Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 04/04/08

Game Four: Cubs (1-2) vs. Astros (1-3)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Rich Hill (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Chris Sampson (0-0, -.–/-.–)

The Cubs will look to reach the .500 mark today against a revamped Houston Astros team. Ed Wade made a ton of changes to his roster this past off-season, most of which was in an attempt to improve his offense. The Cubs will get their first look at Miguel Tejada in a ‘Stros uniform and will have to deal with the biggest Cub Killer of them all, Carlos Lee. Rich Hill had a terrible spring and needs a good start today to avoid the beginnings of the old sophomore slump. Rich Hill was one of many bright spots for the Cubs last season. In his first full year at the big league level, Hill posted an 11-8 record with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP with 183 strikeouts and just 63 walks. Hill has the talent to be a solid number two or number three in the majors, but he has to realize it.

Hill is 2-0 in 5 career games, 3 starts, against the Astros with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP…. last year, 1-0 in 3 starts with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Those might remember Hill’s other victory against the Astros. Hill came out of the pen in the marathon game in Houston back in 2006. Because Hill was used, the Cubs called up Ryan O’Malley….and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Cubs very talented southpaw was 6-2 last year at home with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.

  • Lance Berkman – 1-for-7 with a home run
  • Carlos Lee – 2-for-9 with a home run and a walk
  • Mark Loretta – 2-for-5 with a home run
  • Hunter Pence – 2-for-4 with a double

Lou Piniella’s offense gets another early season test today. Chris Sampson has dominated the Cubs in the past to the tune of a 2-0 record in 4 games, 2 starts, with a 0.60 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. The Cubs have managed only 1 run on 10 hits against Sampson in 15 innings. Sampson was 7-8 a year ago in 24 games, 19 starts, with a 4.59 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Sampson’s best outings last season came against the Giants and the Cubs….1-0 in 1 start with a 1.13 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP (1 run on 7 hits with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts in 8 innings, his longest of the year).

  • Derrek Lee – 2-for-3 with a home run
  • Aramis Ramirez – 2-for-6
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-4
  • Ryan Theriot – 0-for-3

The Cubs will face an Astros lineup that is minus Craig Biggio for the first time in 20 years.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….