Game Eighty-Nine: Cubs (34-54) vs. Mets (53-36)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. Comcast SportsNet/ESPN, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 189
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Greg Maddux (7-9, 4.89) vs. Steve Trachsel (8-4, 4.67)
Welcome Back!!! The Cubs take the field today for the first game of the second half against the best team in the National League, Ron Santo’s favorite, the New York Mets. The Mets have a very exciting young team led by arguably the best third baseman in the league, David Wright. The All-Star break could not have come at the worst time for the Cubs. The Cubs were playing their best ball of the season and have quietly won the last 4 out 5 games and 3 in a row to tie a season long winning streak. The first half is over and it is time for the Cubs to play ball, something they really failed to do in May and June. The offense played their most complete games of the season and the pitching staff has been just as strong. The main question for today is can they win their 4th game in a row against the powerhouse Mets?
Greg Maddux gets the first start of the half and hopefully the Cubs will be able to give him some support, his last time out he was the victim of the Cubs inability to score runs off of Chris Capuano and lost to the Brewers 2-0. Maddux only surrendered 2 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings but received no run support and has not recorded a victory since June 9th in Cincinnati….very un-Maddux like. Maddux has pitched a lot better his last two starts and for the Cubs to have a chance today he must do more of the same. Maddux is 0-1 with a 4,50 ERA (6 runs in 12 innings) and has given up only one free pass in his last two starts.
The Cubs face another former Cub in Steve Trachsel (1993-1999), he and the Cubs will be forever linked together. Trachsel was the Cub that gave up number 62 to Mark McGwire back on September 8, 1998. Trachsel has pitched well for the Mets this season and has won his last 6 decisions in fact he has not lost since May 17th in St. Louis. Trachsel has given up 4 runs or less in 7 of his last 8 starts but has had trouble throwing strikes. In his last 7 starts he has surrendered 22 free passes and only recorded 15 strikeouts while allowing 46 hits in 41 2/3 innings. If the Cubs are able to show the same patience at the plate they did against the Brewers they could hand Trachsel his first loss in almost two months.
Today is a “fresh” start for the Cubs, let’s hope they forgot all about May and June and remembered how good the last three games they played together were.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….