 of those games, in 6 of the other 8 he has allowed 5 or more runs.

The Cubs must be patient with Vargas and not allow him to settle in and they must get Rich Hill enough runs to get some innings from the young lefty. Tonight should be feature the Cubs debut of Cesar Izturis, but the other question is….will Neifi Perez continue to get regular playing time?

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….

Roster Move – The Cubs selected 23-year old right hander Juan Mateo to replace Todd Walker on the 40-man roster and added him to the active roster on Tuesday. Several sources are indicating that Mateo will pitch out of the bullpen. Mateo was selected in the Rule V Draft by the Cardinals but was returned to the Cubs when he did not make the acrtive roster of the Cardinals out of Spring Training.

Mateo was 7-4 with a 2.82 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) with the Diamond Jaxx. In 92 2/3 innings this season, Mateo has struck out 70 and walked 26. Here is the official release from the Cubs.

The Cubs have not made an official announcement on Greg Maddux’s replacement in the rotation but there have been several indications that it could be Glendon Rusch.

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax