Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Rangers – 05/22/10

Game Forty-Four: Cubs (19-24) vs. Rangers (25-18)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Night Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 179
Location – Rangers Ballpark, Arlington

Randy Wells (3-2, 4.13/1.31) vs. Derek Holland (2-0, 2.38/1.15)

The Chicago Cubs are the definition of a .500 team … too bad their record does not reflect it. One day they look great, the next horrible and for a short stretch they appear to be on the verge of putting it together. Then they revert to the poor play that put them in the hole in the first place.

As the cliche goes … the only thing consistent about the Twenty-Ten Chicago Cubs is inconsistency.

Following Friday’s loss, Lou Piniella said it’s not hard to hit with men on base.

“Look, you’ve got to hit with men on base, that’s all there is to it. It’s really not that hard. I played 17 years. It’s not like I haven’t played up here. It’s not that hard. It really isn’t. I know everybody’s trying but it’s not that hard.”

Aramis Ramirez was out of the starting lineup for the second day in a row Friday with a sore left thumb. Ramirez said he aggravated during an at bat against Jamie Moyer Wednesday. Ramirez is listed as day-to-day and his status for today’s game is unknown.

With the southpaw going for the Rangers, if Ramirez is out Jeff Baker should start at third. If Ramirez continues to miss time and is not better after the day off Monday, the Cubs must bring Chad Tracy back up for the reason he was signed. Mike Fontenot is not a third baseman.

Will Xavier Nady be the Cubs’ DH for the second straight game? Piniella started Nady there Friday night against the only right-hander the Cubs see in the series. Why not play a better defensive outfield and use Alfonso Soriano as the DH against the righty? Second-guessing is easy to do but will Colvin be in the starting lineup the next two games? The Cubs face two tough lefties, especially C.J. Wilson in the finale Sunday.

Tonight it all starts with Randy Wells … and just winning a ballgame.

The last time Randy Wells posted a win was back on April 30 against the Diamondbacks. Since his last victory Wells is 0-2 in three games with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Wells refocused himself since his horrible outing against the Pirates and is coming off a solid start against the Rockies. Wells allowed one run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings to Colorado.

Since Pittsburgh, Wells is 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. Wells has walked two and struck out 11 batters in his last 14 2/3 innings.

Randy Wells is 2-1 in four road starts this season with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.

Tonight will be Wells’ first career start against the Texas Rangers … and no one on Ron Washington’s roster has ever faced Wells.

The Rangers drafted Derek Holland in the 25th round in 2006 … and the 23-year old southpaw has thrown the ball rather well in his first two starts of the year. Holland was 8-13 in 33 games, 21 starts, for Texas last year with 107 strikeouts in 138 1/3 innings. Holland posted a 6.12 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in his first big league season.

Holland is coming off his second win of the year. He held the Angels to three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

The Cubs must make Holland work tonight.

Derek Holland has not faced the Chicago Cubs in his brief Major League career … and no one on Lou Piniella’s roster has ever faced Holland.

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon