Game Twenty-Nine: Cubs (13-15) vs. Pirates (12-15)
Game Time – 6:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Randy Wells (3-0, 3.45/1.34) vs. Brian Burres (1-1, 6.00/1.93)
Can the Cubs avoid being swept by the Pirates? Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton and the Pirates’ pen has mesmerized Lou Piniella’s crew in the first two games. Four runs in 18 innings against the Pirates’ staff will hopefully wake up the offense and they can leave Pittsburgh with at least one win.
The key to this team is scoring at least four runs … the Cubs are 1-11 when they plate less than four runs this season.
Piniella tried to shakeup his lineup and it actually performed worse than the night before. Will Piniella run out the same players in the same order or actually mix it up a little in the finale of the three-game series?
Randy Wells gets the tough task of trying to keep the Pirates off the board, while Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano try to put crooked numbers up against Brian Burres.
Four runs or more is the goal … but tonight it all starts with Randy Wells. The most impressive stat for Randy Wells after the first month of the season … the Cubs are 4-1 in his five starts. Wells is coming off his third win after giving up five runs on eight hits in six innings to the Diamondbacks. Wells did not walk a single batter and struck out eight. Wells has not walked a batter in his last two starts (13 innings).
Wells will give up his fare share of hits but he has done a good job to this point of limiting his damage. In 31 1/3 innings he has given up 37 hits but walked only five, which is a big key to his success … not to mention his over 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio (27 strikeouts)
Randy Wells is 2-0 in three road starts this season with a 1.42 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
Tonight will be Wells’ third career start against the Bucs … he is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
Pirates’ Career Numbers against Randy Wells
- Ronny Cedeno – 0-for-3
- Jason Jaramillo – 3-for-5 with a double
- Garrett Jones – 2-for-6
- Andy LaRoche – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Andrew McCutchen – 3-for-5 with a double
- Lastings Milledge – 0-for-3
- Delwyn Young – 1-for-3
Brian Burres will make his third start of the season tonight. Burres filled in rather nicely for Ross Ohlendorf in his last outing against the Dodgers. Burres threw 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball and surrendered just four hits. The Cubs cannot go to the plate swinging against Burres like they did with Charlie Morton. Burres struggles with his command and will walk more than his fare share. In 15 innings this season, the 29-year old lefty has walked 11.
Burres has faced the Cubs once in his big league career. The Cubs managed one run against Burres on three hits in an inning of work back on June 26, 2008. Burres pitched for the Orioles and Baltimore beat Jason Marquis and the Cubs 11-4 that evening.
Cubs’ Career Numbers against Brian Burres
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-6 with a home run and a walk
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-1
- Xavier Nady – 2-for-7 with a double
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-1
- Chad Tracy – 0-for-3
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