Game Fifty-Seven: Cubs (23-33) vs. Astros (27-31)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T. WGN TV, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Minute Maid Park, Houston
Kerry Wood (1-1, 4.50) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (6-3, 4.81)
Kerry Wood will take the mound tonight for the Cubs for his fourth start of the season. Wood pitched very good in his last outing, cut down on walks allowed and held the Reds to just 1 earned run in 6 innings. The performance of Carlos Zambrano on Monday night will pay big dividends for Dusty Baker and the overworked bullpen. With only using Will Ohman, Dusty should have a rested pen that will keep Kerry Wood from over extending himself against the Astros. The Astros are struggling and have lost 11 of their last 13 and 5 in a row and the Cubs must take advantage of their struggles and return the favor from the past two seasons. The Cubs offense has not been a problem of late but they are facing Wandy Rodriguez….a left-hander tonight and hopefully the addition of Phil Nevin and the hot bats of Michael Barrett, Ronny Cedeno, Jacque Jones and Aramis Ramirez will provide enough offense….just like they did against Mark Mulder. Like other Astros’ pitchers, not named Oswalt, Rodriguez has been inconsistent at best. In his last outing against the Reds on June 2nd, Rodriguez could not get out of the 2nd inning and allowed 8 runs, 7 earned, on 6 hits and 5 walks and is coming off the month of May when he was 2-2 in 6 starts with a 5.29 ERA. In 34 innings he walked 20 and struck out 24 and for the season he has walked 34 in 67 1/3 innings. Rodriguez did have a very good April and was 4-0 in 5 starts, and should have won the 5th, with a 2.53 ERA and his walks to strikeout ratio was just a little over 2 to 1.
The Cubs must be patient with Rodriguez and like Buchholtz, he will beat himself….if the Cubs give him a chance to do so. A win tonight could get the Cubs to within 9 games of .500 and the fact they have won 5 out of 7 and are 3-1 on this road trip is something to be happy about….but don’t get ahead of yourself….just one game and hopefully a win at a time.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….