Game Sixty-Five: Cubs (33-31) vs. Indians (29-41)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast Sports Net – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Randy Wells (0-3, 2.55/1.13) vs. Jeremy Sowers (1-4, 5.14/1.51)
Updated – 10:55am C.T. – Angel Guzman Placed on 15-day DL – Kevin Hart Recalled
Happy Father’s Day from everyone at the CCO … Weather permitting … Can the Cubs win four in a row? For the last two days Lou Piniella’s crew has figured out how to top the dramatic walk-off win from the last game. Now it is time for the Cubs’ offense to give Randy Wells enough support so he can post his first career big league victory.
With the 13 inning mini-marathon on Saturday, Lou Piniella will need a long, effective outing out of Randy Wells … or he might end up taking one for the team. Piniella indicated in his post-game press conference Saturday that if the game would have gone to the 14th than Wells would have been used … and they would have figured out today’s starter later.
The Cubs are at the beginning of a stretch of 22 games in a row without a day off and Lou Piniella used his entire pen on Saturday. Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg might not be available after pitching three days in a row and both Aaron Heilman and Angel Guzman logged two innings each … even David Patton saw action in back-to-back games for the second time this season. So Piniella’s pen might consist of only Jose Ascanio and Sean Marshall.
Jake Fox is expected to get the start at third today against the southpaw Jeremy Sowers. Reports on Friday night indicated Fox would get the start at third against lefties until Aramis Ramirez returns. After getting a day off Saturday, Geovany Soto will be back behind the plate this afternoon.
In other baseball news … The inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame Classic will take place at Doubleday Field this afternoon in Cooperstown, NY. The Baseball Hall of Fame Classic has replaced the annual Hall of Fame Game that ended last year with the rainout between the Cubs and the Padres. Hall of Famers and big leaguers from yesteryear will square off against one another at 1:00pm . Bob Feller will start for Team Wagner while Phil Niekro will start for Team Collins. Lee Smith will be in centerfield for Team Wagner and Ferguson Jenkins will follow Bob Feller in Team Wagner’s rotation. Click here for more info on the Baseball Hall of Fame Classic.
While the offense needs to take care of business today … it all starts with Randy Wells.
Randy Wells is coming off his worst big league start. After six tremendous starts in which he could have posted a win in each outing, Wells lasted only 3 2/3 innings against the Twins. Wells gave up four runs on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout. Wells struggled a little with his command late in the count after starting many of the batters out with a first pitch strike.
Wells has been one of the big surprises of the first 64 games. He is 0-2 in his first three starts at Wrigley with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
This afternoon will be Randy Wells’ first start and appearance against the Indians.
Jeremy Sowers, the Indians first round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2004, will make his seventh start of the season this afternoon. Sowers has picked up where he left off last year (4-9 in 22 starts with a 5.58 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP) with a lot of inconsistency and very few results. The southpaw has the stuff to be very successful at the big league level but he has yet to put it together. However in his last four starts (0-2 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP) Sowers has shown a lot of signs of improvement.
Jeremy Sowers only win this season has been at home. On the road, Sowers owns a 0-2 record in two starts with a 7.36 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.
Like with every starting pitcher, the Cubs offense must make Sowers work. Sowers has walked (17) as many batters as he’s struck out this season (17) and in his last 21 innings it has been more of the same … 10 walks and just 12 strikeouts.
If the Cubs swing early and often today, they will have to beat the Indians’ bullpen for the third day in a row.
Sowers is coming off a loss to the Brewers in his last start. Sowers surrendered three runs on five hits in five innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
This afternoon will be Jeremy Sowers’ first career start against the Cubs.
- Andres Blanco – 0-for-2
- Milton Bradley – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Reed Johnson – 0-for-5 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….
Update – According to a report from Cubs.com, the Cubs placed Angel Guzman on the 15-day DL Sunday morning with a right triceps strain. Kevin Hart was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take his place on the active roster.