Game Seventy: Cubs (34-35) vs. White Sox (35-37)
Game Time – 3:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet (Cubs) WGN TV (Sox) – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
Randy Wells (1-3, 2.57/1.10) vs. Jose Contreras (2-6, 5.23/1.37)
The Cubs returned to Chicago on Thursday night 0-4 on their current 10-game road trip … and the next three days will be spent on the South Side against the Sox. While it is the Cubs versus the Sox this weekend, it really does not matter who the Cubs play, they need to win a few games in a row.
With the last four losses, the Cubs are 13-21 on the road … maybe playing in Chicago will help them win a few games outside of Wrigley. The Cubs have lost their last six road games and are just 3-11 on the road in one-run games.
Aramis Ramirez is scheduled to begin taking batting practice this afternoon. The Cubs offense is not the same without Aramis but they must not rush him back and risk further injury. Ramirez said on Wednesday that he would require extra rest for the remainder of the season in order to be able to finish out the year on the active roster. Jim Hendry must add a utility infielder that can produce runs … and before it is too late.
The Cubs will be without Milton Bradley this afternoon. Lou Piniella reportedly benched Bradley due to the fact he is not hitting right-handed pitching. The player the Cubs added to help give them a bat from the left side that can produce runs against the leagues top right-handed pitchers is hitting .205/.345/.342 with a .687 OPS left handed … but against southpaws hitting from the other side, .327/.400/.490 with a .890 OPS. Four of Bradley’s five home runs have come off right-handers but the last time he went deep … May 27.
Aaron Miles was scratched from the starting lineup on Thursday after he hyperextended his elbow in the batting cage. Miles is supposed to be examined today by team doctors and could be headed to the DL.
The Cubs must start showing improvement on the field beginning this afternoon … and it all starts with Randy Wells. Randy Wells is coming off his first big league win and it will be up to him to put an end to the Cubs’ losing streak. No pressure on the rookie whatsoever …
Wells held the Indians to two runs on five hits his last time out and pitched into the seventh inning for the fifth time this season. Wells has shown a lot of composure on the mound in just eight big league starts … and he will need every ounce of confidence this afternoon.
Wells was slated to pitch against the Sox in the series at Wrigley but the rain pushed him back to the finale against the Indians.
The right-hander has been very good outside of Wrigley this season … 0-1 in four starts with a 2.10 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP.
This afternoon will be Randy Wells’ first career game against the South Side.
The Cubs were supposed to face Jose Contreras in the series at Wrigley but the rainout pushed him to the series against the Reds. Contreras was awful at the beginning of the year, went down to Triple-A and found himself again.
After posting 16 innings of shutout ball against the Tigers and Brewers (three total hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts), Contreras gave up three runs in six innings to the Reds in his last start. Contreras is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 1.23 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP with three walks and 13 strikeouts in 22 innings.
The Cubs have had success against Contreras in recent years but that was when they were recording basehits with runners on base … and in scoring position. The Cubs must make him work this afternoon and start the series out on a positive note, with a win, or it will be a long weekend on the South Side. With Mark Buehrle and John Danks going on Saturday and Sunday, the Cubs will not get a break over the next three games.
This afternoon will be Jose Contreras’ seventh career start against the Cubs. He is 2-3 in the first six with a 6.08 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP … last season, 1-1 in two starts with an 11.57 ERA and a 2.25 WHIP. The Cubs hit .395 against him … but it was really a tell of two starts. The Cubs rocked him at Wrigley (nine runs on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings … Jim Edmonds’ two homers in the same inning) and then Contreras beat the Cubs at the Cell a week later (three runs on seven hits in six innings).
- Andres Blanco – 0-for-9
- Milton Bradley – 4-for-12 with a home run
- Mike Fontenot – 4-for-8 with 2 home runs
- Ryan Freel – 0-for-3
- Kosuke Fukudome – 2-for-5 with a walk
- Koyie Hill – 1-for-3
- Derrek Lee – 3-for-16 with a double and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 5-for-8 with 3 home runs
- Geovany Soto – 2-for-5 with a home run
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-1 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….