Game One Hundred Thirty: Cubs (65-64) vs. Astros (63-68)
Game Time – 7:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 186
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Randy Wells (9-7, 3.06/1.22) vs. Brian Moehler (8-9, 5.26/1.51)
Lou Piniella’s crew enters play tonight just a game above .500 and in need of a win to keep from hitting the mediocre mark once again this season. The Cubs continued to play bad baseball on Monday night and many think they have quit. With 33 games remaining on the schedule, it would be good to see the Chicago Cubs finish an underachieving season on a positive note.
Micah Hoffpauir, Andres Blanco and Justin Berg are the first of seven to eight possible September call-ups for the Cubs. David Patton is expected to be activated from the DL and rejoin the big league club on Wednesday. Jeff Samardzija will make his way back to Chicago after his next start with Bobby Scales, Esmailin Caridad and Jeff Stevens not to far behind.
Andres Blanco should give Ryan Theriot some time off and allow Lou Piniella to leave Aaron Miles on the bench for the remainder of the season.
Alfonso Soriano will make his return to the starting lineup before Thursday’s makeup against the White Sox. Soriano was targeting a Tuesday return but he will likely have to wait until the finale against the Astros on Wednesday afternoon.
Tonight it all starts with Randy Wells and just playing baseball … The Cubs have a big decision to make with Randy Wells. Before this season the most innings Wells had thrown was 118 2/3 and that was last year for the I-Cubs, Toronto Blue and the Chicago Cubs … his previous high was with Lansing in Class-A ball back in 2004, Wells tossed 107 2/3 innings. This season Wells has totaled 126 2/3 in 20 starts. If the Cubs’ front office thinks Wells has a future in their rotation they might want to back him down over the last month of the season.
Randy Wells has been one of the bright spots for the Cubs this season. With any kind of offensive support Wells would have 12-14 wins under his belt instead of the nine he has been stuck on since August 14.
Wells had a rough start to his last outing against the Nationals … and it cost his team a victory. The Nats scored five runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings with four walks and four strikeouts. Lou Piniella cited fatigue as the reason for Wells’ rough starts of late … so the Cubs are recognizing the fact he is tiring but will they do anything about it?
In his last five outings Wells is 2-3 with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.
Tonight will be Wells’ third start of the year against the Astros. He has yet to allow a run to Houston this season in 14 innings … 1-0 in two starts with a 0.00 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, ten hits with five walks and five strikeouts.
- Lance Berkman – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Geoff Blum – 1-for-5
- Michael Bourn – 1-for-6 with a walk
- Jeff Keppinger – 0-for-4
- Carlos Lee – 2-for-6
- Jason Michaels – 0-for-1
- Hunter Pence – 1-for-3 with 2 walks
- Miguel Tejada – 1-for-7
Brian Moehler has been extremely inconsistent this season. He will have a stretch in which he throws the ball pretty good … then goes through a stretch where he is just horrible. Too bad for the Cubs he is in the middle of a good stretch.
Moehler is coming off a no decision to the Cardinals. He allowed just three runs on six hits in six innings. The Astros won the game 4-3. The last time Moehler allowed more that three earned runs was back on August 10 in Miami.
In 11 road starts this season Moehler is 5-3 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
Tonight will be Moehler’s fourth start of the year against the Cubs. He is 1-2 in the first three with a 13.97 ERA and a 2.69 WHIP … the Cubs’ offense has hit Moehler to the tune of a .429 average.
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-3
- Andres Blanco – 1-for-2
- Milton Bradley – 1-for-9 with a walk
- Mike Fontenot – 5-for-12 with a double, a home run and 2 walks
- Kosuke Fukudome – 5-for-14 with a double and a walk
- Koyie Hill – 0-for-1
- Micah Hoffpauir – 0-for-2
- Derrek Lee – 7-for-17 with 2 doubles, 3 home runs and a walk
- Aramis Ramirez – 8-for-23 with a double and a triple
- Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-22 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
- Geovany Soto – 3-for-14 with a home run
- Ryan Theriot – 3-for-11 with 2 doubles and 2 walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball…