Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rangers – 06/20/07

Game Seventy: Cubs (32-37) vs. Rangers (26-44)
Game Time – 7:35pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 182
Location – Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington

Jason Marquis (5-3, 3.14/1.19) vs. Kameron Loe (2-6, 6.56/1.60)

The Cubs post-Michael Barrett era starts tonight in Texas. Rob Bowen is reportedly in Arlington and available off the bench tonight. Lou Piniella has his crew pointed in the right direction yet they enter play tonight five games under the break-even mark. With Sean Marshall’s short outing on Tuesday night, a quality start by Jason Marquis would go a long way to getting him back on track and give his bullpen a much-needed breather heading into a day game on Thursday. All eyes will once again be on Sammy Sosa as he tries to hit his 600th home run against his former team. As long as the Cubs have the game well in hand, it would be very fitting for Sosa to hit his dinger for the Faithful to see.

Jason Marquis appeared to have turned the corner his last time out against the Mariners. After a string of miserable starts that culminated with his shortest outing of the year against the Braves, Marquis had allowed just a one hit through 5 innings. But after he hit Jeff Weaver, a walk and an error by Mark DeRosa, Marquis left in the 6th inning after giving up 4 runs on just 1 hit. Granted the error kept the inning alive but Marquis appeared to lose his focus after hitting Weaver and could not regain the rhythm that made him so successful early in the game.

Marquis has not posted a win since May 9th and is 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP on the road this season. Marquis has shown major improvement over last season, he just needs to work on his consistency….and most importantly, keeping the ball down.

Marquis is 1-0 in his career against the Rangers with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. He beat the Rangers in Texas on June 9, 2002 and gave up 2 runs on 8 hits in 7 innings of work….the Braves beat the Rangers 9-3.

  • Sammy Sosa – 4-12, with a double and a RBI
  • Brad Wilkerson – 5-15, with a double, 2 home runs and 2 RBI’s
  • Michael Young – 1-3, with a RBI

Sosa said after Tuesday’s game:

“It’s going to happen against somebody,” he said. “It’d be nice if it happens in this series, it’d be perfect.”

Kameron Loe has spent time in Ron Washington’s starting rotation and in his bullpen. Loe will make his 12th start of the season tonight and like most of the Rangers’ rotation has struggled at home. Loe is 1-4 with a 7.07 ERA, a 1.55 WHIP and opponents are hitting .313 against him this season. Loe is coming off his best outing of the season against the Pirates after not being able to get out of the 3rd inning against the Tigers. Loe threw 8 shutout innings against the Pirates and allowed just 5 hits and struck out a season high 10 batters. In his outing against the Tigers, Loe allowed 9 runs on 9 hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Loe has not been consistent for the Rangers as a starter but has shown signs of putting it all together. The Cubs have struggled against pitchers they are not familiar with, especially ones that have good stuff, Kameron Loe fits that description to a tee. Tonight will be the first time Loe has ever faced the Cubs.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne