Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 06/17/07

Game Sixty-Eight: Cubs (31-36) vs. Padres (39-28)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Rich Hill (5-4, 2.81/1.01) vs. Greg Maddux (5-3, 3.86/1.25)

Happy Father’s Day…. The Cubs have to put Saturday’s loss behind them and put a win on the board against Greg Maddux. Today will be the second time the Cubs have faced Maddux since trading him to the Dodgers last season for Cesar Izturis. Maddux received a no-decision back in April at Wrigley but the Cubs managed 3 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings of work. Expect both benches to be warned before the start of today’s game to keep Saturday’s melee from elevating even further. Both teams need the win and while the Cubs could not inch any closer to .500 on Saturday, a 5-2 homestand would be a great way to head into an off day on Monday. Rich Hill has returned to his early season form after a not-so-stellar May. In Hill’s last 4 starts he has allowed just 5 earned runs on 18 hits in 27 2/3 innings (1.63 ERA) and has struck out 24 while walking 5….not a bad strikeout to walk ratio. Lou Piniella has received very good starts from his entire staff of late, today Rich Hill needs his offense to give him some run support early and not allow Maddux to settle in and turn the game over to the bullpen.

The last time Hill faced the Padres they roughed up the lefty to the tune of 5 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings of work. That was the game Hill gave up 4 home runs (two to Mike Cameron and one each to Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff) but set a season high mark (at that time) in strikeouts with 8….it was a case of all or nothing for the Padres who had Jake Peavy on the mound for them that night. Hill has been tremendous since despite only a 1-0 record in 4 starts to show for it.

Greg Maddux just keeps going and going….the former Cub has pitched well for his new team this season and has not lost a game since May 19th against the Mariners in Seattle when he gave up 7 runs, all earned, on 12 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Maddux is 2-0 in four starts since and has not allowed more than 3 earned runs in any of those outings.

Trade Talk….

According to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger on Sunday morning and one in the Daily News, the Cubs are shopping Michael Barrett. And according to Bill Madden in the Daily News, the Cubs could be looking at Eric Gagne, but this member of the mainstream media must have not received the memo on the amount of money the Cubs spent this past off-season. Take either report for what its worth….

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….