Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 08/08/06

Game One Hundred Twelve: Cubs (47-64) vs. Brewers (52-59)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Miller Park, Milwaukee

Carlos Marmol (4-5, 5.09) vs. Tomo Ohka (3-2, 3.57)

Today starts the final 3-games of the season in Milwaukee and after this series the Cubs will face the Brewers just two more times at Wrigley in the last week of the season. The Brewers will have a different look than the last time the Cubs faced the Brewers, the Cub Killer, Carlos Lee, was traded to Texas and Chris Capuano is not scheduled to pitch in the series. The Cubs are playing their best ball of the season and a series win in Milwaukee against a team they have struggled against this season (5-6) would be a great way to start the road trip. Carlos Marmol had a miserable start his last outing against the Diamondbacks. He barely made it out of the 1st inning, allowed 5 runs but settled down and threw 5 innings in the first game of the double header last Thursday. Marmol has possibly the biggest upside of any of the Cubs’ rookie pitchers; he has very good stuff but has not figured out how to throw strikes on a consistent basis. Most credit Marmol’s inconsistency with the inability to repeat his throwing motion. Marmol again had one bad inning and he must cut down on his pitch count and throw strikes. The Cubs defense has played better of late, he must remember he has seven guys behind him and allow the Brewers to put the ball in play, trusting his defense will make the plays needed.

Ohka is 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA in 4 career games against the Cubs and this will be the first start for the right-hander against them this season. Ohka has spent a majority of the season on the DL, missing all but one start in May, all of June and the first part of July. In 3 starts in July he was 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA allowing just 5 runs in 18 innings on 14 hits but he had a terrible start against the Rockies his last time out. Ohka lasted 6 innings and gave up 6 runs on 8 hits.

The Brewers have not played as expected since the trade of Carlos Lee to Texas (4-5, 4-6 in their last 10, lost 2 straight). Rickie Weeks and Corey Koskie are both on the DL and shortstop J.J. Hardy is out possibly for the rest of the season. Lee led the Brewers in home runs and RBI’s and Kevin Mench has struggled with his new team (.241/.233/.345/1/6 in 8 games). They added David Bell from Philadelphia and Tony Graffanino from Kansas City to help with injuries to their infield. Plus Prince Fielder is hitting just .250 (8-32) with 3 home runs and 6 RBI’s in his last 10 games. They also have a new closer in Francisco Codero who replaced a struggling Derrick Turnbow. The Cubs might be making the trip to Milwaukee at the right time, this should be a good series between teams that always play each other very tough.

Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….