Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rangers – 05/06/13

Game Thirty-Two: Cubs (11-20) vs. Rangers (20-11)

  • Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WCIU – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Scott Feldman (2-3, 3.34/1.28) vs. Nick Tepesch (2-2, 3.54/1.18)

The Cubs 10-game homestand continues tonight with a make-up game against the Rangers. After winning two of the first three, the Cubs have dropped four straight games and are just 2-5 on the homestand with three games left. Tonight is the make-up from the game on April 17 that was postponed due to rain. Carlos Villanueva was scheduled to face Justin Grimm on that Wednesday night.

These two teams are going in opposite directions. While the Cubs have lost four in a row for the third time this season, the Rangers are coming off a three-game sweep over the Red Sox in Arlington. Texas is making a quick stop in Chicago for tonight’s makeup on their way to Milwaukee for games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Cubs and Rangers split the two games last month. The Cubs lost the first game 4-2 on a Tuesday night then won the rain delayed game on Thursday afternoon with Carlos Villanueva topping Alexi Ogando.

This is the middle game of three games against three teams at Wrigley Field on consecutive days … the first time that has happened in almost 53 years. The last time the Cubs hosted three different teams in three days was August 21-23, 1960. The Cubs played a doubleheader against the Giants on August 21 then hosted the Reds on August 22 before beginning a series with the Pirates on August 23.

Scott Feldman was on the mound the last time the Cubs won a ballgame. Feldman should be amped up at the beginning of the game with facing his old team for the first time. Dale Sveum needs a long, quality outing from Feldman tonight in order to have a chance to win.

While the Cubs have several issues at the big league level, the team is 44-243 with RISP this season, worst in the majors. Until the Cubs start doing the little things, they will continue to lose close games.

Tonight all starts with Scott Feldman

Scott Feldman is coming off his best start in a Cubs’ uniform, and some even think his best start in several years. Feldman thoroughly dominated the Padres. Not only did he notch the first complete game of his career, he struck out a career high 12 batters. Feldman looked like a different pitcher last Wednesday. Feldman appeared to have a lot more confidence compared to his previous outings.

Feldman has won his last two starts, but more importantly, the Cubs are 2-0 in those games. Feldman has allowed four runs on 10 hits with three walks and 14 strikeouts over his last 15 2/3 innings (2.29 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP). Feldman is 1-1 in two starts at Wrigley with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

As mentioned, Scott Feldman figures to be very amped for tonight’s start. The first few innings could be key for Feldman. If he is able to settle down, he should be on top of his game.

Scott Feldman is obviously making his first start against the Rangers tonight.

Rangers Career Numbers against Scott Feldman

  • Adrian Beltre – 2-for-16 with a home run and a walk
  • Lance Berkman – 3-for-9 with a double and a walk
  • A.J. Pierzynski – 3-for-18 with a double

The Cubs will get their first regular season look at Nick Tepesch. The rookie right-hander and former 28th round pick of the Red Sox (2007, didn’t sign) is off to a good start … but is coming off a bad outing against the White Sox. The South Side put up five runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings and took Tepesch deep twice.

When Tepesch has been good, he’s been very good. In the Rangers three wins in games that he’s started, Tepesch has allowed only two earned runs. But in the two games the Rangers have lost, Tepesch has allowed nine earned runs on 17 hits in 13 innings with two walks and nine strikeouts.

Nick Tepesch can locate four different pitches for strikes and throws a heavy fastball with sinking action in the low 90s (91-92) but can run it up to 94 mph when he needs it. Tepesch throws a curveball (high 70s), a cutter (high 80s) and a changeup.

No one on the Cubs’ active roster has faced Nick Tepesch in a regular season big league game or in the minors.

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon