Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 04/26/09

Game Seventeen: Cubs (8-8) vs. Cardinals (13-5)
Game Time – 1:15pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis

Rich Harden (1-1, 4.20/1.27) vs. Todd Wellemeyer (1-1, 5.29/1.94)

Updated – 1:43pm C.T.Derrek Lee left the game in the bottom of the first with neck spasms. Listed as Day-to-Day

Lou Piniella and his 22-man roster will try to salvage the last game of the series today behind Rich Harden. After the last four games a win is more than needed but an overall improved effort and hitting with runners on base is a must.

The Cubs will be without Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Marmol for the second day in a row and with their refusal to place Milton Bradley on the DL, will have a very short bench once again. Bradley not going on the shelf also limits how Lou Piniella can use Joey Gathright. If Gathright is needed early on, Bradley would not be available late because Gathright is basically Bradley’s designated runner at this point.

Don’t be surprised to see Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto on the bench this afternoon. Lee was not in last Sunday’s lineup against Todd Wellemeyer…Lee is just 2-for-12 in his career against Wellemeyer and today might be a good time to get Micah Hoffpauir a start at first base. Koyie Hill has not played since April 13 and was in last Sunday’s lineup against Wellemeyer. Hill was hitting before he started riding the pine 13 days ago.

Which Rich Harden will take the mound today? The one that dominated both the Brewers and the Reds or the one that lasted just three innings against the Rockies?

Rich Harden is coming off his first win of the season…as well as the last Cubs’ victory. Harden dominated a very good Reds’ offense and struck out eight in six innings…and could have gone longer. Harden allowed only two runs on three hits with two walks.

Harden has given up a home run in each of his three starts and figures to serve one up today. His objective must be to limit it to a solo shot.

Harden has number one stuff when he is on and the Cubs need another quality start from him this afternoon.

Today will be Harden’s third career start against the Cardinals, he is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Last year, 1-0 in one start with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP…two runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts in six innings.

  • Ryan Ludwick – 0-for-3
  • Yadier Molina – 0-for-1 with two walks
  • Albert Pujols – 1-for-6 with a double
  • Skip Schumaker – 0-for-3
  • Todd Wellemeyer – 0-for-1

The Cubs will face a pitcher this afternoon they once drafted…and one that was in their system not long ago. The Cubs took Todd Wellemeyer in the fourth round of the 2000 draft (103rd overall pick) and he never lived up to his electric debut on May 15, 2003 against the Brewers.

Jim Hendry traded Wellemeyer to the Marlins on March 28, 2006 for Zach McCormack and Lincoln Holdzkom. Wellemeyer struggled in Florida, was released and claimed off waivers by the Royals in June of 2006. He stuck it out in Kansas City, avoided arbitration in the winter of 2007 but was released a month into the 2007 season.

The Cardinals claimed Wellemeyer off waivers on May 15, 2007 and Dave Duncan worked his magic with the once promising prospect. Wellemeyer has been very solid in the Cardinals rotation and has pitched rather well against the team that drafted him.

Wellemeyer is 17-12 in a Cardinals uniform in 46 starts with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

Wellemeyer is coming off a no-decision against the Mets last Tuesday. He allowed four runs on 10 hits in five innings with two walks and a strikeout. Wellemeyer was scheduled to start last Sunday against the Cubs at Wrigley but was pushed back to Tuesday because of the rainout.

Wellemeyer put together an excellent seven-inning outing against the Diamondbacks in Arizona on April 13. He allowed one run on seven hits without a walk and four strikeouts.

Last season Wellemeyer was 2-2 in four starts against the Cubs with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP, for his career 2-2 in five games with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.

With Derrek Lee’s career numbers against Wellemeyer, it might be a good day to give him a breather…and get Micah Hoffpauir a start at first base.

  • Milton Bradley – 0-for-2
  • Mike Fontenot – 2-for-5 with a double and 2 walks
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-4 with a walk
  • Joey Gathright – 2-for-3
  • Reed Johnson – 5-for-12 with a double
  • Derrek Lee – 2-for-12
  • Aaron Miles – 0-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-9 with a double and a walk
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-8 with a double and 2 walks
  • Ryan Theriot – 4-for-9 with 3 walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Quote of the Day

"Baseball is drama with an endless run and an ever-changing cast." - Joe Garagiola
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