Game One Hundred Sixty-One: Cubs (65-95) vs. Rockies (75-85)
Game Time – 3:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Juan Mateo (1-3, 4.02) vs. Jeff Francis (13-11, 4.02)
Only two left and the last of the year on WGN….the Cubs are scheduled to send Juan Mateo to the mound today against lefty Jeff Francis. Mateo has pitched well for the Cubs in spots but has been unable to give the Cubs significant innings of late mostly due to injury. He threw very well against the Reds last Sunday but the bullpen was unable to hold the lead and give him his 2nd Major League victory. Like the rest of the staff, Mateo has to throw strikes and keep from giving up too many free passes. Mateo has the most promise of any other young pitcher not named Hill. He has very good stuff but he needs time to harness his abilities. Mateo could challenge Sean Marshall for the 5th spot in the rotation next season but he might be better served to start the season at Iowa. In Mateo’s last 8 innings he has surrendered just 1 run on 3 hits but he has walked 6 and struck out just 7. This will be Mateo’s first appearance against the Rockies.
The Cubs struggled early in the season against southpaws but have faired better of late (22-29). Today will be the first time the Cubs have seen Francis this season. He has not pitched well this month and despite a 2-1 record, his ERA is 6.95 and he has given up at least 5 runs in 4 of his last 6 starts. In his last 22 innings he has given up 17 runs on 32 hits, walked 5 and struck out 12. Like Josh Fogg, the Cubs will have plenty of opportunities against Francis….they just have to take advantage of them. Francis does not have a record in 2 career starts against the Cubs with a 9.64 ERA (10 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings).
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….